Tag Archives: nature

Immature, but slowly pushing forward

Early rain. (May 12 7:55 a.m.)

Summer solstice is now only forty days away.  But spring here still has a ways to go.  The birds may be singing, and the seasonal clothes may be lighter, but the leaves and buds are still in their early stages.

A fibrous early start. (May 11 3:40 p.m.)

Soft greens, and even reds, immature plant blooms come in a variety of shapes and colors.  This time the iPhone camera is being used to capture the early state of the budding, particularly the “front porch plant” buds.  (Click a photo to enlarge.) Continue reading Immature, but slowly pushing forward


Final Days of Summer (Part II)

(Sep 13 4:37 p.m.)

Many of the ducks at Deering Oaks were wise to flee if I got anywhere close.  Large beings… potential predators.

Blue-winged. (Sep 16 5:35 p.m.)

I watched some of the ducks fly from the hills to the water, gliding in as they landed, I guess using their legs as a source of friction to eventually stop.

According to Boreal Songbird Initiative, mallards (the “most abundant duck in the world”) are a member of the “dabbling duck group”— that is, they “feed by either tipping up or dabbling along the surface, capturing food and straining excess water through the lamellae (small boney tooth-like structures along the sides of its jaw).”

“When field feeding, Mallards generally feed around sunrise and again at sunset; however, in some instances, especially during a full moon, they will feed throughout the night. They will fly up to several kilometers to reach their feeding area, generally a crop field (e.g., corn, peas, barley).”

Friday the 16th was a full moon day… I thought I heard some voices or something outside the house when night fell.  I couldn’t actually tell what the sounds were, to tell the truth.  But back to the park… which wasn’t a crop field.

One mallard wasn’t so afraid of me. Continue reading Final Days of Summer (Part II)

Respect for defenseless animals…even pests

I know I’ve called the mice in the house ‘bastards’ many times.  They are pests, here, unwelcome guests that leave ‘gifts’ everywhere.  Everywhere.

But when you see one dying, it’s another story.  Here’s a brief account of what happened yesterday.

And it is pretty sad.  The poison causes internal bleeding, from what I remember.  Just to see the field mouse go in and out of consciousness…defenseless.  It would otherwise be cute if you didn’t know it has only minutes left on its life.  It unknowingly made its presence known to me by shifting around in the newspapers laid on the floor (the papers—a practice that came with the leaks in the house, and all the water damage…).  Some time later…

It moved on its own, almost willing to get somewhere, but it kept falling asleep.  Low blood oxygen will do that.  Once outside, my mother just turned over the tissue box, where the mouse plopped into the snow.

As an adult who suffers from undiagnosed medical issues and pains every day, I’ve said, I don’t want anyone to suffer.  Now I may have been a little cruel in the past, taking my misery out on other invaders in the house, but not anymore.  Just witnessing the mouse react to the cold, the snow, and drag itself forward, where I knew it would freeze to death—it wasn’t particularly horrific, but it was horrible enough.  So I nudged it back into the box.  It accepted.  Afterward, its breathing became sporadic.

The box was set near the corner of the house away from the back porch.  I checked outside some time later to find the interior of the box wet from splashes of water (it rained Friday).  The mouse was long-dead.  I thought about burying it for a moment, feeble as the thought was.

I take no pleasure in this.  I’d rather it/they not invade the house in the first place.  But once it’s done, it’s done.  Death happens, and life goes on.  Animals don’t understand the concept of death nearly as well as us, but they certainly move on.  Life can happen so fast, too; our bodies kill countless invaders within our blood all day long, where we get zero notification.

So we are all mortal here.  We have to protect ourselves, our family, our property, etc.  But cruelty to animals, even pests?  No.  No, you can count me out.