Back to Mother Nature

Seattle may be a major urban area, but Mother Nature is here in spades, and Mother Nature is winning.  Today’s newspaper reported that the City of Kirkland’s Fourth of July’s fireworks display just got moved because a pair of nesting eagles have taken up residence in a nearby park.

I’m writing this on my computer on my back porch.  Currently with the heater on overhead although the weatherman insists that summer will be here next week.  I’ll believe THAT when I see it.

And why am I working out on the porch, as I have been almost all week, instead of inside?  Because our little garden is very much a part of the circle of life.  I don’t need to go on an African safari to see wildlife in action.  Hour after hour, Bella is relentlessly pursuing any and all of the remaining moles who have taken up residence in our yard.  In the process of hunting the moles, there has been some collateral damage because she has dug up any number of plants, all of which we have patiently replanted with remarkably little success.  By the time we drag her tail first out of the holes, she’s so thoroughly covered with bark and mud that she has to be dunked in the pool to rinse off some of the crud before she races back into the house.

And then there’s the bird–the wretched heron–who is every bit as relentless about pursing our poor goldfish as Bella is about chasing the mole. Sunday evening, with the help of one of our dinner guests, I chased him away twice.  Monday morning I was out on the porch by 6:15 and so was the heron.  I chased him once, Bella chased him once, and Bill chased him once.  On Tuesday he didn’t show or, if he did, we didn’t see him.  On Wednesday, we maintained our vigil in the morning, but in the afternoon we had appointments and were gone for four hours.  During that time, Mr. Heron showed up and decimated the front pond.  We chased him away twice when we got home.  As he flew overhead the second time, he let out a squawk that I believe is a heron’s very audible version of a one fingered salute.

Lego My FishThis morning as we sat here watching, the heron came in for a landing on the columns between the house and the pond.  When he saw us, he squealed to a stop and applied his reverse thrusters with Bella giving him a very noisy fly for his money.  Considering the fact that the bird is probably twice the size of the dog, I think she’s a very brave little bird.  But then again, this is the same dog who ran off to tackle a Great Dane that happened to invade what Bella regarded as her space down at Cannon Beach.  Brave or brainless?  I suppose the jury’s still out on that score.

As far as we can tell this morning, there are no fish left in the front pond.  None at all.  The lily pads and the hiding rocks we installed are there, but no fish.  Our next skirmish with said heron will be to surround the pond with a ring of fishing line, eighteen inches off the ground.  If that doesn’t stop him, I guess the next stop, is a motion detecting scare-crow water sprayer–the will no doubt nail me countless times–and finally, ugly as it may be, some netting.  The problem is, I’ve seen the YouTube films on the netting.  The herons simply walk on the netting and nail the fish anyway.

Years ago I lived for a time in Pe Ell, Washington, back when logging was still in it’s heyday.  Then times changed and logging bit the dust, felled by the EPA’s efforts to protect the spotted owl.  A few years later, when Bill and I drove through there we saw a reader board sign outside the café that said, “Special Today–Fried Spotted Owl.”  We laughed when we saw it, but we weren’t the ones losing our livelihood.  I don’t know this for sure, but I’m guessing the café in question went out of business long ago and there’s not much left of the town, either.  As for the spotted owls?  I’m sure they’re all just fine!

I know that herons are protected birds but still, while I’m sitting here on my porch, keeping watch, I can’t help but wonder what roasted heron tastes like.

Fishy, most likely.  Goldfishy.

Oops.  I just noticed.  Bella is gone again.  I’d better go find her, drag her out of the mole hole, and rinse her off.  Again.  No wonder I’m having a tough time paying attention to Joanna.  There’s far too much real life drama going on right here.

13 thoughts on “Back to Mother Nature

  1. Well I’m sorry you are having to use your heat We did NOT use ours yesterday or today it The heat index was around a 108 some where around 100 today. I understand Arizona will hit some highs today So enjoy the cool weather
    Thanks again for your books I enjoy them all

  2. I am laughing out loud. Very funny. Just wait a day or two I saw in this mornings paper that Seattle is going to be 90 but this side of the state is going to be in the 100s and I hate the hot weather. My son in Redmond has trouble with the moles also.

  3. This reminds me of my husband’s endless battle of wits with the squirrels in our yard some years ago. Never did have a winner there. Frankly, I think the squirrels were the most clever.

  4. You just can’t win against nature. Is this your illustration? Very good. We have a vegetable garden and we are fighting an invisible foe…

  5. I would pay to borrow Bella for a while, and supply a generous amount of good eats in addition. I have lots of moles, and I doubt my evergreens or Free Little Library could be dug up.

    • Dear Tony,

      Having just dunked Bella AGAIN!! your comment made me smile, but I don’t think Bill could tolerate being separated from his little mole-eating princess.

      JAJ

  6. I can truly understand your Heron problem. My big problem is a pair of ducks ; they have taken over our pool and no amount of chasing will keep them away. My two dogs (Sam & Ziva) will chase them off the deck but the ducks just jump in the pool and swim to the middle. Last Monday Sam fell in my deep end of the pool and nearly drown. Fortunately I was out and was able to rescue him. Now I have to check the pool and yard before I can bring the dogs out. We are being held prisoner by two ducks. I’m threatening to turn on the pool heater and make Duck Soup.
    So yes I totally sympathize with your Heron problem. Protected or not they are a pain in the unnamed body part.

  7. Good luck with the heron. He/she is protected and very difficult to keep out of the fish pond. I guess you could try to find a fish large enough and toothy enough that it might give the heron a try! One thing you might try on your moles is asking your hair stylist or Bills barber for hair clippings which you stuff down the mole holes. apparently they do not like chewing on the hair as they dig along.

  8. Gotta love your Bella! Someone in our neighborhood used to walk his leashed pit bull by our house. No longer! Our dachshund, Punkin, has chased and barked so ferociously that I no longer see them walking on our block! Dachshunds are VERY territorial.

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