The Animal Channel…

I’ve got a soft spot for the environment but as of late it has hardened a little bit. As long as I’m above ground, Ellen and Reid will continue to know the land and water is worth caring about.


December 16, 2013

Ellen/Reid: This week felt like an episode on the Animal Channel. It was amazing to see that owl eating the hawk a few feet away from me on Friday night and only a few yards off of six lane Fairview Road. Too bad my iPhone camera went into meltdown mode.

The owl sits atop its prize. Not 20 feet away, three lanes of traffic zipped by on Fairview Road.

The owl sits atop its prize. Not 20 feet away, three lanes of traffic each way zipped by on Fairview Road.

What a picture that should have made. When I got too close to the raptor to get a better shot, it struggled to get airborne with its heavy prize. About 6:30 the next morning on my pick-up-trash walk, a young six point buck wandered out of the woods another 10 feet from me and the two of us just stood there, gawking at each other. I made a step and he loped off in no particular hurry. ‘Just another two legged human’ he thought. Later in the morning I tried to dodge the rain while I walked Renaissance Park, a local golf course. As per usual, I was rummaging for balls when a 3 foot copperhead – there is some conjecture if it was that or just a harmless corn snake – slithered through a

sand trap near my errant shot. The low 40 temps had him moving very slowly, but it was fun to see (from a safe distance). I had my sand wedge

The variety of snake is somewhat a mystery to all but herpetologists, but what is known is all it wants to do is survive. And it shall.

The variety of snake is somewhat a mystery to all but herpetologists, but what is known is all it wants to do is survive. And it shall.

with me and while I have trouble hitting the ball I would have had no trouble clobbering him. Nah, I never would have throttled him/her. He/she was just trying to survive. Let him/her live and be on his/her way. Why a snake isn’t hibernating is beyond me. A couple of holes later, a small flock of turkeys was moseying across the fairway and in no real rush to escape just another hapless golfer such as they’ve seen before. I like see all that life in motion in the middle of the city. They persevere despite the odds. What I don’t like seeing, at this moment and as we speak, is the water bottleIMG_2845 floating in the stream behind the house. I retrieved a plastic milk jug and several polystyrene cups bobbing up and down this weekend. We just can’t seem to get out of our way, environmentally speaking.

I’m thinking hard about a kayak. There is a lot of good water down here, and I especially want to get down to the low country and try to fish the flats and the reeds for what Tim would call “Reds.” I like that sort of world and can’t figure out why it took so long to come to this conclusion. It’s something I can do by myself. There are a number of Meetup groups down here that specialize in kayaking the Catawba River and the salt marshes. All of this sounds pretty enticing, plus, when you guys are here, you can ply the waters, too. Maybe that’s a saner (and safer) alternative to a new Harley Road King.

Well, the Christmas tree is up and it lifts my spirits every morning. The little bogus thing stays lit all night so when I trudge down every morning to make coffee its glow is down there to welcome me. I like that. Just about everything you are going to get is already shipped. Gramps is probably negligent in not getting more for sweet Emma, and that may be rectified tonight. Reid, it was so nice to see you and Emma having a good laugh. She just adores her uncle “Weed.” I texted your mom ‘Oh, to be a fly on the wall’ while you guys were hobnobbing in Chicago this past weekend. That’s hilarious, Ellen, that you thought your flight was 5 p.m. rather than 5 a.m. Ah, it didn’t hurt you to get up early and to Chicago early. Just gives you more time in the city.

The HOA garden Nazis plowed asunder the mature shrubs and English ivy in front of my place for who knows what reason. As contractors will do, they planted other shrubs too close together. What the hell.

Reid, I secretly hope you’ll not head to Israel for a wedding but hike instead with us in the Bridger Wilderness. That’s where you belong. Plus, there is this feeling that the fishing is really, really good.

Love, dad


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