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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wild Observations

The other day, while taking precise notes of native fauna and their activities in the wild habitat environment beyond our patio doors; my mind wandered. It does this with a degree of frequency, usually when I least expect it to.
I would like to point out; my observations on this particular morning were primarily avian in nature. A vast array of species descended upon the scientifically, exactingly located feeding stations.   While shoveling baked miniature circles of oats in my face, I noted with interest several things. However, I had not as of yet poured the scalding black liquid derived from roasted beans and steaming water into my system; so I forget what those things were.  
A constant parade of birds flitted past the glass doors; some I knew well, some I was only slightly acquainted with. The sparrows, for example, are always here. It seems as if we are on a first name basis with one another; there is Herb, Sally, Jane, Ralph, and so on. Admittedly, they don’t always respond to their names. I chalk it up to their being shy and messin’ with the old guy.  The grackles are constant visitors.  While more gregarious than the sparrows; they really don’t want to form any relationships. Upon gorging themselves, they cast a critical eye at the birdbath, splash around a bit, then leave. The goldfinches add an always welcome burst of color and activity. Such happy little guys, I bet if they would only sit still for a bit, they may have some pretty good stories to share. Can birds have ADHD?
Then, the baseball teams show up. The Baltimore Oriels make their appearance at the special feeder filled with grape jelly. Not jam or preserves; it has to be jelly. Fortunately (for our grocery budget), they are not jelly snobs, demanding only Smuckers or Dickinson’s. Nope, the inexpensive store brand is just fine. They enjoy Valu King as much as Sam’s Choice. Better them than me. I prefer Smuckers.
Soon, they are joined by the Cardinals. This being spring, I can only assume these are the baseball Cardinals. The football Cardinals show up in the fall and winter. They are such welcome visitors, like having long-time old friends drop by for a cup of coffee and a chat. 
The National League is represented with the appearance of the Blue Jays; making a lot of noise, and hanging around in the lower levels of the branches, never advancing too far after the mid-point of summer.
Upon occasion, the NFL will send other representatives. The Ravens have not been terribly well received visitors, usually cleaning out the feeders, then leaving. Falcons have zipped through, leaving a puff of feathers where a hapless victim had been. A couple of times, an Eagle was observed soaring majestically over the Chagrin; searching for a meal. 
Not to be outdone, the NBA frequently sends the Hawks and other Raptors in the form of owls and kestrels to represent them. Upon their arrival, things get very still in the woodlot; remaining so until the hunter moves on.
The only league not represented is the NHL. I suppose if the Penguins dropped by, it would be a very cold day in Ohio, and other places.
Feeling slighted, the mammalian contingent drops by, some with frequency; others occasionally. For example, the Bucks. They tend to make a nuisance of themselves, trampling plants, and devouring any and everything.    While not as common as the Bucks, the Coyotes are seen with a degree of regularity. Their bigger cousins, the Timberwolves, are none existent in our little wild corner.
While one has been seen a lot in western Lake County lately, we have yet to have any of the Cubs, Bruins, Grizzlies or da Bears come by. That would be memorable, to say the least. Plus they would probably trash the garden. Woe to the bear that destroys my Lovely Bride’s plantings!
The members of the cat family are not seen, although there have been reports of Bobcats in eastern and southern Lake County. The Tigers, Lions, Panthers, and Jaguars have not been observed.  Oh, they do send a token representative in the form of the resident black and white feral cat; (somewhat) affectionately known as The Tuxedo Cat. I am certain the affection will grow as the tense he is referred to in changes; as in “Remember that ol’ Tuxedo cat? Wasn’t he something?  Bless his heart.”
The Rams are very aloof, never having made an appearance.
The Piscatorial members showing up, the Rays and the Marlins; now that would be ridiculous, the stuff of a bad dream one has upon a fever breaking.
The Diamondbacks, representing the reptilian genus, are not seen at all. While there are Eastern Diamondbacks in Ohio, I have not seen one in our area ever. Again, the token representative in the form of a garter snake pops in. Usually, they are dispatched by the aforementioned cat.
 And, of course, the insects will be making their appearance with the Hornets.
Finally, as we move into summer, we know the Heat and the Thunder will be a fact of life. The Heat will be about as well received as they are at The Q. The Thunder always promises a good show.
It would be interesting to see my college mascot, the Beaver, in the Chagrin and tributaries though. I just hope he has ditched the stupid looking beanie he used to wear.

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