Humans are not the only species that steal. We are not the only bullies on the planet, either. The natural world is neither idyllic nor peaceful. Check out this little scenario for an example of the Might makes Right philosophy. The Black-bellied Plover has a worm bigger than he is! But catching a worm may not translate into eating a worm in the avian world.
The plover has to work very hard just to get enough to eat. The competition for food is fierce.
Getting a fat, juicy worm (or whatever) will keep him going for another day.
But the bullies are never far away on the beach. They steal from everyone; including each other. You have to use it or lose it! Eat it or beat it! It is a bird-eat-bird world at the shore; just as it is everywhere on earth.
I've long suspected that I write this blog for my own benefit rather than anyone else's. Since I haven't had time to think about anything but my mom's situation for weeks, I've neglected my photography and my blog, which has had a negative effect on me. I realize that I have to spend some time on what make my life meaningful pretty soon, or I'm going to lose it. (That won't help Mom's situation at all. If I blow, things go downhill fast. I know this from personal experience!) Starting now, I've vowed to at least spend a few moments each day taking pictures outdoors. I'm also going to ease back into regular blogging by completing some unfinished posts, etc. Maybe it will help my sanity and improve my concentration.
These pictures were taken in early November by my husband. He used the Sony H50's 'night-shot' option. Personally, I am not a fan of Opossums. To me, they resemble massive rats. In the above picture, however, the possum looks cute.
Here he is not so cute. The tail (shudder) is not cute even in the most flattering image.
The night-shot images are fuzzy and impossible to clean up, but this photo would reveal his MASSIVE and SHARP teeth if it weren't so noisy.
Here's a baleful stare! The opossums I've seen are completely unafraid of humans. I have looked up and seen them on the deck, peering through the door at us. Knocking on the glass and yelling has no effect whatsoever. I'm more afraid then they are!
I haven't been taking any photos lately. I haven't posted anything to my blog, either. All my attention has been focused on my mother's health problems. A series of small strokes has taken some of my mom away from me; and from all of us. It is a bad time for the family, but a good time to celebrate the gift of birding and love of nature that she gave to three generations so far.
This picture was probably taken in 1924. Mom was six or seven when the stock market crashed in 1929. Nonetheless, she called herself a depression baby, which probably had a lot to do with her sense of values. Money was not something she sought in life, and she never confused wealth with happiness or good character.
Her family was a mix of Irish and German stock. Some of my cousins look exactly like the unknown relatives in this old photo. I am not actually related to anyone here - I'm not even related physically related to my mom, since I'm adopted. But this is my heritage and family anyway.
This is mom at about 12 years old. Her baby sister, who is ten years younger than mom, is now her only living sibling. From the five kids in her family came twenty something grandchildren and god knows how many great grandchildren. I would estimate that almost all of us know that she and my dad were passionate birders for as long as anyone can remember - and very many of us are passionate or casual birders ourselves.
Mom probably wouldn't thank me for posting this picture, but it was the best likeness I could find on short notice. Today, she looks pretty much the same but she doesn't know her birds anymore. She can't see them very well or hear them at all. It hurts me more than I can say knowing that life has stolen something so precious away from her. But the rest of us will hold her in our hearts whenever we see or hear one of her special feathered friends - forever.