October is a weather worn month, it’s tired of the heat and tasked with introducing the cool. So it is this week, I’m not going to say this is most likely the last of the hot days because after all it’s October, it may freeze in the next week or so. The mornings are still nice, quiet, cool and calm, although high winds have been predicted the past few days they have failed to materialize, well that’s October for you. This afternoon is near 100º F, I don’t do weather any longer after working in it every day for 40 years enough is plenty.
I remain curious about the activities of the big birds, during cool mornings they are no-where to be seen until the sun is fully risen. The Night Heron pictured above is the only one out other than the alway present Gulls. They are comical birds, only judging by appearance. However they are more active than their giant cousin the Great Blue Heron.
He was out much later this morning which makes me think there is a connection between hot weather and their activities. I saw one Egret, and it was on top of the tules on Bird Island, he was not spotted again. The Heron’s are tough birds, in the reality that is their life they are the apex predators. Even more so than the Hawks and Owls.
The Red Tailed Hawks were late as well, three were hunting the slough this morning. Normally out early just after the sun cracks the horizon; this morning their appearance wasn’t until close to 9 am. As I think about it that is an emerging pattern, reminding me of another they started several years ago. Every day for over one year a lone female Red Tail Hawk would fly over me as I was in the garden between noon and 1pm. She would fly in from the East directly over a house that recently burned down then circle over it 3 times. She would then dive and come up with a critter in her talons. It only stopped after the old snag they nested in fell over forcing them to find new digs.
Recently however they have been hunting in a flock, I’ve seen a pair hunting together, once in a while three but no more until last week. A dozen flew in together bullying everyone but the small antagonistic small birds who are on them like green on a tree.
The always present Crows had a few stragglers early but even they were late risers. As I look out the big window one just now flew past in the 100º F heat, so much for subjective conscienceness, they have no concept of dehydration. They may be one of the smartest birds on Earth but they are un-reasonable. I have offered them Corn, nuts and other vegetarian cuisine but it is ignored, if carrion is available they always prefer it. In a pasture like the one across the slough there are always animals that have met their maker.
Although it’s October the wheel continues to spin under the big blue bowl, I will be happy when this month is over as much as I don’t want to wish my life away. I’ll go a step further, I’ll be ecstatic when 2020 is run out on a rail January 1st, keep the faith things are going to get better.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance