Thursday, September 20, 2012

On September 20th, 2012, I recovered from a longer bike ride. On the day of the Peregrine Falcon, snap up Friday in the claws of your imagination. It is the last day of summer.


I called up a woman who likes me, who had just moved to North Muskegon, where she had grown up. I had the idea of meeting her at Hobo's for dinner. She convinced me to meet her at the Lake Muskegon Nature Preserve, where I could park my bike and we could take a turn around the paths. Then we could ride in her car to Hobo's. We saw a number of fishermen working the strong current, with a chop of waves being raised by a bold wind blowing east. I saw a man with a asphyxiated King Coho on the grass. She asked me if I had noticed a black cast or a colorful side. The black ones, she explained wouldn't taste any good. The black King Cohos had already exhausted themself.
I heard a fish make a bold jump. The fishermen on the boardwalk reported many leaping fish. The wind made my companion cold, and she refused my jacket. So we walked quickly along the boardwalk and into the woods, and I tried to block the wind. The dinner at Hobo's exceeded expectations. She has this habit of ordering exactly what I order. I ordered a six ounce sirloin, medium, with a baked potato and broccoli and so did she. I ordered a cold Crispin over ice cubes, and so did she. She had her first draw of the English session cider and she knew that Bob was her uncle. I cut into my steak, and it gushed juiciness, and a few drops dribbled on my shirt. The checkered pattern hid it well. It was a beautiful steak, lean and juicy and charbroiled in the kitchen next to us, where we could see the chefs working.
On the bike ride over there, I followed the Lakeshore Trail past Heritage Landing, where I usually stopped and cut into downtown Muskegon. I saw the power plant looming close at hand, so I thought I was almost there to the nature preserve. The power plant has a massive size and I was pedaling for a long time before it seemed any closer. The trail took a turn for the lakeshore at Fisherman's Landing, and I entered a land created by the Muskegon River since the time of man's first intervention. Logging and building had knocked volumes of sand into the river, and that sand had settled in the Muskegon River delta. Despite a nearness to Business US-31, I felt I had dropped into a wilderness. The south channel ran shallow and strong over a sand bed. The middle channel had been choked with cattails. It took five minutes of pedaling before I had reached the strong main channel. The rest of the land had been given over to cattails and fly ash ponds, and the trail proceeded over them on a wooden bridge with blue wire railings.
I took a few seconds to look up at the immense chimney of the power plant, smokeless at the moment. I have read that Peregrine Falcons like to make their nests on these towers, learning to plummet from the nest to knock flying birds out of flight. The plummet builds force, and impact knocks the prey cold. The falcon has the agility to catch the lifeless bird before it falls to the ground.
Before summer began, I saw a Peregrine Falcon standing on the body of a bird it had been cleaning of feathers. It stood motionless on that prey until I had walked too close. It zipped away, and I was left amazed. Maybe that moment inspired me to write about animals this summer. I have so much more to learn before I can find animals before the animals know I am looking at them. Towards the end of the summer, I despaired of seeing a new animal for my daily writing. In the last few days, I even resented the project, and you can see I filed stories late. I think I have one gap left.
I hope you stayed along for the summer bestiary. I need to head outdoors, hoping to see a rare animal for Friday's final entry.
Photography Notes
A captive Peregrine Falcon eating at Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park in Nova Scotia, Canada.

17 June 2008
Dennis Jarvis Halifax, Canada
I forgot to attribute the Great Dane photograph from the previous article.
Dogi niemieckie, wszystkie typy umaszczenia, wystawa w Spodku, Katowice
Great Danes, all types of colours, during dogs show in Katowice, Poland

Date 17 March 2007(2007-03-17)
Author Pleple2000

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