Monday, November 30, 2009

New Family Members

This is Ray. He's a hawk that's taken up residence in our back yard. He showed up about a month ago and I remember the first time I saw him I thought it was odd, but this is Northern California. Hawks are no big deal here. It was only after the third or fourth siting that I decided I might like him to become part of our family. Well, there was that and the added bonus that I figured I could put Ray to work.

See, we have a rodent problem. Luckily this is strictly an outdoor problem, but a nuisance nonetheless. We live in an extremely lush area with an underwater creek running down the property line. The place attracts critters. The raccoons are cute, and mildly amusing as long as I don't think about the potential harm they could cause the these guys. The birds and butterflies are nice and the squirrels are HIGHlarious. The opossum just plain freaks me out, but ultimately I'm glad he's there and he's not nearly as freaky as the skunks in our yard when we lived in the city. The neighborhood tom cats made me happy, but sadly they've disappeared. I'm guessing it's because of these. With the disappearance of the cats, I've noticed an increase in the amount of (ahem) mice in our back yard.

I don't have a problem with mice per se, but I do have a problem with them tormenting my dogs, eating my blackberries, and pooping in my laundry room. Plus, they move really fast and that always startles me. Do you see where this is going?

Enter Ray.

I decided that if only R would let me name the hawk, then he would eventually grow attached to it and let me keep it. A couple weeks went by and I called the hawk by a few different names. None of them stuck. This past Sunday I decided to give the name "Bubbles" a whirl. I mean, if it was good enough for a chimp then why not my hawk? R would have none of this. Fearful that our new pet would be forever be known as Bubbles he took matters into his own hands and suggested that we try out Ray.

Ray stuck. And Ray's been in our back yard every day for weeks.

I don't know how long Ray will stay with us. I hope he makes our big redwood tree his home. I hope he finds a mate and that they hatch their babies in our yard. I hope he never leaves. But regardless of how much time we have together before he moves on to greener pastures so to speak, Ray will always be part of our family.

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