Added today to the Win What PBW Reads This Week box: The Damned by L.A. Banks, Rage Therapy by Daniel Kalla, Mammoth by John Varley, Cooking Light magazine July 2007 issue, National Geographic Traveler magazine May/June 2007 issue, and Reader's Digest magazine June 2007 issue.
We put the magic hat into action tonight for the Raintree: Haunted giveaway, and the winners are:
Karen, the lurker (whose comment started with Thunder and lightning.)
DiDi (whose comment started with I absolutely love rain.)
Elaine (whose comment started with I like snow.)
Rebecca (whose comment started with I desperately crave the sun...)
Winners, please send your full name and ship-to address to LynnViehl@aol.com, and let me know if you'd like to have Linda Howard's Raintree: Inferno as well. Thanks to everyone for joining in.
I got a very big surprise this morning when I went out to meditate. I make a habit of bringing the camera onto the porch with me to photograph whatever comes to visit my yard. I'll never be a great photographer, but sometimes I get lucky, as with capturing the ongoing drama of who has been living in our bird house.
When I came out the door today, what I saw made me think the kids had been messing with it. It made me angry, because while the blue bird's chicks are all grown up and gone, I was pretty sure from a lingering odor that one of them didn't make it (and I kicked myself for not cleaning out the body a week ago, when I should have done it. I just didn't want to upset the mother, who has still been coming back to the birdhouse every day.)
I walked over to pull whatever the kids had stuck in the perch hole, and then stopped in my tracks.
I still thought it was a hose or a toy, until it slithered. Then I looked down and saw it had a much bigger parent with it.
Both are black racers; Big Mama likes to hunt in my garden and scare my socks off.
I'd never seen Junior before, and or two racers hunting together.
As I got closer, I discovered that Big Mama was just finishing up swallowing the deceased chick, which she must have gotten out of the birdhouse before I came out on the porch. Racers will eat just about anything.
I was able to get close enough to get both snakes in the picture. Junior didn't appreciate my curiosity, but Big Mama didn't twitch a scale.
The drama escalated when the mother blue bird came out of nowhere and began attacking the snakes, chasing off Big Mama immediately. It took her a bit more time to get Junior out of the birdhouse.
The entire incident took about an hour to play through from start to finish, with me mostly quietly sitting in a chair, camera in hand, jaw in lap. Just when I think I'm used to living in the country, something like this happens.
Tomorrow there will be a skunk living in that birdhouse. I just know it.