Sunday, April 13, 2008

Nature Red in Tooth and Claw

Our nature walk yesterday was awesome as ever - we certainly saw a variety. And as my title implies, lots of natural nature. We saw a dead skunk in one of the little creeks - there wasn't much left of the body of it, but we could tell what it was from the head and the bit of tail left, and (sorry this is going to be kind of icky) a coyote had taken a big poop right in the middle of the whole thing. What the heck, the coyotes poop on everything interesting. You'll be thrilled to know that I did not take a picture of this mess.

While we were walking to our picnic rock by the river, my husband started to step over a rock, yelped and backed up fast. I knew what that meant - rattler! Usually they don't come out of hibernation till May timeframe, but it was warm yesterday, so I guess this one wanted some rays. It didn't buzz and was quite calm and let me take a snap. And isn't it cute nestled in among the spring wildflowers?

As long as I'm on the subject of various "undesirables", the scorpions are busy too. I found one on the hallway floor last night just outside the pantry. The ones we get around here are tiny, but pretty basically revolting anyway. I tried to get that little number onto a piece of paper to escort outside, but it scurried under the pantry door and it's lurking in there somewhere. They get in between the plates in the cupboards too, I always am re-washing because ewww. (Apologizing to scorpions, I'm sure they have their place in the grand scheme of things.)

And then, while we were watching a little white-breasted nuthatch foraging on an oak tree, a kestrel flies into the same tree, trying to catch that very nuthatch. Only about 8 feet away from us! It didn't succeed, possibly having been distracted by humans it wasn't expecting. We like the kestrels and all, but we like nuthatches too!

And last, we found a hatched wild turkey egg. Gooooooo turkeys!

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