My Nature Conservancy Membership

I’ve been an ardent supporter of The Nature Conservancy since about 1980 when my older brother, standing next to the bunk beds in our shared Northern Virginia bedroom told me about a group quietly buying up valuable real estate to protect wildlife. He rightly thought I’d be interested in such activities. You may honestly question my passion for habitat conservation though as I did not immediately apply for membership. The excuse that I was only eleven years old is feeble even to my embarrassed ears.

Fast forward to now and I’m a longtime member of The Nature Conservancy. When the annual renewal arrived, I jumped on the internet bandwagon and paid my dues online. Imagine my surprise when this envelope was left in the mailbox up on the county road. My legal name isn’t Deep Hollow and I’ve been a faithful member for 28 years. Obviously, wires have been crossed. I predict that this internet thing people are starting to talk about will ultimately fail.

Where’s the Respect? Where’s the Fear?

Just now in the dimming light, walking to the house with Shrek, I jumped sideways before it even registered in my brain that a copperhead was whipping his body frantically at my feet. I wasn’t the reason for the strange contortions, though. Walking just a bit in front of me and inches from my leg, yellow dog Shrek had rudely stepped on the snake’s head and then continued on his way. Copperheads are generally treated with respect, if not fear and this 2 foot fellow was obviously insulted by the breach of protocol. 

NCIS Eureka

The other morning in town I stopped at the bakery next to Harts. Walking up to the counter I passed a tall gentleman wearing a blue ball cap that said, “NCIS Eureka.” While ordering one of those ham and cheese deals that tastes so good, I started wondering about the hat. While ordering stuffed muffins to hand out to the kids, I decided I would ask the tall man where he had acquired the cap and wondered if I might mention to him that my father had worked for the precursor organization to NCIS for several years. The man had been standing next to the tables where locals frequently gather for morning coffee and conversation, but he was gone when I turned around. Exiting the air conditioning into the humid warmth, I scanned the sidewalk and parking lot knowing that the overwhelming odds were that he was just a fan of the popular television franchise and not a retired special agent or whatever, but I wished I could have made sure.

Third Year in a Row

I was in a hurry this morning, but I glanced at the barn as I always do and noticed something out of the ordinary. Driving away I clicked a quick photo.

Enlarging the photograph, you can see the youngster in the window. It’s always amazing to see how fat, white and fluffy a Black Vulture baby is. I hope I see it again so I can attempt a better picture.

 

 

 

Shame

I went out on the porch awhile ago and was having a conversation with the dogs when a doe walked through the edge of the garden. His hackles on end, Shrek jumped down the steps putting on a display of proud ferocity. The doe stopped walking and stood looking at him with disinterest. Shrek halted short of the defiant deer, confidence waning. After a half minute of indecision, he looked back at me standing on the porch watching and started the heartbroken moaning that only he can do, the shame and embarrassment too much for him to endure. He stumbled back to the porch and climbed the steps his head hanging low. I fetched him a treat and gave him encouragement. I vigorously told him that he was a good boy but he was unconvinced.

Late last night, we had heard an animal sound up in the field. Ian said it sounded like a goat. I took that to mean a doe was talking to a newborn. And as is the case when they have a small fawn, the mothers stop playing the game of politely running a short distance when Shrek tries to impress me. The politics are interesting. A few years ago we had a doe who would actually chase the little dogs if they came too near. She was a hard core good mother.