The other day, I was walking up Cambridge Drive, quietly. Quite suddenly, I noticed a mourning dove about two and a half feet in front of me, and I stopped and held still. Within a few seconds, I saw a second dove — they were a pair. They were pecking for food along the edges of the sidewalk, first the lawn-side and then the street-side, going back and forth. I didn’t want to startle them, for doves startle easily, but these two didn’t.

It was amazing to watch the first one, dun-colored — who blended against the cement as easily as she would’ve with a grassy hillside — and to notice that her cheek had a pink blush on it! Her face-feathers — the ear-patch, to be precise, was a soft pink. I thought she was lovely.

Then I watched this innocent mourning dove peck at a cigarette butt someone had discarded on the road. She pecked once and moved on, and I was glad. But I was unhappy that the human debris interfered with her search for food.


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