Praise the everyday moments

The Longest 38 Minute Drive of My Life.

April 22, 2016

Bird EG

Thursday of last week was quite the traumatic day, and I’m not just throwing that word around. It truly was traumatic. It was the day I almost killed a bird, and then saved it, all the while bawling my eyes out for literally hours and then falling asleep around 7:15pm.

But let’s start at the beginning.

It all started with our hornet and wasp problem out by our deck. I swear, we’re not meant to use our deck. First our brand new/replaced glass table top shattered in one of our TN spring storms, and then we were attacked by carpenter bees and hornets and wasps every single time we’d step out there. Our bug guy had just been out to the house to spray (not well, obviously) so instead of calling him back and shelling out more money, I figured I’d take matters into my own hands and do it myself. While I was at the hardware store, a nice guy working there referred me to this sticky wasp trap thing, like this one. He said it works really well and that I could hang it near where I thought the nest was, to use in addition to spraying. SOLD. I got home, hung it very low over the railing of our deck, and within a few hours it had already caught two wasps. Genius, I thought.

Until Thursday.

I’d let Oooj out back but he was afraid of a carpenter bee that was near the stairs so I picked him up and took him out into the yard. When he was ready to come back inside, I picked him back up and made my way back to the deck. AND I STOPPED DEAD IN MY TRACKS. There, on the sticky bug trap, was a sweet little chickadee bird – WRAPPED AROUND THE TRAP, STUCK. I think I was in shock for a few seconds because I just stood there. And then I walked into the house, called for Christian, and when he got to me in the kitchen, I just burst into tears. I begged him to take care of it (thinking the bird was already dead), while I bawled and apologized over and over for killing this bird. That’s when Christian walked back into the house and said,

“Em. It’s still alive.”

I lost it. Like, I was inconsolable. To think I’d not only caught this bird, but now it was suffering, dying a slow death on there – it was too much. I’ve always had a heart for animals – all of them – and watched my mom rescue and care for many wild animals when I was young. It was a huge part of my growing up. Christian called my mom and she reminded us to look online for a wildlife animal rescue & rehab place. We did, me still bawling, and found a place about 38 minutes from our house called Walden’s Puddle. Christian called and let them know we would be making the drive with this poor sweet bird, stuck on this bug trap.

Guys? LONGEST 38 MINUTE DRIVE OF MY LIFE. I gathered myself together enough to drive and Christian sat beside me, holding the bird – still stuck to the trap but alive, just blinking at him calmly – in a box. I couldn’t bare to look at it but I know I asked Christian about every 7 minutes if the bird was still alive. I prayed the whole way there that God would spare this bird, and was reminded that He cares for all living things, even the birds of the air.  (Matthew 6:26)

We got to Walden’s Puddle  – a beautiful facility way back in the woods, with a creek and flowers and wildlife all around. Christian walked the bird inside and eventually came back out to tell me they’d taken the bird to the back right away to work on freeing her. He said everyone in there was really nice and that of course there was no judgement. Truly, how would I have known a bird would fly into this trap? (She was most likely trying to get to the bugs on the trap for food.) They told him that because they have so many animals (they can have up to 300 at any given time!), they wouldn’t be calling us to give us an update – which I really did understand. I told Christian it was probably for the best because if she ended up dying, it would seriously tear me a part. Instead, I’d just pray that she lived and believe that she did. But not even five minutes later, Christian’s phone rang. It was Walden’s Puddle, telling us the bird was freed and alive, that they would keep her for a little while to monitor her but that she would be just fine. Glory to God, SERIOUSLY. I gave so much praise (I am still giving so much praise) – for God’s protection over this bird, for the people at Walden’s Puddle (and the fact that they did call us to let us know the good news), and that the bird was going to make it. I also thanked God for my amazing husband who stayed calm the entire time and continued to reassure me every 7 minutes that the bird was still alive and that it wasn’t my fault. We finally got home, walked through our front door, and it began to pour outside. Christian told me that the bird had been stuck on the trap upside down and she definitely would have drowned had she been still stuck on there in the rainstorm. God’s hand was on this entire situation. SO grateful.

I’m sharing this story with you all for two reasons: 1. to share just one more example of God’s faithfulness and love and care for us and His creations, and 2. to warn you about these sticky traps. DO NOT USE THEM. The marketing on the box may tell you it’s geared towards one thing but it traps (and gives a slow death) to anything that touches it.

I’ll be sharing more about Walden’s Puddle in the near future and how we can help them, whether you live in TN or not.

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  • Oh my gosh, I was on the edge of my seat the ENTIRE time reading this. First of all, it is absolutely not your fault 🙁 I’m so sorry you were feeling so guilty. That little bird was looking for an easy meal no matter what and God brought her to your wasp trap because He definitely knew that the hearts that lived in that house would do anything they could to save her. You and Christian were so smart and quick thinking! I’m so glad everything turned out and HOW AWESOME that the rescue facility called you!!
    I wish we had a local place like that! I’d volunteer in a heartbeat!

    • I told Christian – that bird and I will forever share the same “crazy adventure” story! Traumatic for the both of us! haha! I’m looking forward to going back to Walden’s Puddle to volunteer sometime this summer 🙂

  • Oh my lord!! I can only imagine the trauma that can bring. We had a similar situation with a mouse trap when I was younger. It was legit the most awful thing. To this day, I still don’t know what happened to the mouse after we detached it from the trap. I keep telling myself he hopped off into the woods, just perfectly fine and safe and healthy and is living a long life with his little mice family……

    • Ugh, they are just the WORST! I mean, I get it if you don’t want mice around – I’m not a fan either – but to catch them and make them suffer and die… I just don’t know how you could do it. (I’m sure that mouse lived a happy life in the woods, Kel!!)

  • OH my goodness – I am so glad you guys were able to get the bird to the rescue and they could save her! Thank goodness!

  • Thank the lord the bird survived. I have no idea how I would have reacted if it didn’t…and this was my story. Oh my goodness – I am glad you guys did the right thing and got it help. That poor bird and thank goodness for places like Walden’s Puddle (what an awesome name for a sanctuary).

    • I would not have gone into so much detail if the bird didn’t survive… I wouldn’t have been able to write it. The blog post would have just said – DON’T USE THE STICKY WASP TRAPS. The end. 😉

  • Christian Matthew Cullen

    I love your heart for animals and for God. You are may favorite ever 🙂

  • I would have felt exactly the same way you did. I hit a bird once with my car and I was inconsolable. I thought it would fly away but it apparently was distracted by food in the road and was eating. That was so awful.

    • Lady, I know – it’s so hard! Love that you have a heart for animals too though! 🙂

  • Oh no, what a horrible experience. I’m glad the little birdie was okay.

  • I love your heart of gold! You are the sweetest most compassionate person!

    • 🙂 XO. I’d like to think anyone would go to great lengths to save another creatures life! I mean, I couldn’t NOT, you know?

  • oh my. I have those kinds of floor ones for “mice” but we use them up here in Montana to trap the hobo spiders. I never knew they made those. They are like dangerous to people if the stick gets on anything.
    Thank goodness you were out there at that moment. I am so grateful that God put you there just at the right time. And that the little birdie is okay. And I am glad there is a rescue center for animals in your area. It seems despite how tragic it could have been everything came together just as it needed to be.

    • The fact that there was a rehabilitation and sanctuary place so close, whew! Can you imagine if it had been 2 hours away? We totally would’ve traveled it!

      • Thank God for you, Em. And it’s so amazing to me how quickly the bird was freed!

        • You are sweet. They used vegetable oil and she came right off! They said she only lost a few tiny feathers. <3

          • Wow that’s amazing. And a good tip to file away incase anything ever happens up here. We have these tiny little yellow finches up here and they get into everything. I had one fly into my garage then into my soffit from the inside. I had no idea where it ended up but I left my garage doors (car ones and walk in ones) open all day so I am sure it got out.

          • aw. See?! We do what we can for the little guys! 🙂

          • And my neighbor is her little own animal sanctuary so I am lucky. She has squirrels and birds. One of the squirrels lives inside and outside. The cat and dog leave the squirrel alone and it comes and goes as it pleases. Too cute!

  • Ugh. My heart aches for you. I had a bird crash into my window a few mornings ago. I cried for a good half an hour after it happened and as I buried the little guy. Walden’s Puddle is so amazing. I really believe those sticky traps should be outlawed. They are so inhumane.

    • Aw! You are SO sweet, Jackie. I did that once too while house-sitting at my parents house… a bird flew into the window and died and just like you- I buried him in the backyard, crying the whole time! And YES! I agree with you about the sticky traps!! Horrible!!

  • You are just the sweetest most precious soul. I do have to say I had an experience with a rat in a sticky trap once….I was working late and kept hearing some banging and when I looked around the corner that sucker was flip flopping all over the place and I was totally freaked out. So glad your little birdy is free.


    • oh my gosh! I DEFINITELY would have freaked out too with a rat. Sheesh! While I’m not a fan of mice or rats, I am still so anti-sticky trap. I hate to think that any living thing would suffer!

      So glad the bird is free too!!!!! 🙂

  • oh my goodness! That is so traumatic. It reminds me of that time I saved a baby bird in our yard only to have it get stolen from its little makeshift nest by a neighborhood cat overnight. Inconsolable.

  • I believe I felt every emotion you were feeling as I read this post. God is indeed good to all of his creatures.

    • We now have a momma bird on a nest by our front door. So thankfully the birds haven’t turned against me! 😉