I’ve not been doing much gardening because of a bout of bronchitis and a bum hip. So I decided to just pull a few obvious weeds. Yes, I’ve unintentionally pulled out plants I wanted to keep, so I have to know a weed is a weed (thus the obvious) in the spring before I pull it. Anyway, I plan to plant vegetables this week, bought Dairy-Doo and ready to go, but I didn’t get any new perennials. I need to divide and transplant what I have.

Then, true to this most unusual place we live where we receive visits from bear, deer, turkey, racoon, possums, pigs, and cows, something unexpected happened. We never expected a parrot, and to capture it? Not possible.

Bill was emptying the car’s trunk when a bird swooped into the wild cherry tree planted in the drive’s circle garden. I had just returned from the garden, so from where I stood on the sidewalk, I saw sun flick on its feathers just before it reached the tree. Long pointy green tail feathers? No native green birds that size live in Michigan. “Oh my God! It’s a parrot!” I yelled. Bill looked into the tree. Sure enough a parrot. It suddenly swooped down and flew over Bill, made a circle and came back to the tree. George had walked up next to Bill. He picked up the cat and put it in the house, the parrot flying over him again as he walked.

“How do we capture it?” I asked. “It can’t survive a Michigan winter, and if we don’t get it now, its in a lot of danger.”

The parrot had returned to the tree. It swooped again, another cat nearby; Bill picked up the cat to take into the house and the parrot followed, flying about a foot or so over his head. This time it flew under the porch roof and landed on my baker’s stand. I was standing just outside the porch in front of the bird. Bill went looking for a net to capture it.

I talked to the parrot and he (my presumption on the sex of the bird) just sat and looked at me. It took Bill several minutes but he finally came and carefully walked on to the porch behind the bird. Another minute passed with me talking to the bird. Bill started talking to it. I told him not to if he planned to use that net unseen.

I put a hand up near the parrot to regain its attention. It didn’t move or act afraid. I thought it wouldn’t be safe for me to pick it up as a frightened parrot would bite my fingers. Then without more thought, I reached out and put my hand around the bird. His beak opened and I was sure I was going to bleed soon, but the bird never bit down, just mouthed me. Now I have a handful of bird. “We need a cage.”

It took Bill five minutes to jerry-rig a cage with a large wire basket and some chicken wire. In the meantime, I’m stroking the parrot’s head very gently with one finger. He speaks parrotese back to me and soon closes his eyes, perfectly content. Someone has lost their bird, a bird they spent a lot of time with. We have posters up around various busy stores and restaurants, waiting for someone to call. I’d put up a photo, but we’re waiting for the owner to describe the bird. More later.

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