It was a disconcerting morning today – some bad karma going on. I got up early with my destination of Council Point Park since I was having withdrawal symptoms … three days since I’d last been there.
Well the first thing was the funky bread. Now, I am not a picky eater, nor am I wasteful, but the new brand of bread I tried last week left me kind of unsatisfied … and hungry. It was “light” bread and I like something I can sink my teeth into, not read the newspaper through. I decided I’d treat my feathered friends at the Park and crumble up the rest of the loaf for them. I reached my hand in to grab some slices and felt something gooey. I pulled my hand out so quickly you’d have thought something bit me! I peered into the bag and it looked like a science experiment inside – white hairy stuff all over the bread. Not mold – just this white fluffy stuff that looked like cotton candy. Gulp …. Friday night I made a sandwich with it … how did all this gook happen in thirty-six hours? I crumpled up the bag, and tossed it in the trash which I was ready to take outside when I headed out. I must’ve washed my hands a half-dozen times and used the rest of the roll of paper towels.
Sure wish I had not opened that bag of bread.
I went outside, still reeling in disgust over the hairy-scary stuff on that bread, and got the garbage together to take out. I walked to the front of the house to torment myself with the big spider that lives in a hole in the brick next to the garage, two or three feet from the garage door handle, and on the driver’s side (of course). I’ve swept down the web countless times this Summer; you’ll remember I first wrote about this big bugger on August 2nd in my post “Webbing” (https://lindaschaubblog.net/2013/08/02/webbing/). I didn’t see it in about a week, but a new, thicker web had been woven. I walked over and there he was – a big, dark brown brute basking in the morning sun. He’s bigger than I last saw him; of course he’s been feasting on all the bugs he catches in that wicked, sticky web.
Sure wish I had not gone over to take a peek at that big spider.
I spun around and went to finish packing the garbage. While carrying the garbage bag to the curb, I heard a bird in distress. It was making the most-horrible screeching noise like it was in pain; it was very chilling and upsetting. I quickly suspected a cat had somehow surprised and pounced on an unsuspecting bird judging from the loud squawking noise. I immediately set the bag down to go investigate. I said a little prayer that the bird would not die in my yard. Soon, I realized that the noise was coming from above so I looked up in the air to see a medium-sized bird flying erratically with a significantly larger bird in close pursuit. As you know from following my posts, I am an animal lover and I like birds so this really made me feel sick. I knew the little guy was already hurt as it couldn’t fly straight and it was listing to one side and in immediate danger with this predatory bird on its heels. I couldn’t watch. It made me sad and repulsed and I turned my head away and resumed carrying the bag. There was nothing I could do – it was out of my hands and I departed. The screeching ceased before I left the neighborhood, but that horrible noise has been replaying in my head all day.
Sure wish I had lingered a little longer in the house before I went out.
The trip to Council Point Park was without further incident, thankfully. I proceeded along my usual route, still thinking about the misfortune of that bird. The Park was beautiful this morning and a pleasant interlude after the incidents at the house. I decided to take the long way back home to build up another mile. I went down a different street where I’ve never been as it was shady and it was getting warmish. As I neared the cross-street in the still of the morning, I heard the raised voices of a man and a woman. He was saying some pretty vile things and she was screaming tearfully back at him. A dog, obviously caught up in the commotion, barked incessantly. This dredged up some memories for me of my parents railing, ranting and raving at one another – louder and louder until my father would go shut the windows so the neighbors wouldn’t hear the argument.
Sure wish I had not walked down that street, or that they had shut the windows before lashing out at one another.
I checked my pedometer to see how far I’d gone and decided that a lap around the entire Memorial Park was in order to get me past the four-mile mark. I was strolling leisurely through Memorial Park by the cannon and veterans’ memorial; it was very peaceful and I felt better. I was still a little keyed up from the brawl a few minutes ago. Suddenly, in my peripheral vision I saw a dark object streaking through the sky. I stopped in my tracks and stretched my hand out to shade my eyes. It was a huge bird and it was circling the park. This was no crow and there was no cawing. I watched it alight on a lamp post and I took a long look at it. It was huge and sleek. Its back was mottled brown with black spots and its front was white with black spots. It had an extraordinarily long tail. I’ve never seen a falcon or a hawk except in pictures, but guessed it was one of those two choices and I figured it was the predator who attacked the smaller bird earlier. I decided to follow-up and hop onto the Audubon site when I got online.
Sure wish I had not seen this killer up close.
I resumed walking and was nearly home when I saw a neighbor from down the block walking his dog. I went over to Larry and told him my two bird stories. He has several dogs, which he takes on separate walks, and doesn’t drive, so he is always walking or riding his bike around the neighborhood. He told me he’s seen a hawk and a Peregrine Falcon and suggested the latter was what I saw based on the size, shape and wingspan. He concluded our conversation by asking “seen many pigeons this Summer Linda?” … “no” I responded and he then told me our pigeon population is finally under control because of these predator birds.
Sure wish I had not run into Larry.
I was grateful to turn into my driveway, open and shut the door fast and then just cocoon in the house for awhile.
When I finally got online today I Googled images of these two birds; the one I saw looks like the picture above. It is in the falcon family and named American Kestrel. I wish I could get the picture of predator and prey out of my mind. Call me a bleeding heart but the image of that bird in flight during the fight of his life was very disturbing.
Meanwhile, the media is reporting several sightings of a four-foot tall, exotic-looking cat in the Detroit area. Any big cat sighting Downriver will put a kibosh on this walker’s routine for sure. At least the bear that attacked the 12-year old girl who was jogging in the woods a few weeks ago was in its element. Thankfully she had her wits about her and was able to survive by playing dead because unfortunately, humans are no match for wild animals. We like to think in the ‘burbs we are isolated from all the trappings of the wild. Maybe not so much anymore.