In Memory of Harold the Heron

It is with a heavy heart that I report to you that Harold the Heron passed away yesterday at 9:20 in the morning.  Harold was a young heron of only twenty seven days when his life was cut short by the talons of a neighboring eagle.

In a family portrait taken only an hour before his murder Harold (right) can be seen playing with his two siblings and enjoying life.  His mother, ever a beacon of the cottonwoods, was too distraught to bear an interview.

“It came on us like a bolt of lightning” said a neighbor.  “None of us knew what was going on at first, but then I saw it take off with poor little Harold in its talons.”

Police are interviewing suspects but so far have no substantial leads.  Suspicions however have fallen on Aldus the Eagle, who lives not far away in a penthouse suite atop one of the tallest trees  on the east side of Lake Sammamish.  Aldus, for his part, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

“Harold was always a jokester” remarked another neighbor.  “He was constantly telling the craziest tales, so often that his brother would end up grabbing his beak just to shut him up.  Now will never hear his tales again.”

And now he is eagle food.

The Travails of a female common goldeneye

Today I would like to introduce Gabi, a female common goldeneye currently visiting our shores.  Gabi is here to enlighten us on the many problems few of us are aware of.

Slurfus: Hello Gabi.  Before we begin, I feel there is one matter that needs to be clarified immediately.  What is the easiest way to tell the difference between common goldeneyes and Barrow’s goldeneyes.

Gabi: Well for one thing the very name is racist.  Seriously, just because we happen to be the more successful species does not merit the rather ugly term of ‘common’.  They were the one’s who got caught up in that nasty oil spill in Alaska.  They’re the ones who stick around Iceland, where the weather is let’s just say not so conducive.  Yet we’re ‘common’ and they get the cool name.

Slurfus: But getting back to the question, what is the easiest way to tell the difference.

Gabi: Those idiots’ beaks are fully yellow, while on ours just the tip is yellow.

Slurfus: And how does one differentiate the males?

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In Search of the snarflefluff

This weekend I decided to partake in one of the best activities available to us in the beautiful Puget Sound – snarflefluffing.  The Snarflefluff is perhaps the most majestic creature that inhabits our shores and mountains and long have I desired to meet it face to face.

Unfortunately few know where this creature resides and, despite its reputably tremendous size, it is very capable of cloaking itself during its regular sojourns into the city.  Those who do know won’t tell, so the rest of us simply need to make our best guess and take a walk.

With that in mind I gathered the latest Snarflefluff intelligence and headed out.

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Hello everyone.  This is Slurfus with the report from this year’s exciting Heronobatics Competition.  Every year from across the country come entrants for an exhilarating skills competition involving aerial dives and stick searching.

This year’s competition involved twenty finalists chosen from all corners of the country, but the real question on everyone’s mind was anyone in the field capable of preventing a Fron Herodal repeat as champion for the record fifth year.

Above is the amazing Fron, who for the last four years has dominated the aerial category.  Could his long time nemesis Lief Aylaf from Canada finally dethrone him?  Or perhaps this would be the year of the newcomer – with Alaska product Kral Evin and Mexican Ernesto Garza the most impressive in the early runs.

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An Interview with a tree swallow

Today I am very proud to introduce my great friend Frank, who happens to be a tree swallow.  Frank and I have been close friends since one day several years ago when I was traipsing across a meadow only to collide into him while climbing up a pole for a view.

Frank, would you like to introduce yourself?

Frank: Yes, I’m a tree swallow, but you have that story all wrong.  You were invading my space, man!  That was my pole you were climbing and I was darned if some Slurfus was going to climb on me.  You may be invisible to those humans out there reading this, but I could see you.  I tried to chase you off by dive bombing you, only you weren’t scared, so I decided to get really close that last time to totally freak you out.

And close you did get.  That knocked me all the way to the ground.  Anyways, the purpose of this interview is for our human friends to learn a little bit about you.

Frank: Always glad to do so, Slurfus.

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The peril of being a coyote

Beyond our daily existence lies a secret.  Not everything is what it seems, least of all when it comes to the creatures who inhabit our meadows, perch at our feeders, and buzz around our daily existence.  It is a dangerous world out there, full of murder, torture, and malevolence far beyond your worst dreams.

I alone am here to bring you the truths no one else dares tell.   It is possible that I may not survive this ordeal, but that is a risk I am willing to take.

First up is an evil minion that breeds treachery right under our noses.  This foul creature inhabits the meadows and forests where they gather strength to invade our very abodes.  They are terrible creatures, capable of devouring even the largest attackers with their sharp incisors.  I am speaking, of course, about rabbits.

Only through the brave efforts of legions of coyotes are we not overrun by these foul beasts.  They have tireless work while laying their lives on the line for us, but they receive no thanks.  It is time for this myth to end

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