“Good morning duckies!”
A beautiful fall day. The sun is shining and the temperature is 55°F. The ducks are anxious to go outside. They always are. “Quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack, let us out!” I open the coop door. “Quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack, must eat slugs and bugs and worms and spoiled tomatoes!”
I usher them out into the pasture. It’s a pretty long walk through one field, down a little alleyway between our property and the neighbors’ and out into an area we refer to as “Paddock Six”, their stomping grounds. One of the Magpies has a limp. She’s had it for several weeks now, and it seems to come and go on a whim. We’re monitoring it.
As the ducks and the guinea are settling into their hunting and foraging routine, a Peregrine Falcon flies over and lets out a squeak or two. Our birds all stop what they’re doing, cock their heads to one side (most birds, besides owls, do not have stereoscopic vision), watch it for second and take a precautionary step or two toward the lean-to. The falcon lands in a Douglas Fir about 100 yards away and, since the food chain apparently isn’t in any danger of moving up for the time being, the ducks resume looking for tasties.
The falcon starts to make a ruckus, flying up, squeaking, and diving at an adjacent fir. Up flies a bigger bird, probably a Red Tail Hawk. Our birds don’t miss a beat and beat feet to the lean-to. No sitting ducks, they. But the hawk flies off to the southeast, the falcon returns to the top of the fir, and our birds come over for a drink of the fresh water I just put in their buckets.
Although it seems to me that they’d be easy pickings, we’ve never lost a duck to a bird of prey; and I’ve seen Red Tails, Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles circling over their paddock (knock on wood). Must be some great thermals coming up from that little area, and maybe they prefer gophers.
“Have a great day, kids, and be safe.”
As I’m scrolling through tables at Stars last night I see a room that has 86% participation rate and one seat open. I pounce on it. The first hand I play I am on the button with 5s. A mid-position player raises 3 X BB, the CO calls, as do I. The flop is Q 10 5, two clubs. The opening player c-bets, the CO calls, and I double the pot. The opener folds and the CO calls. The turn is a King and the CO jams with his last $12. A straight? A set of kings? I have $6 left. I have a sinking feeling as I call. I pray the board pairs and it does with another King, and I am momentarily relieved, until he turns over two 10s.
I reload, and the very next hand I pick up 5s again and a set on the flop. I make about a buck on the hand. A few hands later, a set of sixes on the flop. No takers. Meanwhile, the guy with the bigger boat is playing almost every hand I cannot be in, and taking it down. His avatar is blonde in a bikini. She has a boob job. It is too difficult to describe, yet somehow I feel like I am being mocked. He comes in with a min-raise from the CO and I call with Q 10. The flop comes with all small cards coordinated. He makes another 2 X BB bet and I fold. He shows 79 off, has paired his seven and is open-ended.
I limp off for the safety of Poker Academy. I triple up in twenty hands.