Thursday, December 4, 2008

Life and death aerial dual in St. Marys skys.

I saw an interesting sight today. Around 1:00PM, I was basking in the sun on my driveway at my new house in Victoria Landing. Like many area S/Ds, it is built on former pulpwood land. All of the pine trees have been clear cut. I live on the outer perimeter of the S/D. I have a buffer of thickly planted, tall, skinny pine trees behind my house , but the view from the front towards the center of the S/D is just all clear sky. As I was sitting there watching the guys putting in my sprinkler system, I suddenly heard this loud and un-familiar squawking overhead. I look up to see in the clear sky a Cooper's hawk - which I immediately recognized by its distinctive silhouette, chasing after some sort of a black bird which I did not immediately recognize, until it took an evasive action and I could make out clearly that it was a Pileated Woodpecker. That's the largest one in north America (unless there really are still Ivory Bills living in Arkansas.) The Cooper's hawk feeds almost exclusively on other birds. As you can well imagine, he's pretty good at it. In the open air, I saw him close to within inches of snatching that pileated woodpecker out of the sky twice only to have the wood pecker do some amazing, high -G jinks at the last second that would have made an F-22 Raptor pilot green with envy. It was not looking good for the woodpecker, that is until the woodpecker made it into the thickly planted, scrawny pine trees. Man. once he got down amongst those trees, he was whipping in between those thing like a steel ball in a pin ball machine. The old hawk tried to keep up through the first couple of trees but then seemed to realize he was outclassed at tree dodging and gave it up. Last time I saw the woodpecker, he was still on afterburners and zig-zagging his brains out.

9 comments:

St Marys Resident said...

Jay:
I happened to be near Victoria Landing while voting the other day and swung in to check out your paint colors. Once I found the correct street, I spotted your house right away. Although it does not blend with the other drab earthtones of the neighborhood...I thought it looked very nice and would not consider it loud or tacky.

Wishing you many happy years in your new home!

St Marys Resident said...

Jay:
My husband just mentioned that he saw brand new tanker train cars near the site of the old Gilman Paper Mill. Do you know what is going on?

Anonymous said...

This piece is just another reason I am so grateful for your web site. Please keep posting your writings and I certainly will continue to enjoy them. You probably should consider writing a book at some point in your life. Thanks Jay for you time.

Jay Moreno said...

RE: My new home. Thank you. If I do say so myself, it looks even better now. I replaced those crappy looking chrome lights on either side of the garage door with nice brass carriage lamps. I've got big brass "501" numbers on there4 now; a bras mailbox, and and a 34' X8" brass kickplate ont he bottom of the front door.

The cypress fence was completed yesterday. The sprinkler system will be finished today and the sod goes down Tuesday or Wednesday.

RE: Those rail road tank cars: that's new to me. Interesting. I'll see what I can find out.

RE: The piece about the aerial duel: Thank you. I just might.

Jay Moreno said...

Well, I decided to leave my computer hooked up until the last minute tomorrow morning, so I can shed some light on the huge number of railraod tank cars in St. Marys.

You can find the answer at the top of page 2A in today's T&G.

It seems that the St. Marys Railroad Company has a contract to store them for "Union Tank Cars, a national rail car supplier." All 232are brand new, never used, and empty.

St Marys Resident said...

Wow...thanks for the info in the rail cars. I just got my paper out of the mailbox but have not had a chance to look at it yet. Sounds like you have done alot of work on the exterior in the last few weeks...I will need to do a drive by and check it out. Can you recommend someone for sprinkler installation? I would love to get a sprinkler system installed in my mother's yard. She is 86 and moving the sprinkler around in the heat of summer is a little much for her.

Once again, congratulations on your new home!

Jay Moreno said...

Absolutely. For a great sprinkler system with excellent follow-on service (per another satisfied customer of many years), you can't go wrong with a local fellow, Jay Ross, owner/operator of Ross Irrigation. He's in the phone book.

Anonymous said...

Jay, I had no idea that you knew Martha Stewart! And I really didn't know that she lived in Camden County! LOL She really does bear an uncanny resemblance to Ms. Stewart.

Merry Christmas and Happy
New Year

Anonymous said...

Jay does the railroad cars tie into the JDA giving the money for the railroad improvement back to the state. The state re-allocated the money to another surrounding county.

Speaking of JDA..... I found it very interesting that the JDA has board members that serve on Camden Partnership. The JDA gave the money to Camden Partnership to give to the City of St. Marys for the appraisal for the airport property. Strange happenings with that JDA.