Last weekend I planted a couple of baby trees I rescued from the garden. The trees are very small, the stakes are very large. Good thing I put the stakes in right away as the next day the mower came by. This part of the north side of the berm was originally planted by the school children 12 years ago but the mower accidentally cut down about a dozen trees a couple of years later before they realized what they were doing. Some trees and bushes started to regrow from the stumps so I planted one six foot high stake at the edge of the tree planting area to indicate where the trees were regrowing. The north side of the berm only gets mowed a couple of times a year so it has to be a pretty substantial stake for the mowers to see it. Unfortunately over the years sometimes the mower would consider it a challenge and squeeze between the stake and the trees, again cutting down the saplings that were valiantly trying to recover. There is still one hazel bush that I recognize as from the original planting as well as a few other volunteers that are growing from seed.
The other day as I was coming back from watering the trees I started to pull away in my car when I noticed a crow was fighting in mid-air with some sort of bird in front of me. I stopped and decided to intervene to save the poor bird that was by then on the ground with the crow on top of it. Before I even got out of the car a red wing black bird dove down onto the crow distracting him. I then got there and the crow flew up into the bushes where one of his mates was looking on. I could then see that its victim was a small baltimore oriole that was sitting in a depression in the grass, clearly injured from the attack. He didn't move when I approached and I didn't know what to do. I thought of taking him to the Wild Bird Center that is off Moodie but I was afraid that he would injure himself further if I attempted to pick him up and I didn't have anything to carry him in. I could tell he was quite alert even though he wasn't moving, but those crows were right above watching us and I was in a bit of a quandary about what to do. Eventually those two crows flew off while I was scratching my head. Then the oriole took the dilemma out of my hands and ran off into the bushes when I briefly turned my back. I guess in his eyes I wasn't anymore a friend than those mean crows.
I sure hope the little guy wasn't too badly injured and is able to recover. The brief episode from start to finish probably wasn't more than a couple of minutes, but I think it will stick with me for quite some time. What strikes me as remarkable is how both the red-wing blackbird and I reacted in essentially the same way to the suffering of an individual from a different species. Who is to say the red-wing blackbird didn't also feel empathy for the poor oriole?