Thursday, September 07, 2006

Wildlife Abounds

It was almost twelve and, before calling it a night, I stepped outside into the velvety midnight air. The rain had finally stopped and a big chunk of moon hung behind the trees. The moon's reflection lay motionless on the surface of the pool. Sounds peaceful, right? Hell no! It was deafening out there! Every sawing, buzzing, and chirping insect in creation had descended on my back yard and they were filling the night with noise. The recent rains had created a soggy nirvana for frogs and toads and they were croaking and barking joy and praise to the frog god, and, undoubtedly, making lots of new little froggies.

It had been a critter-filled day. Before breakfast I looked out at the birdfeeder, expecting to see the usual feathered friends . But the local punk squirrel had figured out how to upend the feeder and was on the ground under the tree, gorging himself on birdseed. He all but stuck his tongue out at me. May he grows feathers and get caught by a marauding cat. Then, in the afternoon, I pulled over on the shoulder to help a gopher tortoise make it safely to the other side. Such benign and gentle creatures. Too bad they have to deal with all our scary traffic.

And when I came home at dusk, after visiting the elders, there was a family gathering of quails in full swing under the pomegranate tree. I crept, ever so quietly, closer for a better look. It was a large extended family. There were important looking patriarchal types with expansive chests and spiffy plumage; worked-to-the-bone looking mother types racing around after their high-spirited children, who ran so fast you'd think they were on wheels; rakish looking batchelor-uncle types; and maiden-aunt types looking very peeved when they were nearly bowled over by the exhuberant youngsters. There was lots of chasing and chirping. I wished I understood quailish....

Then this morning a good sized black racer found his way inside the pool enclosure. He did not want to co-operate with my efforts to return him to the great outdoors, probably because my efforts involved a [very] long-handled broom.....but after a crazy pas-de-deux, he was finally back on the outside and I was panting on the inside. He was probably as glad as I that it wasn't a cheek-to-cheek dance. If physical contact had become involved I would have passed out on the spot, fallen into the pool and never been heard from again!

So..o..o---life in central Florida sans kids, ohne mann, but wildlife abounds....and its raining....again.

1 comment:

Liz said...

You should start up with your photography again.... sounds like you've plenty of wildlife to keep you occupied. What is a racer?