The day arrived ... for the birdlets to take flight. We SO wanted to be around to witness it but Rick had a doctor's appointment and we needed to head out. We knew it was the day because both parents were present. Mom on the right, Dad on the left. Both were studying the nest.
And studying the nest... Not sure if they were waiting for us to leave or what ... but everyone seemed ready for what was about to take place today.
And Rick and I left. We had no choice.
About four hours later we returned. Rick noticed first that the nest seemed empty. No movement, no little bodies.
We parked the car and walked towards our house. Yes, the nest looked empty. I ran inside and up our stairs to my normal vantage point to make sure. Yep, empty. The bird family had taken flight. The little guys were now on their own. Although I did read up on Mourning Doves and learned that the newbies will hang near their parents for a couple of weeks, learning how to feed themselves in the wild. And judging by the amount of birds that hang around our front yard, I'm betting we have good worms. Our little family will learn quickly how to find their breakfast.
Anyway, my heart was sad. My new friends were gone. I was missing them already. Although I got mighty tired of tiptoeing around and gently opening and closing our front door, and directing all of Rick's therapists to enter our house through our garage door so as not to disturb my feathered friends, I was missing them.
And our lives had to go on. I went back out to my car to bring in the groceries, still tiptoeing out the front door. Old habits die hard.
Sadly and shockingly, something caught my eye. On the ground.
Something very curious.
Dots on our driveway. Odd dots. Very disturbing dots. Evenly spaced.
There were dark dots leading the other way, too. Towards the grass.
My eyes were then drawn to the grassy patch next to our driveway.
My heart sunk.
I refused to believe it.
I am sick to my stomach even writing this. It just isn't right. I feel like I've been punched in the stomach.
I don't even know what happened but I do know that it isn't good.
I miss my little friends so much.
It's gonna be a long time before I get over this...