Another Piece of the Picture

     Yes, nature is comforting and inspiring.  But it is also painful and cruel.  And the suffering of creatures is as necessary to creating the abundant life on earth as is any other aspect of life.

    I thank Earth Connection reader Joan Brundage for sending me the following moving account of a life and death drama she witnessed in Arizona in late May.–April Moore

     “Last weekend was such a nature weekend for me!  On Monday, Alan and I heard some terrified birds screaming and turned the corner in a garden to witness a Gopher snake wending its way up a Palo Verde tree  into a White Winged Dove nest to eat two baby doves.  The mother dove just watched this from further out on the branch.  Birds are naturally terrified of snakes.  It was heart wrenching to see. 

     Afterwards, the mother flew back to the nest, and just stood there, folding and unfolding her wings, as she looked in the empty nest for her babies.  I know she was grieving.  She hung around the nest for quite a while and was still there when Alan and I moved on.  These will probably be her only chicks for the year as White Winged Doves usually only hatch two chicks per year. 

     I know that the snake had to eat too, and this is part of nature’s balancing act.  Still, it’s hard to observe.”





3 Responses to “Another Piece of the Picture”

  1. Joan Brundage Says:

    Thanks for sharing my story with your readers, April. Your photos are beautiful.

  2. Nancy Says:

    I would have scared the snake off. I know it is the way of nature but I could never have stood by and watched something that I don’t like eat baby birds. I have scared them off before and have no problem with saving white doves lives. Two babies a year and tons of serpents to eat them. A skewed balance in nature there. It made my stomach churn when I read innocent babies being served for dinner.

  3. April Says:

    Yes, I think I too would have tried to scare off the snake if I could. I have the same gut feeling. Even though it’s ‘the way of nature,’ my love for birds would have made me want to defend them.

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