Thursday, May 14, 2009

Killah

As I said awhile back, spring is trying to wriggle out of the cold wet chrysalis that is winter in these parts, doing a fair to poor job of it. The average temp and daylight hours are up but according to popular consensus, this is being a cold wet spring. Not for long though, soon it will (or could be) a cold wet summer. In no particular order, here are a few recent observations.

With the explosion of baby wild critters, Chairman Meow is having his ‘death in the long grass’ moments almost daily. I know that hunting is part of his DNA, wanting him to change that is like wanting him to change his stripes. I’d feel a little ‘less bad’ about it if he didn’t focus so seriously on the babies of spring. A couple times a week he’ll leave presents on the back porch or the patio: mangled baby meadow voles (these things are ridiculously small) and now he’s found a recent hatch of baby green snakes. Maybe half again the size of big night crawlers. This is particularly troubling because we have bugs!

Last night he gave me a start and I gave him a scare. The ruby throated hummers have returned and seem particularly attracted to the two fuscias hanging out board on the front porch. I stood admiring one through the beveled glass window of the front door (producing the kaleidoscope effect, … 50 humming birds) when all of a sudden the white cat makes a ferocious lunge at the little buzz bird. I could not be sure he didn‘t nail it. At that point the plant is maybe 5 feet off the ground though only a foot or so off the porch railing. After the cat scolding, I searched but could find no limp little carcass in the Azaleas below.

There is also a nesting pair of killdeers. They’ve been returning here three years running, I guess they like our rocks, they surely do blend in. Chairman is determined to thin the population. They already have a brood hatched, I saw mom and about half a dozen little camo balls dashing through the rocks last week. I also saw Chairman doing his best mountain lion imitation, slinking off through the rocks stalking something I couldn’t see.

This morning as we pulled out of the driveway into the Cul de sac I saw one of the killdeers on the pavement. No chicks though, but on the neighbors gravel drive I saw the other one. Still no babies. I slowed to a stop just feet from the bird. She bobbed and squawked, but did not dash off. As I looked closer I could see that this Killdeer had about 10 legs, and a little teeny beak protruding from her breast. A money maker of a Kodak moment for sure, I was kicking myself for not having my camera on board. When I got to the office I realized my camera was in my mussette bag with my lunch …dang!

I worry about those little peepers. Camo is their only defense until they can fly and it does not look like that will be anytime soon.

Meanwhile Killah stalks.

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