The SeaGulls have Left the Slough; Another Rhodes Scholar was Gored by a Buffalo.

During my morning reading there were several articles that interested me more than normal. (No not politics) One of them is about a family in Yellowstone (again) husband, wife and at least one child; a toddler. They were on a wood plank trail taking in the sights when they encountered a Bull Buffalo. As what has become a predictable human response they appeared to reach to pet him. The 2,000 pound muscle draped animal charged forward missing his target then turned to the Rhodes Scholar holding the baby. He literally tossed the child as he was being gored and launched into the air, he was lucky it didn’t kill him.

Not every photo session I take has favorable results but the past few weeks I’ve been able to capture some good images. Flying birds gain my attention, there is more action landing and taking off then when they hold the “Statue Pose” for nearly an hour. The Green Herons display bright colors in the correct lighting.

The second article was pertaining to an experienced hiker in Wyoming. He was hiking a trail when a Grizzly Bear emerged in front of him and attacked within seconds leaving no time for him to use his bear repellent. He was not killed but he was carrying an electronic emergency alert which he activated; he is in a hospital but was successfully airlifted out. Contrary to what is normal this was an unprovoked attack not real common. However it brought my attention because after reading about Cowboys on the Cattle drives they had two fears, a Wild Bull charging from a concealed wooded area. The second was a Grizzly Bear attacking them the same way. Rare yes but the thought would keep me awake all night.

The female Mallard in the photo above appeared from no where, I had just set up my equipment when she popped into the scene. I did not have my camera set so I used the settings from the night prior. Truthfully of the 15 pictures this one is usable the remainder resides in the trash can.

The third article that caught my astonishment is an event occurring daily to a family in the UK. Seagulls are attacking them, when they leave the house the birds are laying in wait for them. Their large Collie is scared to death of them the father goes outside with a shield for protection. The father dashes to the car in the morning to hold the door open for their young daughter to run full speed and dive in the seat to avoid getting pecked. Good grief what’s next?

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The story of the Seagulls brings me to the Terns which have me a bit confused as they seem to have taken the Gulls habitat over. I noticed the rise in population last year but paid little attention as I did not realize what they were up to. But I may be giving them too much credit for having subjective conscienceness ( the ability knowing how what they do today impacts tomorrow), planning for the future. I suspect it has more to do with the climate, here the Sun is brighter, the atmosphere is much drier and with the dwindling water supply our river is a surviving water source. The Seagulls may have simply gone to greener pastures.

The Seagulls aren’t the only suspicious change I’ve noticed, the Night Herons have established a robust and fairly large presence on the slough. Last year there was the rather rare appearance of one passing through once in a while. That is what drove my goal of taking the perfect photo of them, well that goal was paid off many times over. This year they look to be established with at least two nesting pairs, I have yet to see their fledglings.

I am curious to what has run the SeaGulls off the slough; I’m most likely concerned for no reason. It may be as simple as the Gulls migrated to the coast or to San Francisco Bay following the Sea Lions and they will return; or not.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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