before dawn

before dawn

i am not a morning person. but i like getting out for my daily walk early in the morning if i can. it would be reasonable to assume it is because i want to avoid the afternoon heat, or maybe i want to have the trails to myself. and those would be pretty good guesses. but those are not the primary reasons. the main reason is that a whole lot happens in nature after dark. there is often quoted book by christopher booker who postulated that there are really only seven types of stories:

  • Overcoming the Monster
  • Rebirth
  • Quest
  • Journey and Return
  • Rags to Riches
  • Tragedy
  • Comedy

i think i have come upon examples of all of those in the remains and detritus i find on the the trails first thing in the morning. a strong breeze will often scatter most of the clues, so by mid-morning there is barely a hint of the drama that played out the night before. the story of this particular mallard was clearly a tragedy. but the osprey or eagle that feasted on him could have been any one of those story types. in my still-groggy mind this morning, i was pretty sure it was a rags to riches story. a hungry juvenile osprey, down on his luck with fishing, desperate for food, snatched this sleeping mallard and filled his belly for the first time in days–a veritable feast for a bird almost the same size as the duck. my osprey was king for a night. the end.

mallard wing

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