a visitor in my back yard
This is the lawn behind my house. And this is the visitor we’ve had the past couple days. And that mound of dirt he’s (or she’s) standing upon is one of about 50 such piles that cover our “lawn” – previous openings to the sun shine for one very industrious and warmth loving gopher living in a vast network of tunnels under our property.
The avian visitor appeared during lunchtime a couple days ago and sent Bob and I scrambling for our cameras. He was rocking forward and back at alarming angles. (We guessed that if he had rocked side to side he would surely have fallen over because he is so stick thin on that dimension.) While Bob was gone I caught sight of the bird’s prey as he suddenly whisked an unsuspecting lizard into his beak and quickly devoured it in a few gulps. I knew he wouldn’t stick around for me to get my sketchbook so I didn’t even try. There’s really not much to sketch with egrets. I mean when they stretch up straight and turn just so, they almost disappear from sight! But just look at that wonderfully intense eye. . .
Later I saw a shadow fly over my studio and then the chickens commenced to squawking so that I was certain one of them had been carried off. And sure enough, Rajani, one of the new chicks was missing. Oh woe is me! I thought, immediately blaming a hungry egret for the crime. In a few moments however I heard a weak cheeping coming from deep inside the rosemary bush.
So all is well and we now appear to have a regular visitor, who hopefully will develop an appetite for gophers.