Sunday, August 13, 2006

Saturday- new life and impending death

A lot happened yesterday.

First, the fun stuff.

Nguyen and I finished our picket fence and it is GORGEOUS!!! It is 4 feet high and painted off white to match the trim on our house. My job, yesterday, was to paint the tops of the pickets where Nguyen trimmed them.

While we were outside congratulating ourselves, a big redtailed hawk flew over our heads and vocalized that almost cliche sound you hear in cowboy movies. I had never, in my life, heard a hawk actually make that screeching sound.

Later, when sitting under the big Norway Spruce admiring my fence, a cicada landed on my foot. It was gorgeous, with emerald wings and big buggy eyes. If you didn't know what it was, it would be terrifying, I think, but since I do, I was delighted. We have just had a big hatching and the remains of the pupal nymphs are littered around the bottom of the tree. Cicadas spend several years underground as nymphs before they finally emerge to molt, take their adult form and mate. I called my brother, the nature photographer, to come and check out the cicada, but it flew away before he got here. However, as we were looking for it on the ground, we found a nymph crawling across the lawn. I have never seen a live one, so I was very excited. And it seemed to be heading straight for the spruce tree. When Jake got here, he set up his macro lense and started taking photos of the nymph. To our utter amazement, it crawled about 5 feet up the tree trunk, latched onto the bark and proceded to molt. Jake spent several hours taking shots of it as it crawled out of it's pupal exoskeleton and emerged as an adult cicada. Once he has his website updated with the photos I will post a link. It was remarkable. Something I have never, in my 41 years on this earth, seen before.

Now for the very sad news. Later in the evening, one of my brother's 14 year old dogs had 4 grand mal seizures in a row. She likely has a brain tumor and has been having seizures sporadically for about 2 months now, but this was a very bad episode. One after another. And none of the emergency vets in the area were willing to see her right away. She and my brother ended up sleeping outside in our yard for the night, with my brother next to her on the lawn. This morning she had two more seizures. We are fairly sure it is time to say our goodbyes.

Jake has had Bumpus and her sister since they were 6 weeks old. They are beautiful and gentle old girls. We are utterly devastated. Since I was up late with them, I ended up missing church this morning.

But God, I know you are with us. Please comfort my brother in this time of loss.

1 comment:

juniper68 said...

Rachel,
You and brother and good dogs are in my prayers. Especially poignant ones, since we just went to the pound this week for a new dog for our family - it's that circle of life thing all over,
Blessings,
Jennifer