Thursday, August 20, 2009

Snake Karma

Two snakes have been terrorizing me in the yard and garage this summer. They violated my sense of safety by showing up in well-trodden places and freaking me out. This is after having two previous occurrences of a snake falling out of the overhead garage door folds onto and near my shoulder. I still get the heebie jeebies when opening the rear garage door.

In the spirit of aversion therapy, I warily watched one snake reposition itself on the cinder blocks near the rear of the garage while I cleaned the mower. Eventually, it tucked its body inside the blocks, but laid its head over a fold and watched me. The pose looked just like how Carl used to hold his head on his paws and watch me. Slowly, my fear turned to wistfulness and pity for the poor, frightened snake. After killing all those woodchucks and squirrels and rabbits and birds, and getting aggressive with some dogs, maybe it was him returned in a form befitting karmic justice.

It was a good visit.

Big Bird, Little Bird

The chipping sparrow skipped around the fat, hungry baby bird and then, amazingly, came back and fed the Baby Huey multiple times. The baby was drab gray and 2-3 times larger than the chipping sparrow. I thought it was a house finch, but it was larger than a house finch. Stumped, I tried to photograph this startling behavior through my window, but the images did not do the birds justice. I did get enough of Big Bird to later identify that it was a cowbird! Turns out that cowbirds are brood parasites. The poor chipping sparrow and the baby cowbird were bonded, but the sparrow was working overtime feeding the giant thing.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Roadside treats

For braving the heat and humidity, I was blessed with the sightings of two indigo buntings flashing their brilliant blue into the steamy sky and a paddling turtle bobbing above and below the river surface. The underwater swimming of the turtle transported me to more halcyon times snorkeling with the sea turtles in Kealakekua Bay. Cycling glasses cut the glare, and they were there.