Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Deacon’s Strange Mowing

The Deacon loves to ride his tractor! I call it a riding lawn mower but I suppose a tractor sounds more manly. Years ago when we bought this two acre lot, Scott insisted on having a ‘tractor’. So I got my pool and he got the tractor. After all, compromise is one of the keys to a long-term marriage. The Deacon is very precise in his methods of doing everything, including mowing. He puts on long pants, long sleeved shirt, big straw hat or cap, and dust mask. Interestingly enough, he also usually mows in the same pattern time after time.

As he was mowing a week ago, I noticed he was breaking his pattern and that caught my attention. He was moving very slowly. He was also doing a strange figure eight pattern. Now I am worried. I move out to the patio to observe him and be closer in case I needed to get to him quickly. He was out of my sight for part of the figure eight pattern. It was so odd that our son even came to the door and asked what his father was doing.

Finally as he moved into the northern loop of the figure eight I discover the cause of this strange behavior. A Cattle Egret comes walking from behind the bushes collecting bugs that are being disturbed by the mowing! This crazy bird continues to walk sedately along eating to his hearts content. The mower does not seem to threaten it at all. The Deacon is carefully mowing slowly past the bird. I was spellbound watching the Deacon prepare a special dinner plate for this rather smart Cattle Egret.

This unusual encounter continued until Buddy (my constant companion) finally noticed the bird and took chase. Buddy has very short legs and is no danger to any creature in the yard but he still enjoys the chase. The Cattle Egret reluctantly flew away but I knew he left with a most full belly!


P.S. In case you are wondering if I am a bird expert, I had to do some research. I guessed egret but they usually feed in water. I identified our visitor as a Cattle Egret and they do usually feed in fields and meadows.


Cathy said...

Glad to know the official name of Cattle Egret - always have heard them as cow birds.

A picture of The Deacon on his tractor would be fun to see!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Beth, you had me at the edge of my seat. I was sure the Deacon had experienced heat stroke or a heart attack or something else to explain the figure eights!
And how wonderful to find that he was just bird feeding! What a good hearted thing to do.
Enjoyed the post! It's nice to meet you!

Beth Mithen said...

It is very nice to meet you too, Rebecca! I am thoroughly enjoying your blog! Thank you for sharing.