A snowy egret standing on the bow of a boat as the boat goes under a bridge in Treasure Island, Florida.

The Circle of Life in Nature

The Circle of Life in Nature

I woke today to find my Duck Graveyard raided.

Grave robbing dogs or coyotes. Probably coyotes. Nevertheless, Gary Duck's grave was excavated, and his carcass carted off last night. There is another body not far from the scene. I took Angus, our Catahoula hound, for a duck inventory walk to investigate the extent of last night's hunt.

We find a large family of mallards.

Seven adult Muscovy including one hen with four-week-old hatchlings.  Uncountable at the moment. They puddle fiercely. This flock is living near a busy street and bank parking lot that is next to the widest part of Tinney Creek, just before it disappears under MLK Avenue. Grave robbers and hunters aren't pilfering in all that light and human action. We're losing the hens and drakes that nest on our dark side of the moon. Our dimly lit quiet neighborhood, has no traffic at night. It occurred to me this morning, while on the deck with my Chai Tea and two WWE droolers (you could call them dogs), that I haven't seen two of the five feral cats that slink around the condos. The coyotes are enjoying the low hanging fruit, and I wonder when they will decide they've run out.

I should dust the house.

I write that out loud to acknowledge my own procrastination. The first step is acknowledging you have a problem. I should dust. All our newfangled air handling cleaning systems perform exemplary. Outside of not sweeping floors, completely eliminating dust, doing the laundry, dishes, and windows. The house full of air filtering and treating technical wizardry delivers all it promised. It's just that sweeping the floors completely, permanently eliminating dust, doing the laundry, dishes, and windows would have been a nice surprise from an HVAC system.

The half bath reconstruction is underway.

The ceiling is drywalled and lit, the main blank wall that will be my canvas is drywalled. Above the doors and to the canvas wall is drywalled. We're well on our way. When I say we, I mean my husband. He's swimming comfortably in his element of home improvement minutia which I should stay away from as there are times, I am close to convinced a butter knife can act as a screwdriver in a pinch. I am his apprentice accomplie. Hopefully making his work a bit easier and faster. I think I am. He's too sweet to say otherwise, anyway.

The canvas wall yanks on my musings chord. Colors argue amongst each other in my head. The wall will be a realistic Floridian coral reef filled with the native species of Florida coral reefs found near the Florida Keys. There will be a clown fish ensemble for Cali. He loves clown fish.

The lights in the ceiling are gimbaled recessed lights, that allow a choice of 2700K to 6500K giving warm to white cool. A luscious addition for my art. How you wash a scene in light defines how the scene plays.

Jack and Jill Crow are creating their family nest.

At the top of the big pine tree near our house. Jack visits me in the morning and afternoon to gather food for them both. We talk a bit. He's a lot to say. Big hopes for his family. I told him I was looking forward to meeting his fledges. Jill works the nest. She's been a shy girl these three years we've known each other. She also has no patience for the blue jays. Rude, bossy, questionably sane.

Jack is tailed by one specific jay. Jack lands nearby. The jay lands a handful of feet away complaining to Jack. Hopping, ripping grass bits and throwing them in Jack's direction. Jay fits. Jack goes about his foraging with me, even as the jay takes flight and low passes over Jack's location, again complaining while in flight. I bring peanuts out to keep him busy. Jack appreciates my craftiness. He forages in peace. I'll need a serving cart. The yellow bowl I use to feed everyone in the morning now needs to be seven yellow bowls for buffet needs.

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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