backyard wilderness adventure

for some reason, i needed to blow off a little steam today.  i wasn't digging the feeling of being cooped up inside , it was bluebird sunny out, a rare chance to get some D, so i decided to go outside and weed the tangled mess of a strawberry patch with the ducks.  for hours, i diligently plucked invaders from the tough and root-laden soil around the elusive strawberries, the ducks chugging along in my wake, cleaning up bugs scattered in the freshly turned dirt.  it was blissfully warm, me in my barefeet and tanktop, knees of my jeans wet and brown from the soil, hands brown with earth, wind blowing just enough to keep the hair out of my face.  i lost track of time completely, lost myself somewhere in the strawberries. lost deep in thought, until i saw the shadow and heard the familiar call of an eagle.  it swooped overhead, hot on the tail of a raven carrying some kind of prize, too close for comfort.  the ducks seemed to know what to do: they tucked in close by me in the deep grass under the shade of the apple tree, while three more eagles, talking chatter, two of them juvenile, flew in circles above... close, too close, so close i could see the individual feathers on their wings, see the whites of their eyes.  the raven with the booty, the prize everyone wanted, outnumbered and defeated, dropped what it was carrying, and one eagle flew down to retrieve it.  i slowly stood up, to find that eagle only about twelve feet away.  tall as my waist, he was. chills down my back, i crouched down with the ducks, you guys sit still i whispered. they looked up knowingly. i was sure that if i hadn't have been there, my dear little pato and gonzo would have made a perfect afternoon snack for a bald eagle.  
soon the the eagles all scattered, and i resumed weeding. just me, and the ducks, the hummingbirds, the redwings, the juncos, the goldfinches, the house finches, the sparrows, the wrens, and even a visiting ringneck pheasant just six feet away, grazing off the spilled birdseed... all of us busy, wild animals minding our own business.

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