Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stilted Encounters

Blog 194 – Monday, July 13, 2009 Another beautiful, summer day in Tampa Bay – temperatures in the upper 80’s with showers in the late afternoon.
Heckle, my endearing Raven, frequenter of my Enchanted Garden encountered another of my beloved fowls today. From the bay windows in the kitchen, overlooking the lanai and into the garden, I heard a shrill cawing and intermittent honking. Moving closer to view the disturbance, I witnessed Sanderson and Hillary – my Sandhill Crane friends – weaving their way through the flower beds on their stilted legs. Heckle sat on the garden wall indignantly screaming purposeful caws in their direction as a nearby squirrel peered down from the oak. Now fretfully pacing back and forth along the wall like a lawyer making his case in the courtroom, his black, beady eyes focused on the new garden guests. Sanderson gracefully moved toward the birdbath, placing himself between Hilllary, his lifemate, and the distressed Raven. Dipping his beak into the birdbath, he tilted his head back to swallow the water. Heckle bent and stretched his neck as if to get a better look at what he seemed to deem a trespasser of the Enchanted Garden. Busily pecking at the ground in between the rows of Milkweed and Bush Daisies in the butterfly bed, Hillary seemed oblivious to the standoff taking place between the two feathered fellows. Two more long calls from Heckle and suddenly, two TurtleDoves landed gently in the hanging feeder of Safflower seeds. Just to the north, a group of five Finches took turns at the feeder filled with seed of their liking. Sanderson turned slowly and deliberately, beginning to peck at the corncob fastened to the feeder on the oak tree. Confrontation over, my feathered and furry friends began their normal routine at the feeder and birdbath, apparently welcoming their new guests. And as for me, I had once again been privileged to witness the peaceful coexistence that seems to inhabit my wonderful Enchanted Garden.

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