APR 24, 2002
ORANGE FLUFF BALLS, CROCKY, AND THE NONAME TRIANGLE
When my parents purchased the Zwickey Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, I had only an ephemeral idea of its inestimable value as a remnant of Planet Eden. Its 271 acres are packed with genetic diversity that dates back to the era that predates the advent of humans.
Aged short-leaf and loblolly pines, ancient hickories, walnuts, post oaks, sassafras, and huge dogwoods are among the dozens of species of trees found thereon. Miles of riparian habitat along Zwickey, Browns, and Noname Creeks are home to Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, Ospreys, Anhingas, Ringed and Belted Kingfishers, Black and Yellow Crowned Night Herons, Cormorants, Gulls, Terns, Great Egrets, Pelicans, Snowy Egrets, and who knows what else.
Red wolves crossed with coyotes sing to the rising moon, accompanied by a chorus of frogs of various species singing arias from bass to soprano and this evening my friend Crocky the alligator amused me by pretending that he was invisible, except when the Great Egret that flew over him, looked down at him as he was pretending to be a floating log and let out an obnoxious guttural squawk.
The cutest members of all of the animal families that inhabit Zwickey Creek at this time of year are the two baby Black Vultures that live in an abandoned deer stand. They are nothing more than little balls of orange fluff with growling black heads poking out!!!
They are so incredibly silly with their little featherless orange wings flapping aimlessly about to frighten me and their deep growls that sound like mad Pit Bulls, that I almost fell off the ladder that leads to their home in the deer stand from laughing out loud.
On a peninsula between Browns and Noname Creeks is a very strange zone I call the Noname Traingle. It is a magical forest of cascading boulders dating back 35,000,000 years that cascade toward the creek with no name. I have explored this mysterious area several times and each time I have become totally disoriented and have wandered in circles for up to an hour or more. This evening it happened again, even though I had marked the trail with red tape!!!
When I finally found my way out of the Triangle, I destressed by watching Crocky, the actor, playing his favorite role, that of a floating log.
When I returned to the Alligator Ranch, Foxy was waiting for a hand-out. I told him to cool his jets and went to the icebox for a few table scraps. I tossed out one slice of old ham and he snatched it up into his mouth but did not swallow it. Then I tossed a second slice and he crammed it into his mouth as well. Next I placed a third slice right next to me and silly Foxy sauntered right up, crammed it into his mouth and trotted off with three slices of ham dangling from his toothy lips. Silly Foxy!!!
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