Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tomatoes and Bird of Prey

Sometimes, life is just too cool.

Yesterday I was getting supper ready and I grabbed a tomato and began slicing it up. I only managed to get as far as the first slice however because when the slice fell away I saw what looked like maggots inside the tomato. Thankfully, having a daughter who thought "baby flies" were cute when she was younger has done away with my fear and recoil reflex when faced with the little larva so I just took a closer look. They weren't moving after all.

They weren't maggots. They were sprouts! The seeds in the tomato had all sprouted and had not just a good bit of root but tiny leaves. How cool is that? I called the kids in and we examined them.

Today we looked at them again and talked about how they would have sprouted. The tomatoes came from my mother's house where she doesn't put tomatoes that she's buys in the fridge but sets them in the fruit bowl in her warm and sunny kitchen. We held the tomatoes up to the light and discovered they were translucent. The hypothesis is that in that environment, not cold from a fridge and with plenty of sunlight availible to the seeds ("and," added Catherine, "a rich source of nutrients - the tomato.") they sprouted. Later we'll be taking some down and planting them in some potting soil. We'll leave a few in a tomato slice as well and see how well each batch grows.

But what about the bird of prey? Well, we were outside on the front porch this morning (although it's a bit chilly today it's the first relatively sunny day that we've had in a week) and I heard a splash. I looked over at the pond and saw a great black bird just coming up from the water. The first thought, ridiculous as it was, was that a crow had fallen in the pond. But then I noticed the flash of white on the head and the white underbelly as it soared up into the sky. Osprey!

Now I know everybody and their dogs love Bald Eagles. I admit, they're pretty fierce looking birds but where I live they're a rather common sight and, well, they're as much scavengers as anything else. But an Osprey! Drop dead gorgeous and a real, honest-to-goodness hunters. They apparently occur worldwide but as a single species with some wonderfully unique features. AND they're our provincial bird.

Anyhow, once I realized what it was I told the kids and we all watched as it circled the pond for about 5 minutes looking for another fish. And then it dived, splashed and came up with one of our little speckled trout in it's talons. The kids were thrilled! We watched it fly off and hoped he'd decide this was a great place to fish.

Too cool.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We had two osprey nesting at the top of the bridge beside our rented house (which we just moved away from) and we watched them hunt regularly. They would soar overhead in circles and it was absolutely awesome to watch!