Meeting Carolyn

It was a balmy evening in June. One of those days that lingers on as if hesitant to give way to the dark. A friend, some roommates, and I had decided to go to a dance. It was held every Friday night in the bottom of a large girl’s dorm that sits on the southeast corner of the campus. As we stood along the edge of the dance floor, I was silently cussing. There was a very scanty choice of girls – none of which appealed to me.The night seemed destined to be one of boredom.

Then they appeared – two of them. One was small and very stylish, the kind that many boys find attractive, but too prissy for me. But her partner was of more substance. She was taller, robust, and yet trim with clean, clear skin. Her smile flashed over a wonderful set of bright, even teeth. Something about her struck a chord in me. Afraid that someone might beat me to her, I turned to my companion and said – “that’s my type” and shot across the room, getting to her before she had hardly got inside the building.

We danced, but she kept trying to pull away to get off the dance floor. She felt like she was a poor dancer, and had only come because of urgings from others. But, I wouldn’t let her go. Finally I steered her to a chair and we sat. She felt uncomfortable dancing.

We finally decided to go for a walk and so we were off, up the hill to stroll the campus lawns. There was a full moon and we migrated to some benches by the administration building. There was an excellent view of sky, vegetation, and some tennis courts below us.

Why, I’ll never know – something made me want to sing. I sang to her for well over an hour. All alone under the trees, the night delicious, she seemed to become attracted to me.

Back at the dance, I found my friend, roomates, and the car we had come in. We all loaded up to take my roommate’s dates, and the girl that was with me, home. The car was crowded and she had to sit on my lap.To everyone’s amazement, she seemed very affectionate to me.

Our relationship started with sparks and has remained close and passionate to this day. She obviously had felt the same first attachment to me, as I had felt for her. Our marriage became extremely strong and has continued through this life and will in the next. It was a tremendous blessing to have found her. How lucky can one guy get!!!

Courtship and Mourning Doves

Mourning Doves go through a set of steps when courting.The male will “coo” and then the female will “coo.” The male will then alight on the branch next to her. He then bows and “coos” and she reciprocates in the same manner. He then will offer her a drink – a drink of dove’s milk. Dove’s milk is a heavy liquid, made from seeds, and is carried in the gullet. The female must insert her head to drink it. The male then preens the female and she in turn preens him. Mating can then proceed. These actions are called CHAINING – a set of steps that must occur in proper sequence or mating will not occur. If the chain is broken, or any step eliminated, the whole sequence must start over. Doves are often called “Love Birds” because of their tendency to sit close together on a branch.

The male will establish his territory in early spring – thus preparing for courtship and nesting. Territories selected will be in open or semi-open habitats. If your yard fits this description, you may have this species around your home. The resulting nest looks like a “rickety” affair – just a few sticks that light can show through. The eggs sit precariously on the sticks. They are all white, and both parents will incubate them. These birds will lay eggs in other Mourning Dove nests. A community affair, you might say. If the nest is threatened, the parent will perform a distraction (Agonistic) display.

This 11 to 14 inch bird is named for its mournful sounding call. I have heard other people mistake the call for that of an owl.

Our large yard seems to fit their needs, and they are at our place for most of the year. Cassia County has large populations in its dry farm areas where brushy areas border the wheat fields in the gullies that are inaccessible to cultivation.

Mourning Dove

Mostly tan but subtly colored about the neck and head