A Year on Clear Lake-Dec 17, 2012

Making the rounds – Dec 17, 2012

Meet Sebastian. He’s a regular visitor to Home Base. He, and Rusty, an orange, long-haired tabby with the bushiest tail I’ve ever seen on a cat. The two love Home Base because of the birds that gather here. The birds – mainly doves  – are busy hunting for any stray birdseed that might have fallen to the ground from the deck above. The cats, of course, are busy hunting the birds.

Sebastian and Rusty are loners, and they do not come together, but their modus operandi is nearly identical. They plant themselves behind a bush or a pot, and wait. Alertly. Patiently. At the right moment they lunge. There is a skirmish and the birds, if they are lucky,  escape minus a few feathers and perhaps with a small gash or two. On occasion, the remaining evidence points to a more deadly encounter.  Yes, Sebastian and Rusty have a few notches on their belts.

But one of the most amazing predatory sights was not either of these two guys in action, but a hawk. I had stepped outside on the deck for some reason or other. The pigeons on the rooftop took off abruptly in flight. I heard a sudden bam, and saw a flurry of feathers floating downward. Puzzled by the sight and sound, I looked to the ground below. There the hawk had his prey, a pigeon, pinned to the ground. He stared up, his eyes studying and assessing me. They were penetrating and frightening in their intensity. I was frozen, staring down at him still processing what had just happened. And as quickly as he had swooped in to claim his prey, he flew off catch in tow. It was a shocking reminder of nature’s sometimes brutal reality.

The rain of yesterday cleared out.  The lake has returned to calm, though filled with the water and debris draining from the mainland’s creeks and bayous.

Three American White Pelicans grace the water as they fly by in formation low above the surface. Beautiful. Graceful.

Nature is so bountiful with its ever changing sights and sounds.