Monday, March 14, 2005

Fly away, Jack! Come back, Jack!

You might remember me writing about the escaped canaries, Jack and Zöe. Well, we were at a birthday party for George on Saturday evening at New York Pizza. Theo and Diane were there, and we sat with them. We were looking at the parrots that are allowed to roost outside at the restaurant when Theo remembered to tell us that he thought he saw a canary in the courtyard in back of the Coffee Plantation. When we described Jack to him -- a yellow and brown mixture -- he said that he thought that was what the bird he saw looked like.

Janet went out back with Diane today. Sure enough, they both saw the canary again, and Janet confirmed that it is Jack. He appears to be healthy and even sings a little, a canary tune with trills and whistles. I'm guessing that Jack knew about our little secret, and decided that he too wanted to be able to hang around at the Coffee Plantation.

I stayed at the Plantation when Janet left on her tricycle to go all the way out to Roosevelt Boulevard, a round-trip of more than three miles. She took the "back" roads (such as we have them here) in order to avoid riding on Truman Avenue and along the Boulevard, a difficult trip on a bicycle, much less a trike, die to the condition of the sidewalks there and the heavy traffic. On one of my regular breaks to get up and walk around, I went to the large tree in the back, growing behind the antique truck that serves as a base for the stage on the south side of the courtyard. I looked up in to the tree and I could see a small bird flitting among the leaves, eating and drinking from the flowers. I'm pretty sure that it is Zöe I, the female who got away from Janet while I was in New Mexico. I'll need to have a closer look, but I think its her.

We didn't go to the Plantation at all yesterday. The day began with a thorough cleaning of the two cages we now have, and a switch of males between the cages. We now have two new canaries from Katha, Arnold and Zöe II, as well as a second cage. At first, we put Sunny (with the one foot) and Zöe II (a new, four month-old female) in one cage, and Arnold (a new male) and Sophia (young female, blind) in the other. Yesterday we moved Sophia in with Sunny, and put Zöe II in the larger cage with Arnold, thinking that they might be more likely to "hook up", if you know what I mean. Well, it isn't working out, at least niot right away. They've been arguing a lot, and fighting a little. Mostly its Zöe who chases Arnold off when he tries to come near her. He was singing a lot, and they both were chirping and chattering at each other, but close physical contact seemed to eb a problem.

Later, we went to our Bible study at the beach, then drove out to the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden. They were having a plant sale, which is what brought it to our attention. Janet is becoming interested in orchids. She wanted to see what they had for sale in order to be able to compare prices at Home Depot and K-Mart before committing to a purchase. Later in the afternoon, we arranged to meet Sharon and Brett at a restaurant at around mile marker 25, Fish Cutters, a place that George and Susan told us about earlier in the day. When we got there, it was closed (not open on Sundays, so we turned around and drove back a ways to Mangrove Mama's at MM20. We all had the Black & Bleu Fish Sandwich, a nice piece of Dolphin with a dollop of Bleu Cheese.

Janet decided, after consulting a couple of the books she uses, to separate them for a while. Some say that canaries need a few days to get used to each other before putting a male and female together. Fortunately, the cage they're in is one that has divided screen, allowing us to create two smaller cages that are side-by-side. That stopped the fighting. Now Arnold sits forlornly in his apartment, gazing longingly (that's what it looks like to me, anyhow) through the bars at Zöe II. She pretty much ignores him, preferring to eat, drink, bathe (how much of this can a male canary stand?), and roost. Janet plans to remove the divider and try them together again in a few days. We'll let ya know.

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