We have a precious little lovebird named Trixy who has been singing, and swinging, a bit more than usual these days.
I jokingly referred to her as “the merry widow” Thursday morning as Lizabeth was enjoying a bit of Trixy time before heading off to school — but Lizabeth was not amused.
Because Trixy is flying solo after the loss of her lifelong companion, Taffy, who now shares a lovely bit of earth in our garden with a tiny rodent named Gidget who met a similar fate about a year ago. Both were high energy animals, and we like to think they just ran themselves right out of steam — living life to the fullest before meeting their fate.
While Lizabeth was at school Thursday morning, Christopher and I headed to Ingleside Animal Hospital to have Trixy’s wings clipped. She’s a whole lot safer not being able to escape her cage for the wide open spaces of the house we also share with a cat named Pinky. Next we headed to the pet store for a small cage Lizabeth can keep in her room for Trixy together time.
It was a bit of a bird theme day as we also went in search of jewelry with a bird motif. We wanted to find a little something to honor one of Christopher’s colleagues who is retiring from her position with the Center for Native and Urban Wildlife at Scottsdale Community College.
My first thoughts were of Laurel Burch earrings, because they often feature creatures like cats and birds — and because I remember my mother wearing them when I was a child. Nowadays they’re harder to find, unless — like my daughter Jennifer — you’ve mastered the fine art of Etsy.
We ended up at the Phoenix Art Museum because it’s right next to Phoenix Theatre, where Lizabeth has afternoon classes with fellow theater students at Arizona School of the Arts. They helped us locate all kinds of bird fare — from origami paper crane earrings to a graphite carving in the image of a bird.
We also found brightly colored kitchen gadgets inspired by birds, a coloring book and note cards featuring bird art by wildlife artist Charley Harper, some hip bags (big and small) with a playful bird motif, and a couple of contemporary pins with whimsical bird designs.
I spent part of Thursday evening enjoying the Scottsdale ArtWalk, where I found more works inspired by dogs, pigs and rabbits than birds — but Trixy will never know unless she learns to read before my gallery photos get folded into a future “art adventures” post.
It’s always easy to get a bird fix at the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, a fun place for kids and grown-ups to enjoy indoor exhibits and outdoor adventures. They’ve got a fun little retail area where my favorite finds are plush birds that make authentic sounds.
I jumped on their website recently and found all sorts of goodies — ways to help wildlife displaced by natural disasters, news of wildlife advocacy efforts in D.C., tips for “e-birding” and Arizona results of the “Great Backyard Bird Count.”
Their summer camps, all sporting intriguing names, are noted on the website too. Think Teen Naturalist. Bird Blitz. Pollinator Power. CSI Audubon. Click here to learn more about summer options for children and teens — or to explore their many programs.
Trixy’s agent might object to my speaking on her behalf, but I have a feeling she’s a firm supporter of all things Audubon — and grateful we didn’t stumble on a tiny tutu with her name written all over it.
Coming up: Music meets summer at the MIM, Stage Mom picks for the 2011/12 season, Art adventures: Scottsdale ArtWalk, Moms in musical theater