Of Loggers and Lapins

We live in the country, so we’re beset by garden-destroying wildlife. Our big fence keeps the deer out (mostly); but nothing stops rabbits. They usually stay away from the house, but every now and then I discover that my perennials have been ‘pruned’ by sharp bunny teeth.

It’s a love/hate relationship: They’re furry and cute; but they’re also destructive and damn prolific. From their standpoint, we’re the benevolent purveyors of gourmet plant material; but we also have a distressing tendency to run at them yelling and chucking pebbles. So we’ve maintained an uneasy détente, and the sighting of a rabbit in our yard is usually accompanied by (empty) threats involving rabbit stew.

But this spring, larger and more destructive critters arrived down the road: The local logging company decided to remove some timber from their property. We keep a set of binoculars by the window for bird-watching, but this time we used them to watch the big hungry machines growling through the woods.

They worked steadily for four days, but on the fifth day the racket was silenced. Instead, I could hear clunks, clanks, and the metallic chirping of a socket driver wrenching on some recalcitrant part. The machine started up, then shut down several times. At length, the truck departed and the defunct machine sat silent beside the road.

Several days later the loggers still hadn’t returned, but our resident rabbits put on an impromptu dance, leaping and chasing each other. We watched them through the binoculars, enjoying the show while muttering dark incantations designed to prevent them from getting too close to our garden.

The next day, I came into the living room to see Hubby standing at the window looking through the binoculars. I looked, but couldn’t see any rabbits.

“They’re probably screwing in the woods,” I growled.

Hubby burst out laughing. “Actually, I was checking to see whether the loggers were back. But I guess they could be screwing in the woods.”

So from now on I’m keeping the binoculars trained strictly inside our yard… just in case. The only full moon I want to see is the one up in the sky.

Have you spotted anything interesting in your neck of the woods lately?

Book 17 update: I’m on Chapter 43, and Spider and Linda’s baby is on her way into the world… at a time that’s convenient for her, and nobody else!

The Vultures Are Circling

So, remember how I waxed lyrical about the beauty and majesty of eagles soaring overhead?  Well, it seems I was mistaken.  There are actually eagles along the coast, but here at our place it turns out that those majestic soarers are, um… turkey vultures.

“The turkey vultures soaring majestically overhead” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Granted, they’re almost as big as an eagle, with a nearly-six-foot wingspan.  But my binoculars reveal the truth:  Turkey vultures are constructed like some particularly tasteless cosmic joke.  From the shoulders down they’re beautiful, with powerful wings frosted white on the undersides… but nature grafted on the ugliest excuse for a head and neck I’ve ever seen.

It’s not too noticeable when they’re soaring, which is probably why they do it so often.  But when they’re perched in a tree, it looks as though somebody did a really bad Photoshop merge between an eagle and an inflamed penis.

There’s the eagle’s body and beak, but in between there’s this scrawny angry-red fleshy thing.  Whenever I peer at a turkey vulture through binoculars, I worry that I’m going to get arrested for voyeurism.

I’m pretty sure the turkey vulture is a victim of evolution’s practical joke; but I can’t help thinking that the cosmic comedians have been taking a dig at me, too.

First of all there’s the unsettling realization that eight large carrion-eaters have been circling our property for weeks, apparently waiting for me to keel over in the garden and achieve the optimum degree of putrefaction to become their dinner.

But the main thing that bothers me is that all this time I’ve been admiring what I thought was a noble scion of the sky, and it turns out I’ve only been ogling a dickhead.

There’s probably a lesson in there somewhere…

Book 14 update:  I’m on Chapter 18 and rollin’!  Things are getting complicated for Aydan…