Mr. Waste and I have good friends that live in the shadow of Lookout Mountain in Golden. They love their animals. Jeff is a veterinarian and Angela has worked for zoos throughout the country. In fact, they met working at a zoo and it was monkey love at first sight.
It’s never a surprise to walk up their driveway and see all manner of wild beasts running around their yard, from 100-year-old tortoises to injured eagles. Toss in three dogs, three cats, three fish, and a turtle and you have the ingredients for a Dr. Dolittle sequel.
The latest edition to this land-locked ark is a Cooper’s hawk that has built a nest high in the cottonwood trees surrounding their house. They find it both strange and wonderful to have such a majestic bird perching right outside their bedroom window.
But strange things are occurring. The three bird feeders surrounding their house have required less and less filling. They assumed the hawk must be scaring away the local nuthatches, wood hatches, and wrens. Then one day, they saw what was really going on. A bird showed up for dinner, in swooped the hawk, and that bird was the dinner.
Those three bird feeders were not only fattening up the neighborhood birds, they were also bird magnets for an easy hawk meal.
Jeff and Angela were mortified. So they decided the bird feeders must come down. They could not participate in the slaughter of these innocent birds. When Jeff removed the feeders, he discovered the birdseed clumped together like a block of cement. The hawk had been so successful at snatching free meals, that no beak had actually pecked a single seed.
There is a yin and yang to everything. Now the animal-friendly couple was faced with the possible starvation of their hawk and any offspring she might be raising. They decided it was all part of the circle of life, so the feeders are going right back up.
This got me thinking about all of nature’s checks and balances. As humans, we have eliminated all of our predators. We peck daily and greedily from the bird feeder we call Planet Earth … but where is the hawk to swoop in every once in a while to keep us in check?
I believe the planet itself is taking on that role. We’ve done so much damage putting carbon into the air that global warming and climate change are rectifying the parasites called humankind. A super-tornado there, a few tsunamis here, and some uncontainable fires for good measure. It may take a while but Mother Earth will get balance restored, whether we like it or not.
Tweet on, my little chickadees.