Thursday, August 12, 2010

Playdate with a Bonus of Birds and Itchy Grubs


Yesterday, Marguerite had a playdate with another homeschooler. We went to a nearby park for them to run around and indulge in some outdoor play. It was a thoroughly wonderful experience marred by two unpleasant incidents. The first was about this man trying to catch this bird. It was a uncommon bird (that is, less common than the usual sparrow). It was brown, something like a mocha color, with white on the underside of its wings. It was about the size of a pigeon, but had a more slender and graceful frame. I think it also had a longish tail. I tried looking for it in the Birdwatch gallery, but I'm pretty useless matching memory with pictures. Note to self: learn more about birding. If you can identify which bird I mean from that paltry description, please let me know. I'm really quite sleepless about it. This is a bird that you can find along the Marikina River. While you're at it, maybe you can also identify the reddish brown chicken-like bird that can be found in the area too (Please don't tell me it's a chicken... unless it's really a chicken). Anyway, the first time it happened, the bird landed on a low tree branch and this man tried to grab it with his bare hands. My friend and I were seated a short distance from this, so I called out to the guy in Tagalog, "Don't try to catch it. Just let it fly freely." Good thing the bird was able to fly away. The bird later returned to the tree and this time, the man tried to hit it with a rock. I shouted at him not to do that. Fortunately, he wasn't a good shot, so the bird got away again. I hurled a couple of preachy remarks at him. Later, I saw the bird land on the concrete center of the amphitheater and a moment later, two young boys tried to catch it as well. What the heck!!! It made me so mad! The area should be better policed for incidents like this. I mean, where exactly do I go to report activities like that?
The second incident involved those wretched itchy grubs. The park was just plumb full of caterpillars, both harmless and itchy. The mosaic benches beneath the acacia trees were particularly prime spots. Anyway, one landed on my bag. They always find me, as surely as flying balls also home in on me. Bugs, balls... sigh. I don't think I even got to touch it, but I had rashes anyway. For some reason, Marguerite got rashes too and she didn't even get to hold the bag. Mine subsided right away (still there, but no longer itchy or inflamed), but Marguerite's were really bothering her tonight even after copious salves and two baking soda baths. I had no choice but to give her some Benadryl.
Also, our noses are a little sunburned.
I'll definitely do it again. We'll just stay away from acacias and put on some sunscreen next time.

7 comments:

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

I think you need to explain these pests better to those of us in other lands.

The Kano said...

Too bad about the people trying to catch the birds. Were they trying to catch them for food? In our rural province in the Philippines, my wife tells me that birds are often captured here for a meal. Don't know what kind of meal those poor little birds you talk about could make, however.

moonchild117 said...

The poor bird! And I'm sorry to hear about the "higad" attack. Coincidentally, my colleague also has rashes because a hairy caterpillar landed on her arm yesterday. I dunno if it's because of the season that there are lots of them now.

spinninglovelydays said...

@Sharkbytes: Sorry, I thought you had them too, lol - I meant those hairy caterpillars that give people rashes. :)

@Dave: They probably were, but they definitely didn't set out to hunt for the pot. They were just there, shooting the breeze. I understand that there are many people who would be driven to capture birds and other animals to make a meal out of them, esp here in a 3rd world nation. That's why there should be some regulation in place, especially in a park such as the one we were in. A rare bird is definitely a no-no. Although I'm not actually at all sure that it was rare. For me, anything that's not a sparrow is rare, lol.

@moonchild: Yeah, i think it's just their season. The entire place was crawling with caterpillars. :)

The Kano said...

I agree with you that there should be regulations in the park to prohibit the capture of the birds. That's one thing I miss from the States, the wide variety of birds we had in our yard. I sure miss the chirping birds, so rare here, even though we live in a rural province.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the pictures. Looking forward for another playdate hopefully soon. Hope you and your daughter are doing ok. It's flu season time. I usually sponge bath my daugther to keep her temperature down and give her lots of fluids, fruits and raw vegetable and soft rice, and don't ever forget the chicken soup...

spinninglovelydays said...

Thanks, Jeanne. It did turn out to be flu. Hope to see you gals soon! :)