Today was final exam day for Woodstock. I waited for all the cats to crash out (not a long wait), took a chair, bottle of water, my knitting basket and camera and parked under the coolest shade tree I could find. I opened the door to Woodstock's pen and sat back to watch.
I don't often take time to just sit outside. I should. It is a beautiful place, full of all sorts of interesting sights and sounds - birds, bugs, breezes (thankfully) and blooms. This Praying Mantis was quite charming.
While I'm normally complaining that these characters are not pulling their weight, today their sleep was just what I wanted. Perfect for a young bird taking his first steps into the big world.
Iris is, of course, always watchful.
He waited a bit to start exploring, but you could tell he was intrigued. He then spent an hour or so walking around flexing his muscles and then at 3:15 he took flight. I continued to sit and wait to see if he would find his way back so I could run interference if anyone woke up - no worries there. He did return after about an hour and seemed to have found a buddy. My luck, this is his mother and she will have decided sending her teenager off to boarding school has worked out just fine.
He came back to the feeder a couple more times and by 7:30 he was obviously exhausted, so I decided to put him back in his cage for the night. At first he was happy to be there - got a big drink, ate some special Woodstock food, sat on his favorite perch, but by 9:00 he was agitated and wanted to go back out. I handed down some 'tough love' though and tried to explain that he'd be safer his first night out if he wasn't so tired and that tomorrow he could do what he wished. I'm proud of him, but kind of sad, too.