Ethical Questions in a Carrot Bed

| 4/27/2016 10:00:00 AM

Tags: garden planning, baby animals, bird nests, birding, wildlife, Blythe Pelham, Ohio,

A nest of eggs

I’m the kind of human who carefully captures spiders in the house and escorts them outside away from playful indoor cats. I try my best to step lightly upon the planet, rejoicing in the wildlife around me as I watch them go about their daily lives. I literally cringe when I drive by butchered trees along the side of the road or see downed trees after big storms. Imagine my dismay when I came across the sight above as I was weeding my wildly overgrown carrot bed.

Had I been weeding in front of me rather than reaching around behind in my lazy efficiency, I might have discovered the nest before I’d removed too much ground cover. I would have mulled over a different set of ethical questions at that point. However, as it happened I discovered this lovely, well-built nest after it was already half-exposed and one egg had fallen out (though I didn’t notice that right away).

What to do? We use our carrots a lot and I don’t have a ready replacement bed, so I decided to temporarily move the nest to a safe spot. I would finish my weeding chore, then replace the nest along with some sort of shelter while hoping that the mama bird might return if I moved my activities to a different part of the garden.

I’ll warn you now, there isn’t a “rest of the story” yet. I’ll have to fill you in at a future time, but I remain ever hopeful because it’s part of my nature. I don’t have to get back into the carrot bed for a couple of weeks — so, if the transition for mama bird succeeds, we may have photos of baby birds. I’m fairly certain these are Carolina Wren eggs as the size and appearance are a decent match.

I haven’t had any birds nest in my carrot bed before, but I usually don’t leave it so long before weeding. I definitely see how this particular spot was so inviting (see upper left photo in the collage below). There was a lush bunch of green cover growing under the safety of some chain link (temporarily pulled back in the photo). I imagined how the babies would have hatched in what seemed like a forest with flowers on the trees and light breezes blowing through.

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