I was in too much of a rush to post this picture before we left for Belgium, but here is Max enjoying a wine cork:
The parrots took our absence quite well. I think they're getting used to us leaving and returning. Rocky, of course, was ecstatic to see Thomas again. The bird who seemed second-most happy to have us home, surprisingly, was Kika. She tried to regurgitate for me several times and whistled some pretty songs. Max and Daphne were quickly back to their normal personalities. Beeps was excitable for the first day or so, but is now back to normal. As he did last time, Calypso is too excitable and is threatening to bite when I offer my hand, so we're interacting from afar for a few days.
We had Monday free, so we were working on cleaning out our closets and creating a pile of clothes to donate to charity. Max and Rocky were intrigued:
We also bought 4 tomato plants and 2 hot pepper plants and are trying our hands at container gardening. We hope to have a large garden someday, but don't want to put one in at our current house since we don't plan on staying here long:
I also made some carrot bread yesterday. It was unwrapped on the counter this morning, as I had taken my slices but Thomas hadn't yet. Max instantly flew over to help herself:
Here's a Kika picture from yesterday. I still haven't been able to figure out how to take good pictures of her! Her mutilation sores have completely healed, and she has tons of new feathers growing in, including flight feathers. We're hoping that she may be flying by the end of the summer.
She definitely feels more at home and is starting to assert herself a bit more, which is good. We've started clicker training and she picked up targeting (the first step) very easily. I can't wait to see what other tricks she'll learn!
Now, a couple of photos from our vacation in Belgium.
Here is the cathedral in Belgium. There was a big sign saying that a pair of peregrine falcons was nesting in one of the towers! Thomas and I spent quite a while watching the facade and were rewarded with a falcon that flew out and returned to its nest a few times. The nest was too far up for us to see, but it was quite exciting, and we loved how the Belgians seemed to embrace the pair!
We were eating outside on the terrace of a restaurant, when we noticed the name of the store across the street. This is something that Rocky says to me constantly, so we had to take a picture!
Bruges is a wonderfully preserved Medieval city, and is sometimes called "Venice of the North" because of its canals. Although somewhat touristy, a canal tour is a great way to see this city. We were so happy that we went! We got to see a ton of wildlife, including many baby ducks and swans. Here are some of the ducks. When they needed to go fast, they would rise up out of the water and almost run across the top of the canal.
This dog had a pillow placed in this window so that he could comfortably watch the canal. We thought this was such a pretty tableau. What a life!
We had a wonderful vacation but, as always, were happy to return home. I should be able to visit blogs later in the week and can't wait to see what everyone's been up to!