Sunday, August 10, 2008
The predator at the party
The heat wave here finally broke a couple of days ago, and the gorgeous weather is a nice preview of fall. It'll get hot again, so I've been trying to get out and enjoy the cool as much as possible, which is one reason I've been away from the blog.
All the animals seemed to be at play in the woods this morning. I was circling the lake when there was a sudden noise of something crashing through the woods on the opposite side. It was quite a racket, sounded like a herd of buffalo, but it turned out to be just a single doe and her fawn. Deer are always thought of as dainty and quiet (except when they're fighting over sex), but these two were feeling rowdy and enjoying the opportunity to disturb the peace. They ran into the water and splashed around like kids. I hate to use the word, but it was incredibly cute. Unfortunately, the doe soon saw me. They retreated back into the trees and hid, perfectly silent. Game over.
Sometimes it sucks, being a predator. I wonder if coyotes and cougars ever get depressed and feel that no one likes them.
Happily, I was no threat to the little group of blue-gray gnatcatchers that were feeding in the trees along the shore. I stopped to watch them--they're such pretty little birds--but they were, as always, so hyperkinetic I couldn't even get a reliable count of them. There were at least 6, possibly 10. They're that manic. I soon gave up watching and just listened to them twitter at each other. You can hear their sound at their Cornell Lab page here, and there are some more nice photos here (scroll down.)
As I was leaving the lake a flock of Canada geese took off and made a couple of wide circles around the perimeter before settling back to earth. It looked a lot like flying practice. Fall is definitely coming.
Photo of blue-gray gnatcatcher by Daniel Berganza from Wikipedia.