Blackwell has become used to our evening cocktail hours on the patio. He was a little early yesterday. He came in to the den about 3:30, sat down and stared at me. He should know by now that we don't go out until the heat is off the day, at about 6 p.m. But he waited patiently, until I had made a drink and headed toward the door. Then his usually flaccid state accelerated and he sped past me to the door.
So we went outside. We had a quick little bit of adventure when Blackwell apparently flushed a young mourning dove
somewhere near the tomato plants. I was across the yard and suddenly this dove came, fluttering along the ground but not making any elevation. Another dove, probably his mother, was right with the young one, maybe six inches above him, shepherding him along. Blackwell was as surprised as I was and stayed back, then made a lunge for the birds, then stopped again as they headed up the passageway between our house and our neighbor's. Then he suddenly made a rapid dash toward them but I accomplished two things at once by slapping my hands together and yelling "Blackwell, no!" The two birds lifted into the air and Blackwell made a 180 and came running back. I'm not sure whether it was fear or inexperience that, for a time, caused the young bird to not be able to lift off the ground. But he overcame it. Later we saw the two doves sitting side by side on a tree branch for the longest time. I think the fledgling learned a lesson.
A little later, I went into the house to replenish my glass. When I came out, Blackwell had taken my chair for his own and stayed there, with a satisfied and kingly expression.