The Carnivore Chronicles or Tennyson’s Shriek of “Nature, Red in Tooth and Claw”

These views are from the back window of 341 with an iPhone loosly held up to a poor quality spotting scope (I find zooming in with the iPhone camera helps in cropping out the black circle framing of the scope image). They show nature is still hungry for more flesh, especially in burgeoning springtime.
This Bald Eagle, about 100 yds (or meters) away, is one of two who swoop through the sky together, but are too nimble to be caught in a photo.

Two Red Tailed Hawks have paired up. The squirrels run away very fast when these two swoop between the trees.

Down at water level a fish carcass, probably collateral damage from the now finished Walleye hunt, is cleaned up on from the sand bar on a low water day by the Turkey Vulture. Why does such a useful bird have to look so miserably evil?

(We are not letting the cats out unescorted on the balcony).

Closer to home my indoor Oleander was being over-run again by yellow aphids. They attack the flower bud stems which fall off before opening. (If the aphids did not do that I might let them stay). It only takes about 3 hours with the plant moved out onto the balcony for word to get around that dinner is served: black ants and red ladybugs devour every last aphid by the time the day is done so I can bring Oleander back indoors to protect her from the cold night.

My reward is blossoms galore – sorry Aphids:

“Holy Toledo!” and Other Euphemisms

Holy Week got off to a bad start on Shrove Tuesday with the local Saint Rose church getting smitten (photo sequence from the Toledo Blade newspaper):

This is the second big lightning strike for the Toledo area: in 1980 the beautiful St. Patricks cathedral (visible from the I75 higway) suffered similarly.  That cross was eventually replaced just 5 years ago thanks to a generous donation. I have a photo somewhere in my archives but have yet to find it.

Think what you will about the financial impact on everyone of the tax-exempt status of the churches and donations to them, they very obviously do take the hit for our surrounding lower height houses when we get those not-infrequent crackling thunderstorms, for which I for one am very grateful.

On Good Friday we euphemistically celebrated “Spring Break” from office work. As I worked physically very hard all day (while listening to Bach’s St. Mathew Passion – The world’s religions certainly have some of its very best music) thinning my jungle for the once a year brush pick-up, I contemplated the Spring holiday for hopefully everyone:

The magic of Spring growth in the gardens with the longer days now that the Equinox is behind us, must have been celebrated from time immemorial by most inhabitants of earth .

For some college kids “Spring Break” is obviously huge judging by not infrequent Florida damage photos in the papers.

The Jewish and Christian Abrahamics have Passover and Easter, but the Muslims, who I’m told respect Jesus, did not, and do not, observe the Resurrection, miss this one despite their similar Abrahamic origins.

Most importantly, the heartache and suffering of the new “Arab Spring” must be respected by all – I hope everyone can do their individual parts to help resolve the issues for betterment of all humanity.

Back home my little millimeter-sized springers in their euphemistically named “Worm Tea” (‘tea’ rhymes with ‘pea’) pool in the bottom tray of my worm farm/composter are performing their water walking or tea-tapping miracle:

The video link above hopefully shows their amazing motion as they run across the liquid with no indication whatsoever that is not totally solid. It’s all a matter of scale.
I used to tell my kids they could do the same at the swimming pool if they only ran fast enough. Some did get at least 3 steps before sinking. I would love a movie of those valiant efforts.