Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's a Jungle Out There

It was a strange day yesterday.

Here is some background.

I live in a suburb but only a few blocks from the city line.  The houses in my neighborhood are older, mostly built in the 20's & 30's and the yards are tiny as was common back then.  If you  could look over the back fence you would see a drugstore.  (Luckily, big trees block the view)  Our backyard is about 60' by  80' and includes a deck, a stone patio, another cement slap patio, a small shed and a driveway with firewood stacked on it.  The rest of the yard is gardens, with a stone path and two water features. One of them is about 8' by 10' and has some goldfish that were feeder fish and one koi in it.  We have some frogs too and they live in both water features

My husband, Roger, is retired and likes feeding the fish during the summer and he also feeds the birds even though we mostly have sparrows.  His fish grew incredibly over the summer.

Yesterday morning my daughter's friend was looking out the sliding door to the deck and says, "Pat, there's a crane or something in your yard."  

I think, crane? What is he talking about?  I looked out the door and saw this huge heron standing about 20 feet away on the path.  I start yelling, " Heron! Heron!" The bird must have heard me screeching through the glass and tried to fly off  but couldn't get enough altitude before the fence.  He landed on top of that and then took to the sky.  The wing span on this bird had to be about  6' .  It looked ridiculous in my tiny yard.

When my husband went out to check his fish, he found two dead goldfish and didn't see any of the others including his koi.  We are hoping they are still hiding under the floating plants but realistically I think the bird probably ate them.  The weather here has been cold so the fish go into a hibernation state and catching one would be as easy a pulling a pickle out of a barrel.  Sigh.

Later in the day, Roger told me to look and see how many sparrows where sitting on our deck railing.  They were lined up all around the deck, looking at the house.  They do this when the feeder is empty.  I told him he better fill the feeder because they are used to it and depend on it now.  He filled the feeder and a bit later we were watching them push and shove each other trying to get to the food.  All the sudden a huge bird (not as big as a heron but still pretty large) swoops in and lands on top of the feeder post.  All the sparrows take to the sky and big bird sits there long enough to tell it was a hawk of some kind.  He didn't manage to get a sparrow for lunch.

I was afraid to look out he window for the rest of the day.  I didn't want to see anybody eating somebody else.  Eeeek!

This morning, I looked out of my 2nd floor  bedroom window at the back yard and I'll be darned if that grey heron was back again.  It was sitting next to the little water feature.  I tried to take a picture but it took off again, this time in the opposite direction so it had more room before the fence.  I got a very blurry picture.  

I guess he didn't eat all the fish yesterday.  I looked it up on the internet and found it was a Grey Heron.  


zimco said...

Who cares if he was gray or not when I was young I had a whole box of cranes, and your husband isn't retired he's just lazy.

cindyquiltsOR said...

I personally enjoyed your story and the pic.

Beth in NC said...

love the story....next you'll look out your window and see a predator large cat stalking your sparrows....be thankful that you can fence the entire thing, we have 15 acres and have coyotes terrorizing the neighborhood....