The storm had moved on, leaving a few trailing rumbles and a stiff breeze. Thunderous waves were still crashing on the rocks as I began my afternoon walk, strolling along the dunes overlooking the beach. I always start out facing the wind; I find going home is so much easier with the wind pushing you along.
I noticed an osprey braving the breezes as well, soaring high above the churning waves. Must be hungry. Probably missed his lunch because of the storm. I stopped to watch as the bird dived toward the surface, talons extended.
What sort of prize would it have as it rose into the air again? But the bird didn’t rise. It screamed as it fought to lift off and I caught sight of a writhing curve of scales. A huge fish; a good lunch indeed. I watched the contest for awhile, fascinated.
The osprey battled bravely but its prize seemed too great to pull out of the water. I wondered why the bird didn’t give up and let go, then the light dawned: its claws were likely hooked in the fish so that it couldn’t let go. I observed sadly as the osprey, screaming and beating the air, slowly lost strength.
Finally the bird’s strength was gone and it settled on the roiling water before a large wave rolled over it. I watched in horror as its wings thrashed the water for a moment, then with one last wild scream the osprey sank under the wave.
The next morning dawned calm and sunny, so I walked along the dunes again, scanning the shore. Finally I spotted the bodies of the osprey and its fish, still hooked together, lying on the beach where the sea had tossed them. That fish would have made a great dinner. Seagulls were feasting on both.
The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is FLAKE. I don’t know if Heather thought of this prompt word as she looked out the window this morning, but FLAKES there are.
Here a flake, there a flake, a few more just beyond
I sigh as more and more flakes swirl through the air
all day, settling on the lawn, garden, flowerbeds.
coming in from the north, fixing to stay awhile.
At sunset a shadow on the western horizon, turned in the night to these snow-laden clouds, slipping across our sunny yesterday and we feel the force of winter’s return.
Who wouldn’t grieve seeing last week’s +16
plunge to -1 C – with an icy breeze behind it?
And this cold front plans to settle in
"at least a week," says the weatherman.
Of course we sigh for the sunshine,
or wish rather a hearty April shower rather
than this terrible wrong of cold and snow
harassing the budding flowers!
Nature Note: My husband and I drove north to our nearest small town this morning, and en route passed a field with several small puddles. Clustered in and around these icy puddles, and spread out on a little rise beside, we saw at least a thousand snow + blue geese, one large “salt + pepper” flock pausing in its journey to the north. Quite a sight!
Actually, it’s -32 C (-25 F) as I write this at 6am. The poor snowbirds will be shivering even if it is warmer here than in the northern lands they came from. They are such cute little birds. The flocks of mostly white, brown-dabbed snow buntings add a nice touch to our winter scene.
Actually -30 isn’t unbearable in itself, but if you add even the slightest breeze, the cold becomes unbearable. According to Environment Canada Saskatoon, the wind is 12 kmph (7 mph), which drops the wind chill factor to -42″C, so they’ve issued an “EXTREME COLD WARNING.” That kind of cold usually closes the schools — which in turn will likely cancel our church ladies’ Sewing day as moms stay home with children.
And, once in a lifetime…
on a Tuesday
I get to practice my 2's
Well, I’m feeling like doing a bit more dialogue, so here’s my response in 145 words:
Cobble & Nobble
“What you finding there, Nobble?”
“Nada. Thought I saw a worm, but it’s just an old stick.”
“Eat it anyway. Fiber in your diet and all that.”
“Squelch the humour, Cob. I’m hungry and there’s just nothing here.”
“Yeah. No decent road-kill even. Shall we check the town dumpsters. Bit tricky, but we might…” Cobble heard a far off bang. “Hey — the acreage house door! Maybe that human feeder’s set out food for that stray?”
“Let’s go! You can distract the cat while I grab some nibbles, then I…”
“No way. It’s your turn to distract the cat. I get first dibs on the nibs this time.”
“I sure hope the human’s set out something fishy,” Cobble squawked as they flew toward the acreage a mile away. “Or even scraps and gristle. I’m sick of that chicken stuff.”
I stalk him in the lilacs
and round the poplar tree,
that elusive little wren
who sings so cheerfully.
House sparrows, on the other hand,
I toss them out some seed
and they're my friends forever.
They greet me eagerly.
The little wren is patient;
he waits the morn's first light
to harvest on my doorstep
the insects fried last night.
Many’s the time I’ve tried to get a look at the wrens in our yard and only saw a fluttering and movement in the leaves. But first thing in the morning, sure enough, here’s the wren cleaning off our deck, feasting on bugs that got too close to our porch light.