We have a few new residents around our house.Â And when I say around, I mean outside.
First off, it appears that the mourning dove has hatched her eggs.Â We never saw the eggs themselves, but now that there are chicks, the mama is off the nest getting food somewhat often.Â I got a couple of pics where you can make out the babies, though I can’t tell how they’re doing (when I watched from the bedroom window I didn’t see them moving at all).
I climbed up on a stepladder to get a better picture (though I couldn’t observe the nest directly – I held the camera above my head):
Also, while doing some gardening, I noticed someone the likes of whom I hadn’t seen before on our property.Â It was in this raised bed in front of the porch:
It sat there and looked at me as I photographed it, just enjoying the heat.Â A little later I saw it had moved a bit closer to the porch.Â Later in the day it was nowhere to be seen.Â We’ll see if it appears again.
We discovered recently that we have a tenant staying in our garage.Â Actually, it’s not technically in the garage, but in the rain gutter on the outside of the garage.Â Specifically, a mourning dove has built her nest there, in the end opposite the downspout.Â From the driveway, you can just make out the head and tail:
A better view can be had from an upstairs window:
Dove in nest
We’ve been spreading birdseed on the driveway and lawn for her and her mate (according to an expert, doves prefer to collect seed off the ground), and we wait for a glimpse of eggs.Â Apparently the eggs should be apparent when they are present, as doves aren’t very competent at nest building, and so the eggs will often stick out from under the mother.
A couple of weeks ago, we went to see a special screening of the film Sleep Dealer.Â It’s a political science-fiction film, dealing with a (very?) near-future time when the U.S.-Mexico border is completely closed physically, but workers in Mexico are able to connect their minds to a network and control robots to do work in the States.
The director, Alex Rivera, is a graduate of Hampshire College (which we live just up the road from).Â He was on hand to introduce the film and answer questions after the screening.Â He mentioned being influenced by quite a bit of current events (including immigration, remote military technology, control of natural resources, all sorts of aspects of the Internet) in creating the story and coming up with the concepts in the movie.Â Certainly, like most good sf, the film not only indicates a direction society might take, but offers commentary on where we are now.
The ideas in the film, technological and sociological, are very interesting, as are many of the visuals.Â While it contains many elements that have been seen in other sf film and literature, what Rivera has put together feels fresh, and comes from a unique point of view.Â I would advise any sci-fi fan to check it out, especially if you like politically-oriented work.Â If I had to name a downside to the film, I thought that, while it was had intriguing ideas, and an engaging plot, it didn’t have a lot of emotional impact.Â There were instances in the film that should have been emotionally powerful, even cathartic, where I didn’t have a strong reaction at all.Â I think this can be chalked up to a couple of things: first, that Rivera admitted that it was a struggle to come up with a plot, when he mainly wanted to play with ideas, and second, that he has made a number of short works before, but this was the first time he really worked with actors.Â The acting was good, but more experience in writing and directing might have given the movie more feeling.
Nevertheless, it was very worth seeing, and I highly recommend it.Â For those living in Western Mass., the film is playing this week at the Amherst Cinema.Â Enjoy.