Tuesday, October 12, 2010

You're Wild...WILD!

Wild nature greets us every morning and tucks us in every evening.  Great Blue Heron stand majestically at water's edge, peering into the sunrise and the surf.  Around lunchtime -- or so it seems -- seagulls, pelicans, willets and oystercatchers line up for their turn at the fish feast.  In the evening, I think every bird on the island drops by.  Where there are birds diving there are fish running, so David grabs his rod and reel and sprints into the waves.  Tonight he hooked a Spanish Mackerel...but he jumped off.  Then he caught several Ladyfish -- not good for eating.  As he reeled in his line after one particular cast he saw a 5-foot Black-Tip Shark at the breaking point of a wave chasing his lure.  I was inside the camper with Sage, but watching him, and knew instantly from his body language what had happened.  He was almost to the second sandbar, and at first, he simply walked backward slowly.  Then he picked up his pace, and soon he was turned, mouth agape, and high-stepping to the shore.  All I could mutter was, "I know that look..."  And I was right.  That encounter -- unusal as it was -- is precisely what keeps me in the area between the shoreline and the first sandbar.  Period.

Last night I went outside around 11pm.  There was a light-colored shadow about 10 feet from our camper.  Instantly, or perhaps instinctively, I knew it was a coyote.  This morning we noticed coyote tracks around our truck/camper.  A section of a Crevalle Jack (aka Jack Crevalle, or simply Jack) that had washed up after being partially devoured by a shark was missing.  The area where the dead fish had lain was outlined with coyote tracks.  This morning Folsom was ballistic around the adventure trailer.  I let him off the leash momentarily to sniff around inside.  I never figured out what had interested him, but I did see a lizard scurrying across the sand drifts against the trailer's tires.

We have not observed many butterfly species.  One monarch yesterday, two yellow sulphurs today and something I have not yet identified.  It is mostly brown and white with long hindwings, similar to a swallowtail.  Perhaps a type of skipper?  A gigantic fly caught himself in the mesh room of our canopy.  We have named him "mega-fly."  Aside from the flies, beetles, and gnats (annoying creatures, really), the only real flying or crawling pest is the mosquito.  If you are familiar with the Texas Coast, you know their size and level of aggression are something to fear...and combat with only the most awful of products...Deep Woods Off!  I hate the stuff, but its stench and potential health hazards are nothing compared to malaria.  So, after many rounds of natural combatants, I eventually succumb to the evil that is Off!

A moment ago I peeked into El Valor to check on Sage and Folsom.  Both are sound asleep, while the generator sputters and whines.  Looking to the left (north), then to the right (south), I see nothing but deep black.  The deepest shade of black.  Wild.

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