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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Sometimes . . . .

To quote MCC, "sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug / sometimes you're the Louisville slugger, sometimes you're the ball".  That's me today.  Just call me Ballbug.

I slept the sleep of the dead last night which is GOOD because I haven't sleep very soundly the past few nights.  Too, I've been just EXHAUSTED during the days, but this seems to be wide-spread.  I wonder if those of you who live in parts of the country/world with no drastic seasons experience this?  Up here, it seems that we all suffer from this overwhelming exhaustion when the seasons change.  It makes more sense in the fall as we're moving into the dark winter, but in the late winter when we're moving towards spring . . . and gaining an extra hour of daylight in the evenings (love it!)?  Weird!  But, it's not just me:  everyone I've spoken to about this feels EXACTLY the same way.  I wonder if there's a name for this phenomenon?  WRE?  Weather Related Exaustion?  ;)  I mean, it's not S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder which is a very real malady and affects a LOT of people in the 48° and up latitudes) but it *IS* something!

My last couple of weeks have been governed solely by The Old Me which has resulted in a disaster of a house and office and brain.  Once I finally realized that, I have begun Active Thinking again . . . working towards bringing The New Me back to the surface.  I lost my days at home last week due to my much-needed stock-up trip to Duluth, and so the house has gotten NO attention in about two weeks . . . agh.  I'm looking forward to improving it over these next two days AND getting The New Me's active thinking and scheduling back.

Beginning in mid-late February, the solar panels began soaking up enough sun again to limit the use of the generator which is a JOY!  Still, I'm trying to not tax the system by avoiding doing laundry, vacuuming, or ironing unless it's running or the sun is full out.

Up until last night, I was worried about one of the two male Zebra Finches because he was just hanging out on the floor of the aviary and not sleeping up in the ficus at night.  Fortunately, upon my arrival home and immediate peek in on them last night, he was up in the tree, too.  Hopefully this will mark his turn-around.  The rest of them have adapted very well, and it's a pleasure to know that I'm providing born-into-captivity birds a really, really nice home to live out their lives.

I struggle with the concept of wild animals raised in captivity for pets.  I mean, if I don't buy them, I won't be adding to the problem.  But, if you want something, there's always a way to justify it, right:  good or bad?  In my case, this comes in the form that I will be providing these five birds a much more natural life than the majority of captive birds sold will experience (in a 4 cubic feet - or less! - little wire cage).  So, that said and without further ado, here are the pictures I took last Wednesday during the aviary set-up.

This is the before picture.  If you look closely you can see the cage I brought them home in sitting on the bottom right of the aviary.
Even though I'd purchased the new light part required for the repair the LAST time I went to the big city, I hadn't had time to do the actual fix.
Here I've replaced the bad light element and screwed the ceiling back in place.  And, look:  there I am in the reflection!  ;)
The bottom half of the aviary, all ready to go.  I covered all the potting soil in the ficus with Lake Superior gravel I salvaged and saved from the aquarium.  As well as keeping the finches from the additives in the potting soil, I figure the gravel contains quite a bit of good fertilizer for the tree.  At the bottom of the table is a pile of natural fiber that I figured the birds might use as nesting material . . . and they already have!  It's gone from there and is hanging up in the crook of the tree although not formed into a nest yet.  I've never had an aviary / bird cage large enough to hold a tree like this, so it's super fun to see them utilizing a more natural surrounding.  The round dish next to the fiber is their seed dish.  On top of the table is their water dish and a planting of aloe in water.  Neither aloe nor ficus are poisonous to the finches (many plants ARE).  Now it's time to add the birds!
Here are the three finches, the female (no orange cheeks nor polka-dotting at the side of the breast) between the two males, before the one was excommunicated (hen-pecked?) to the bottom of the cage . . . where he is again this morning.
The two Bengalese (Society) finches hung out at the side of the aviary for quite a while that first day before they felt comfortable exploring.  I've named these two, too:  the male (the darker one) is Magpie because he reminds me of a magpie from the back, and I think they're gorgeous birds even though we don't have them here.  I saw my first one in Colorado when visiting my oldest girlfriend when she lived there.  Her response to my, "what's that beautiful bird?!" was the same disgust that most people express here over the messy, beggarly seagulls.  ;)  The female (almost all white) is Babs . . . because she perched on a branch and sang and sang and sang that first day!
The cats are, understandably, enthralled.  To prevent break-ins, I am installing two brass (locking!) latches to the already firm door.  I don't want to take any chances!
A picture says a thousand words?  Obviously, Maisy is THRILLED that we have birds again!  ;)
Magpie and one of the male zebra finches at the water dish and aloe.
Incoming!  One of the male finches & Magpie.
I hope your Monday's great!  I'm off to get great things done (or so I hope)!  If only I could w-a-k-e up!  ;)


  1. Did I miss it in your text or did you not tell us the names of the three finches?

    Purdy nice digs for those five lucky birds!

  2. No, you didn't miss it. They don't have personalities enough yet. Besides, I don't know how I'd tell the two males apart - they're like chickadees (everyone looks the same)!

  3. Wow! That is a beautiful environment for those sweet birds. My cats would be hanging off the top. I am suffering from the same inertia. It feels like jet lag. Of course, it was snowing this morning...

  4. Love the aviary!!! I have one cat that would probably double up his paw and put a hole big enough to crawl through ... he is a very fast hunter! He has brought hummingbirds and lizards into the house.

    Do they need above normal warmth like baby chicks?

    You will have to update us when you see personalities developing.

  5. Great pictures, and great aviary! I have been wanting an aviary for the past 3 years and we could even have an outdoor one in this climate part of the year, but I can't imagine trying to make the cross country move with them someday, since they live so long LOL... so I wait...


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