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8-Serpent-Wind
#1 Posted : 7/18/2022 9:28:25 PM

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I have been watching some quail in my yard court and raise babies.
I found them to be absolutely delightful and joyous.
The most adorable things I have ever seen.

I rescued two from a window-well yesterday and today I found 2 drowned in the 20 gallon pond that I installed this year.
I've been weeping uncontrollably and while I am not sobbing anymore I feel horrible.

I took some steps to prevent it happening again but my actions killed two innocent creatures and I feel devastated.

I set myself up for this I suppose, by allowing myself to love, and I won't give up on love, but it is a road to sorrow, that much is certain.



 

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8-Serpent-Wind
#2 Posted : 7/18/2022 9:38:33 PM

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I scattered a bunch of white poppy seed out for them to eat.

The 3 remaining chicks (originally eight of them) are scratching and eating the seeds in the yard but it is different now, though I still find them adorable now when I see them I feel sad that I killed two of them, even if by accident.

I hope they make it, I know they might not and everything that lives must die, but I still find myself emotionally invested in their survival.

I had been observing them closely, they are so intelligent and displayed many behaviors that have human equivalency. I was watching the parents teach the babies how to forage and shelter and scratch and what and where to scratch.

When the two were stuck in the window-well the parents displayed alarm and did not leave the area and when I got them out and let them go they sounded like they were celebrating with joy.

I was able to perceive intelligence and emotionality in them and even personality, which is part of the reason I found myself so endeared to them. I am a parent as well and I identify with many of the parenting behaviors they display.

I had never been able to watch them in a wild-like setting so closely before.
 
fink
#3 Posted : 7/18/2022 11:19:53 PM
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Do you believe that if you had not installed the pond then they would have survived?
I don't know much, but I do know this. With a golden heart comes a rebel fist.
 
Voidmatrix
#4 Posted : 7/18/2022 11:36:57 PM

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This is sad and beautiful at the same time. Your description, which shows your adoration, and your observation, as well as the rich emotional investment is something I find rare. It's like uncovering a precious stone.

I empathize with your feelings, but it's not your fault. It wasn't just your actions that led to the highly unfortunate event, but a combination of many factors. I'm not sure there was any way you could've known that this would happen.

With grace, provide yourself some forgiveness.

One love
What if the "truth" is: the "truth" is indescernible/unknowable/nonexistent? Then the closest we get is through being true to and with ourselves.


Know thyself, nothing in excess, certainty brings insanity- Delphic Maxims

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8-Serpent-Wind
#5 Posted : 7/18/2022 11:43:16 PM

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fink wrote:
Do you believe that if you had not installed the pond then they would have survived?

It isn't something I have considered.

Had I not built the pond they would not have drowned in it, that is accurate.
Had I not saved 2 of them from the window well the previous day those two would have died as well, pun not intended.

I think the act of saving 2 to find 2 dead the next day made it worse, but I have also been studying bird behavior, intelligence and emotionality lately and that also made their deaths quite sad for me.

I made it a point to give their father space and let him how it, acknowledging him and then ignoring him and letting him feel welcome. He stuck around a lot more than others did in the past and he and his mate have spent a lot of time in my yards, both front yard and back yard.
I watched him meet and court his mate, and then she was nowhere to be seen for awhile but he would go on lookout duty and then after awhile there were babies! Watching this little life drama play out also made me more sensitive to it, I suppose.

I don't have a lawn, I have gardens and plants, some large trees for shade and I deliberately left several weeds that I have seen the birds eat seeds from. It is actually a little bit of paradise for birds and I have entire flocks that visit regularly as well as hummingbirds in my trees, as well as a robin that has spent a lot of time in the yard with me and often comes over when I am outside. I knew his parents as well, though I have not seen them for awhile.

I have mulberry trees and raspberries, blackberries, loganberries and other things that both birds and people love.
The quail even shelter near and in my cactus collection sometimes!

I go out of my way to ensure that I make the yard as safe and nature friendly as possible and numerous local birds drink from my pond including many rock doves. I wanted it to be good for birds, not fatal to them. The deaths were preventable and that is part of what I regret as well.

But would they have survived had I not built the pond?
I have no idea.




 
CosmicRiver
#6 Posted : 7/19/2022 12:07:35 AM

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I'm really sorry. It's alright if you feel sad and mourn their loss, but don't put too much weight on your shoulders. It's not your fault. Unfortunately mortality is high among chicks, even by drowning, so we can't say for sure they would have survived if it wasn't for the pond.

I don't know which species of quail you're referring to, but to my knowledge the chicks fledge very early and leave their family group within less than two months after hatching.
I'm sure that suffering and mourning are part of many animals' lives. But I'm also sure that in a species with high offspring mortality parents are emotionally equipped to deal with loss, more than we humans are. Nature is not cruel and unnecessary suffering would have no purpose.

Remember that you rescued two of them and you had good intentions. And if you feel sadness and guilt, you can let those emotions motivate you to find new ways to help wildlife. And many lives will be saved.

Life never ends, it always finds a way.

Much love to you Love
 
8-Serpent-Wind
#7 Posted : 7/19/2022 12:27:52 AM

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When the chicks were trapped in the window well the parents and siblings stayed nearby but also avoided getting too close to the window well.

However they did not stick around the drowned chicks, but instead kept at life, scratching and teaching, resting and running around. I am saddened, but the parents appear to be fine.

So yes CosmicRiver, I totally agree with everything you mention.


One of the things I love about the Galliformes is how rapidly their chicks develop. In fact some birds in the group are born with feathers and can fly within 24 hours of hatching. Bush Turkeys are fascinating animals!

The deaths bothered me also because of how pointless they were. Had a chick been eaten by a predator I can appreciate that. They died because I did not think things through well enough, it was an oversight mistake on my part and I won't make it again if I can help it.

Once I had these puppies I was caring for, and among them there was this girl puppy who was brighter and more energetic than the others, just an amazing specimen. They lived in a garage and they had a 5 gallon bucket of water that they were just tall enough to reach and drink from. None of them could jump up into it, to do that they would need to literally climb up on one another.

One day I walked into the garage and there was that little baby girl puppy, dead in the bucket. Cold and dead. I was devastated, even tried to resuscitate it. Of the puppies that was the only one I liked and it was amazing, everyone who saw it with the others knew it was special. It likely died because it was smarter than the others. At the time I had an infant, my first child, she was only a few months old and I think I was especially sensitive to seeing an infant creature die. It turns out I still am.

When the chicks died I recalled this (I was 19 back then and am in my mid 40s now) and I had feelings of helplessness and frustration.

I'll be okay, but I have not been as sad as I was today for awhile and I hate to say it but I've been through a lot of tragedy and difficulty. Normally I am able to cope with sorrow, but the loss of innocent life is a big deal to me.

Thank you everyone for your replies and consideration.
I appreciate it.

 
CosmicRiver
#8 Posted : 7/19/2022 1:28:05 AM

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I would have reacted in the same way.
Your sensitivity demonstrates you are a caring and kind person.
It can be hard to be sensitive sometimes, but ultimately I believe it's a good thing. Pleased
 
fink
#9 Posted : 7/19/2022 1:28:46 AM
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8-Serpent-Wind wrote:

It isn't something I have considered.

[/snip]




Must be at least 20 years ago now. I saved a mouse from our cat and let him hide in my room. In the morning I found him dead in a half full glass of water. I remember the lesson, who am I to change nature's plans?

You saved two only to feel like you also killed two. I fully believe the inevitable result was completely out of your hands.
I don't know much, but I do know this. With a golden heart comes a rebel fist.
 
8-Serpent-Wind
#10 Posted : 7/19/2022 2:08:01 AM

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fink wrote:

who am I to change nature's plans?

So nature killed a mouse to teach you a lesson??

When did it decide this?
Where was this decision made by Nature?

As far as I know I am a part of nature and so is everything else.
I won't stop being kind, helping people and animals or feeling sorry or happy because it might interfere with "nature's plan"

I accept that the first rule is Fate is that which cannot be changed... aka Shit Happens...

I do not mean to offend but the way you seem to see the world seems like poison to me. I can respect it as the way you see the world, but it makes me very uncomfortable to know that there are people who are indifferent to the suffering of others because they see it as Nature's Plan.

I'll save a chick every time I can and never feel like I was getting in natures way.
 
fink
#11 Posted : 7/19/2022 8:18:51 AM
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I think you might have taken quite a leap there. My point was never about indifference to death or suffering. Nor that we should not try to help.

I don't know much, but I do know this. With a golden heart comes a rebel fist.
 
Voidmatrix
#12 Posted : 7/19/2022 1:18:27 PM

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fink wrote:
I think you might have taken quite a leap there. My point was never about indifference to death or suffering. Nor that we should not try to help.



For clarity, it's most accurate to view your story as something to encourage acceptance of the situation, correct?

One love
What if the "truth" is: the "truth" is indescernible/unknowable/nonexistent? Then the closest we get is through being true to and with ourselves.


Know thyself, nothing in excess, certainty brings insanity- Delphic Maxims

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Question everything... including questioning everything... There's so much I could be wrong about and have no idea...
All posts and supposed experiences are from an imaginary interdimensional being. This being has the proclivity and compulsion for delving in depths it shouldn't. Posts should be taken with a grain of salt. 👽
 
8-Serpent-Wind
#13 Posted : 7/19/2022 1:41:08 PM

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fink wrote:
I think you might have taken quite a leap there. My point was never about indifference to death or suffering. Nor that we should not try to help.


I apologize, I misunderstood your point.

I really don't know what the lesson you learned was.

To me it seemed to be the idea that nature had a plan to kill that should not be interfered with.
 
ShadedSelf
#14 Posted : 7/19/2022 2:33:44 PM

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I think the lesson is about surrender and acceptance, you cant control everything, you can be aware of your intentions and take responsability for your actions (we can see this when you took those steps to prevent that from happening again), but there is a balance to be had, otherwise we get consumed in depression/narcissism.

Its OK to be sad, no amount of preparation will ever free you from sadness though IMO, acceptance will, in its own way.
 
fink
#15 Posted : 7/19/2022 8:04:48 PM
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Voidmatrix wrote:


For clarity, it's most accurate to view your story as something to encourage acceptance of the situation, correct?

One love



Exactly that. To not feel guilt for something that was out of our control.


8-serpent-wind, no need for apology at all mate. I tend to be blunt which doesn't always translate in text format so well. I loved reading your post and appreciate you sharing your emotional experiences so freely.


The lesson was not that nature had a plan to kill that should not be interfered with.

The lesson was that my feeling of control and power, of altruism and goodness at saving the mouse, to change the course of nature..... was very starkly rubbed in my face by nature herself the following morning.

Had I not intervened maybe the mouse would have escaped the cat. Had I finished my glass of water perhaps the mouse would have survived the night. My intervention was ill advised, egotistical and selfishly motivated in essence.



That doesn't mean we should stop trying. But always expect the curveball.
I don't know much, but I do know this. With a golden heart comes a rebel fist.
 
Tomtegubbe
#16 Posted : 7/19/2022 11:53:18 PM

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ShadedSelf wrote:
I think the lesson is about surrender and acceptance, you cant control everything, you can be aware of your intentions and take responsability for your actions (we can see this when you took those steps to prevent that from happening again), but there is a balance to be had, otherwise we get consumed in depression/narcissism.

Its OK to be sad, no amount of preparation will ever free you from sadness though IMO, acceptance will, in its own way.
This applies to relationships too. It's a virtue to care for others, but you can't do the work that the other needs to do. You can help them, but at certain point you need to let go and thus let them take the responsibility for themselves.
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