Friday, September 22, 2006

Come for the Fish, Stay for the Lizard

We've been having a nice correspondence with Marc who sent us a photo for this weekend's Good Planets post. He writes to us all the way from Tasmania. I don't know why I am so knocked out by that, but I think it's because Tasmania seems to be end-of-the-earth far away from us. In one of his emails he asked how the shingling project was going. I thought I'd answer with a photo. I'm not the world's best photographer. I get to point and shoot at some fantastic stuff, but when it comes to light and shadow or manual focus, I am at a loss. I tell you this because I wanted to photograph Roger up on the scaffold in front of the house with the magnificent pacific northwest sky behind him. Only problem is that he is working on the north side of the house in shadow. For the camera to let in enough light to see him and the house, the sky washes out to total white. I'm sure a real photographer would know what to do. I have no idea, but I've got the Photoshop chops (as CCorax kindly said), so I took the photo of Roger in the light, and took a second photo of the sky, and put them together.

While I was back in the house on the computer, doing that little Photoshop trick, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye standing in the yard. I looked up and saw a large and beautiful Great Blue Heron standing by our very little pond. Oh yes, I thought, it's definitely fall. The only time the heron shows up. She knows all those little scrawny goldfish of spring have become fat little autumn meals, just perfect for harvest.

I watched her for a while. She was incredibly diligent and stealthy.

But I finally opened the door and gave her a chase. She flew as far as the wisteria arbor, which is to say, not far at all. She preened and stretched. Not caring a whit that we were watching from the window just fifteen or twenty feet away. We decided that we didn't want her to think she was actually welcome in the yard, so we gave her a chase again, and she flew away.

I went back outside to help with my part of the shingling project. At this point Roger is doing all the pneumatic stapling, so I remove the nails from the discarded siding, stack the siding by size, and then carry it off into the big shed. After I completed that task, I came back into the house and found our big friend back, stalking the side of the pond.I was surprised by her persistence. She must have been pretty hungry, because she was not going to leave without a meal. I went out front and got Roger to come in, and we watched as she lunged for something,which turned out to be a lizard. Again, we were faced with trying to decide how welcome we should let her feel, and decided there were many other places for her to be hunting. So we chased her off again.
She hasn't returned, yet, as far as we know.

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