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All creatures great and small

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Today, I was grateful once again to live where I do.

Crested blue jays screamed at me as I left the house.

At Richmond Beach this morning, I watched crows chase two bald eagles. Usually I see two or three there. I saw two hummingbirds and some quail as well.

A raccoon crossed the road on my drive from Shoreline to Edmonds, WA.

In Edmonds, I watched another bald eagle.

I got on a ferryboat and went to Kingston. In Kingston, I saw another bald eagle.

On the boat ride back, I saw two dolphins swimming beside the boat.

Waiting on two pylons, like guards, as the boat docked back in Edmonds, there were two regal bald eagles.

Walking in the door at home, well... two housecats complain that they haven't been fed any dinner. But Anne assures me that they're lying.

What critters did *you* see today?

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I'm fortunate to live in a condo on a hill overlooking the Santa Clarita Valley, which turns out to be our very own Watership Down. Every morning when I take the dogs for their morning constitutional, we get to see close to a dozen rabbits feeding in the dog run, before the sight of my dogs cause them to scatter. The other morning, a deer was also feeding in the same area.

Other than that, our young cat delivered her first (and only) litter Tuesday morning...


There's a sixth one buried under the five visible kittens.

Yes, that's a PS2 Rock Band box that was converted into a kitten domicile.

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Congratulations on the kittens!

I watched three peregrine falcons circle Brougham Pavilion here at Seattle Pacific University today. Falcons over the home of the SPU Falcons. Way cool. They must be paying those birds well.

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Great kittens! One of them looks as if it will grow up to look like my #1 cat.

Yesterday on the way to my sister's, I passed a flock (what's the technical term?--evidently it's "a wake of buzzards") of about ten or twelve buzzards scavenging a deer carcass on the side of the road. I've never seen that many at once--outside of a zoo or a movie.

#2 cat killed a wasp in the house last week--he's an indoor cat, but that doesn't prevent him from being a mighty hunter in his own small way.

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On Sunday, my kids were wandering in the yard behind our church when I spotted an earthworm. My son was wandering back and forth and completely oblivious to the fact that, every now and then, he was stepping on the earthworm.

And then I noticed that the earthworm was crawling towards the fence that keeps the chickens out of the rest of the churchyard. (Yes, my church recently began keeping its own chickens. I believe one of our parishioners has volunteered to be the guy who slaughters them when the time comes to feast on their flesh.) And sure enough, when the earthworm got close to the fence, all four chickens were staring at it very intently, and one of them pecked its beak under the wire and jabbed at the earthworm.

The earthworm, clearly stunned, stopped in its tracks and curled up. But instead of curling AWAY from the fence, its body curled up towards the end that was right NEXT to the fence.

And as it lay there, the chicken jabbed its beak under the wire again and the earthworm was suddenly gone. Swallowed whole.

And with that, the chicken that ate the worm stood up and walked away, while the other three chickens kept staring at the ground with a look of "the earthworm USED to be there, I wonder where it vanished to?" on their faces.

And so the earthworm, which was introduced to me in a context that elicited my pity, ended up in the stomach of a chicken. And one day, too, that chicken -- or, rather, a piece of it -- may end up in MY stomach. So who knows, bits of the earthworm that my son was accidentally abusing may one day become pieces of my own body. And so it goes.

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