Lonesome Dove

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April 2007 --

I'd been on the boat for nearly an hour before I noticed this dove sitting next to the companionway.

Great.

If it was a any other bird it would have been overboard faster
than you can say "Noah."

But it's a Dove.

The Bird of Peace.

I was planning to leave town for a bit,
and then put another six coats of varnish on the toe rails, so the boat was going
to be at the dock for a few weeks.

After some research, the gestation period is 13 days, and then it takes the chicks 19 days to fledge and fly away. Doves always lay two eggs.

I am the egg man
I am the egg man
I am the WALrus
COO COO ka chew

A couple of weeks later --

Either the beak has changed shape,
or there are two of them taking turns sitting on the nest.

If the first bird had a beak like this,
I might have tossed her overboard.

May 6, 2007 --

Wow. That was fast.
There's nothing here but the single egg that didn't hatch. It's been sitting
in the heat for a month so it's a
good thing it didn't break!

I never got a chance to say goodbye.

I'm an "empty nester."

Gee, the boat just seems so big
without the kids around.

I sure hope it didn't just launch off the back of the boat and into the tide.

Only one egg hatched.

Cute little guy.

The next weekend, I was busy doing varnish work,
and didn't bring the camera down to the boat.
But this little guy got big really fast.
A week after this picture it was moving around,
had some feathers, and was aware of me.

I wish I had taken a picture of him a week after this one,
but it really didn't seem to be that important.
Varnishing the toe rails was 48 hours of work over two weekends, and really didn't leave time for dove pictures.

Anyway...
The varnish was finished last weekend, so I could give the boat a good washing.
The nest went overboard, and there really wasn't much of a mess left behind.
I gave the lines a good scrubbing anyway.

This dove kept flying over to check things out. I wonder if it thought the last egg was still going to hatch, or if it planned to try another batch.
Sorry, once was fun, but I have my limits.

Maybe she just came by to say thanks.
Well, you're welcome.

Update two weeks later --It appears that Doves are territorial, and they have decided that my boat is a nice place to hang out. If I had known this, I would have tossed the nest overboard immediately. I'm sure that I can convince them that my boat is not a good place to hang out during the week, but it might take some work. One of the Doves has created a blog on myspace.com, and says my boat is "a new home." To quote: "It's really nice and quiet Monday through Friday. You can poop anywhere you want, because once a week the housekeeper comes by and scrubs everything clean. It's not very peaceful when the housekeeper shows up, because he keeps saying 'Duck this. I'm a Ducking Idiot. Why the Duck did I let that Ducking Dove live.' Clearly he doesn't know the difference between a Duck and a Dove, so I think he's stupid."

When it comes right down to it, Doves are just Pigeons in flannel suits. (Sorry Noah.)

Update Three Weeks later -- Well, I went down and yelled at the doves and said "Get The F__k Off My Boat." Actually, I said "Get The F__K Off My Boat or I'll Kill You, And Your Little Dog, too..."
they haven't been back since. I guess they're really sensitive.
So, calling them "Pigeons in Flannel Suits" was an inappropriate statement and I apologize.
I hope they didn't hire a lawyer, because I really don't have time to deal with a class action suit right now.