Surprise Encounter

Late this afternoon I looked out the front door to see if it was still raining and noticed several black cats on the front lawn. This is a normal site since 95% of the feral colony is black. One of them was Char. Jim told me earlier, in the morning report, that Char was not present at breakfast so I decided to give him a little food on the front porch. I went inside to get the food and put it out on the porch. As I put it down I noticed there was a minor commotion in the front yard everyone was watching. I looked over to find Charlie with something in his mouth. It was a grey bird and it was crying out in pain. I ran outside to try to get him to release it but he would have none of that and took off around the house with me right behind, although much slower since I still had my house clogs on. My heart sank when I realized I was no match for his agility even with bird in mouth.  All I could do was listen to the screaming bird as Char disappeared into the back woods. I went in the house out on the back deck to see if I could see anything. I listened as the bird’s  cry became fainter and fainter then silent. I knew he was gone. I hoped he didn’t suffer long.  I consoled myself with the knowledge that if I had caught up with Charlie and had gotten him to release the bird, it would have been mortally wounded and his death would have been prolonged.  Back on the front porch Char was peacefully eating his private snack oblivious of the drama I had just witnessed.

Later that evening I was removing a spider from the house when I saw the plate of dry food that was left over now water-logged by the continual downpour of the day. I bent down to pick it up so I could dump it in the bushes when I noticed we had some visitors making it their evening meal. I was amazed how these guys found it for one and that they were eating it. I called Jim so he could see them and went to retrieve my camera. We both stooped down and watched them go at it…as only snails could do. I found myself thinking this is why they say, as slow as snails, because I ‘ve never seen anything move that slow and deliberate. They truly must experience fully the present moment.

Snail having dinner

My camera was no match for this event as it wouldn’t focus, there wasn’t enough contrast. But I was not deterred, I went in for my cell  phone. I had photographed close things like this before and I had confidence it would get the shot. Here is the best one from the several I took.  I think it’s amazing for a cell phone in low light.

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