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:


Cormorants (Double Crested?) have just made their way up the Maumee River. I first knew them in Ireland where my father described them as ‘very dirty birds’.  Forty four years ago I saw none on Lake Ontario, then 10 years later I saw a few solitary birds off Toronto Islands.  Ten more years passed while the population increased to cloud-like flocks on the horizon.  Moving to Lake Erie 24 years ago I saw the whole cycle repeated as the invasion of the Great Lakes proceeded westward.  Now we saw about seventy of them perched on one tree on “Small Island” outside 341. Their droppings often kill the trees, as has happened at Lake Erie Islands, because of high ammonia content or just outright volume of guano, I’m not sure which.