I saw three dead things today: two very different bugs and also a squirrel (I learned, upon closer reflection) being savored by a buzzard.
Now, that’s not exactly a winning opening sentence. It may or may not be a “hook” for you. If you’re an entomologist, read on: photos to come. If you’re in between bites at Rita’s Tacos, I suspect you just navigated over to the Kerrville Breaking News page on Facebook.
Having moved to Kerrville, population 27,000, from New York City, population 8.7 million, I’ve found there are fewer things here but more to notice.
First there was this lady bug:
It was gently dead, lying on my bedroom floor, stomach down, wings apart. (I’m sure that calling the underbelly of a bug a “stomach” just lost all the entomologists who were hooked at the beginning.) I know I previously railed against bugs–and I still do–but this was a ladybug. When I was in 4th grade and our family was out at Fire Island, there was a Monarch butterfly migration. There was also a storm. So many butterflies lay dead on the beach as I walked along. There were a few I found that seemed to have life in them, but barely. So I took them and tried to “dry them out” on our second floor deck. The next day, one was still lifeless, but three had flown away (or maybe got blown away; I chose to believe the former). I wrote about this rescue to the ranger at the Fire Island National Seashore. I didn’t hear back, but hearing back wasn’t the point.
Ladybugs are a lot like butterflies. I don’t care what contrary opinions there might be to mine on this matter.
Then there was the squirrel along Washington Street, which I saw while walking down to a lunch appointment and got to see again when Karen gave me a ride back up the hill.
I hope you’re not at Rita’s Tacos or any other of Kerrville’s fine establishments. Maybe you work at a taxidermy shop, so this is right up your alley.
I had been eagerly looking forward to catching a shot of a buzzard (or turkey vulture or whatever–someone will correct me here and I welcome that, since we’re not talking about ladybugs being like butterflies) since I saw 17–17!–of them devouring deer road-kill off Bandera Highway just south of Tuscany Ranch. (See detailed Buzzard Diagram below.)
I tried to slow down on the far shoulder to get a shot–there were seven of them eating and another 10 waiting their turn on the hill of the gully–but it’s 55 MPH there and not a safe place to get a shot of even this important an avian event.
But today I got to see one of these guys up close.
They actually provide a good community service.
Finally, I saw this on a walk near where I dropped Bennett off after school:
I know I’ve said mean things against them and their cousins, and if one landed on me I would certainly smack the insides out of them faster than you can say “Jiminy Cricket,” but this little guy seemed so peaceful. And sad. Yet peaceful. His four arms were crossed, like he’d said his prayers and gone to sleep on his back.
Like he had no cares.