bunt sign

Thursday, February 3, 2011

When I got back from running my errands this afternoon, a couple of dozen quail had settled comfortably in my driveway. I was going slowly enough that they had time to scramble out of the way in their usual manner, but instead they decided to take flight. In all of the visits I've had from these birds over the ten years I've lived here, the sight of a flock of quail in flight is something I haven't seen often. It was kind of cool.

Not so cool: In the middle of my driveway, just in front of the garage at a place where I had to veer around it, was something long and reddish. After parking the car I checked it out. It was the entire half-devoured haunch of a jackrabbit, rife with blood and bones and attached to an obviously unlucky rabbit's foot. I wasn't sure what I was going to do about it. I guess I sort of hoped the bird of prey that dropped it would come back and finish its meal, or carry it off so it would be someone else's disgusting problem.

And sure enough, when I looked out a while later, two massive buzzards were strutting around my driveway, doing their solemn duty. They aren't as strikingly beautiful as quail, but buzzards do serve their purpose, and I salute them for that. From a distance.

Later, when I walked out to pick up my mail, I wasn't sure what to expect. Could they have done what I hoped they'd do? Yes, it seems. All that remained were tufts of fluffy bunny fur strewn here and there over the muddy driveway. This was one creature who didn't get to celebrate beyond the first day of the Year of the Rabbit, but it did get to complete its arc in the Circle of Life. So it had that going for it, which is nice.

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