October 17, 2010

Yesterday afternoon I photographed some clouds, hovering as usual over the mountains.   Suddenly, while I was downloading the photos, the wind gusted, whipping the trees roughly, and the clouds were hurled about, filling the whole sky.  The temperature dropped from 89° to 68° and thunder rumbled in the distance.  Finally, after much sound and fury, light rain.

Today I photographed the Texas Ranger next door, the reason why I painted the entry wall and gate purple at The Bridge House.


Yesterday, while I was getting my mail, my neighbor was coming out and asked if I had seen the javelinas, and I realized that the pack was still issuing from my hedge, across the driveway, and was flowing about me.  I had the vision of Hannibal Lecter, in the third novel, Hannibal, in which Mason Verger, one of his surviving victims, attempts to capture him, intending to feed him to a pack of wild boars, but Hannibal escapes unharmed through the boars; they ignore him because he shows no fear.  That was a fleeting vision, as javelinas are not wild boars, and are much smaller (45-90 lb. v. 110–200 lb.)

The word Javelina comes from the Spanish word “javelin” meaning spear, a reference to their long, pointed canine teeth. Among the general public there’s often confusion about the relationship between Javelina and domestic pigs or other wild boars. While they share some characteristics, the common ancestors of Javelina and domestic pigs parted ways about 30 million years ago.

They did not bother me (although one stopped and near-sightedly stared at me, its snout wiggling like crazy; I had just taken a shower so it was probably confused, only smelling soap), but that evening they returned and dug up my cat’s claw vine, the third of which I have planted on the backside of the garage, to ameliorate the long solid wall, and they have dug up for the tuberous roots.  Damn!  You’d think that I would learn.

I know of just one occasion when a javelina bit a person.  A friend of my mother’s loved to (inadvisably) feed the javelinas from her back yard.  One morning one of her feet peeked out from under the gate; a young javelina thought that her toes looked like food and took a bite.   The woman had to have precautionary rabies shots.

But I know of two very stupid dogs who had dominance fights with javelinas; both lost, and their owners paid many hundreds of dollars having them stitched up.  One belonged to a man who I had worked with who knew that it was illegal to take a dog javelina hunting.  The other belonged to neighbors across the street, who, after the incident, fenced in their back yard.

Snail Mail

I’m always surprised from whom I get snail mail.  Yesterday it was Meryl Streep (Your Invitation to Make History), Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan (The midterm elections are fewer than 30 days away and Republican are salivating at the thought of dismantling all the progress we’ve made…), and President Barack Obama (…and I wanted to reach out to you personally to talk about what is at stake for people across the nation).

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One Response to “Storm”

  1. Jim Says:

    Beautiful shots of that great gathering storm and glorious Texas Ranger…!

    It is an honor to be so trusted by javelinas and other wild beings. When stared at by a wild animal, it signals good intentions when you do not return the stare.

    Speaking of storms, the World shall witness the Perfect American Political Storm in November, when the Tea Parties in every state rally their armies in the millions for the battles at the polls.

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