A short while ago, I cleaned up my balcony and got it ready to plant tomatoes, peppers, herbs and flowers. Before long, it looked great and I had plants and tiny seedlings ready to grow. But then, I noticed something strange happening...
Whenever I played music, and had my windows open, I would hear pigeons come to my balcony and 'dance' about. Two males would puff up and dance for a lone female. Their mating rituals were interesting to watch, and not unlike some human behaviours. The males strutted about endlessly, struggling to put their heads over each others' necks to prove their superiority for the female. Sometimes she seemed interested, but a lot of the time seemed to just wander the balcony.
A while later, I noted that my pots were being dug up. My seedlings died, as well as my Morning Glory, and the tomato and pepper plants barely held on but managed to survive, probably because I'd bought large plants. I wondered who or what was digging and what they were looking for.
Every morning when I went out to water my plants, and grind my teeth over my dying 'garden,' I would scare off a couple of pigeons. They would fly off to another roof and sit and watch and wait until I returned inside. Later, I would hear their cooing and purring on the balcony.
I love birds but tend to think of pigeons as pests.
I found a lovely surprise on the weekend. I was watering the surviving plants after the pigeons had flown off--I will manage to harvest at least some tomatoes and peppers, but sadly no herbs--and a suspicion made me check out a couple of pots that I'd left empty and had pushed back against the wall. There in one of them lay two pearly, rosy, perfect eggs.
I finished watering and tiptoed back inside, filled with wonder. The following morning, I eased the door open carefully and found only the female there sitting on her eggs. The pot is only half-full of soil, so her head barely peeks over the rim. I managed to water most of the plants before the female flew away, all while I spoke to her softly--my new little friend.
I know I shouldn't encourage pigeons on my balcony, but this little lady is here for the duration. It was a dreadfully hot day yesterday so I put out a small cup of water, along with a tiny bowl of cornmeal. I noticed later that it had been disturbed, so I assume she is eating it.
I can't wait for the chicks to break open their shells. In the city, I often feel cut off from the wonder that is nature and to have this happening on my balcony is a real thrill. I know that by the time these little creatures fly off, the balcony will be a mess with feathers and bird droppings but I can't bring myself to scare the mother away from her eggs. It would be too heart-breaking.
I feel an almost childish excitement about what is happening right outside my window. Have you had any up-close and personal experiences with nature that left you full of wonderment and fascination? Does anyone have any idea what they might have been digging for? I know there are no worms in my plants. How long will I have to wait for the eggs to hatch?