Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Those aren't moths.

I'm looking into the back yard.  Big, fluffy snowflakes are falling...

"It's snowing!"

"Seriously?"  The rest of the household does not appear as thrilled with early spring snow.

Strange though - it's only snowing in our yard.

"Wait, they're not snowflakes - they're not just falling down, they're sort of moving in other directions.  Moths?  Are those big-ass moths?"

"There are big-ass moths in the backyard?"

"Weird right?  Are we supposed to have massive amounts of moths at the end of March?"  I say, pleased with my own alliteration.

I look a bit closer.  Now the moths appear bigger and more oblong, like there are families of moths... and they all seem to be flying in from the left side of the yard.

"Those aren't moths."

"What are they?"

"Feathers.  They are white feathers."  I cock my head to the side, considering what I'm seeing.  "There is some sort of bird sitting on the fence, plucking another bird."

"There is what?"

"There is a small bird of prey - like a hawk, or a kestral or something and it is plucking whatever other bird that it caught... on our fence."

David and Rissa come to stand with me at the back door and regard this Mutual Of Omaha moment.

Rissa shudders.  "That's nasty."

David shrugs. "That's nature."

"That is repulsively cool," I say. 

"I have to say I'm a little bit impressed," says David.

"Why?" Rissa asks.  She looks queasy.

"The bird it's plucking is practically its same size. How did it get it up there?"

"Ewwwwwww!" from Rissa.

David and Rissa go about their morning business. I find myself unable to look away from the window. "How is it that it never occurred to me that a bird would pluck another bird to eat it?"

"Because WHY would you contemplate such a thing?"

"It makes perfect sense.  You can't get to the... uh... fleshy... red... bits...."

Rissa looks out the window. "Ewwwwwwwww!"

"...without plucking the feathers away.  That's a determined bird. Maybe it's a chicken hawk!"

"What is a chicken hawk?" asks Rissa.

"I'm a chicken hawk!" I say in my best Henery Hawks accent.

"Ahhh say, ahhh say, ahhh say, son..." says David.

Rissa looks at him like he's nuts.  "What are you doing?"

"Foghorn Leghorn."

"What's Foghorn Leghorn?"

"We've failed as parents.  Quick! Remedial cartoons!"

This teachable moment brought to you by ornithological carnage.

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