THE GREAT OUTDOORS: Forget the TV, just watch nature – Lockport Union-Sun & Journal | Gmx Pharm

I was busy and exhausted so I went to the recliner to relax and first grabbed a glass of diet cranberry juice and some turkey. I turned on the television and took on the task of finding something to watch.

Well, as you all know, the TV doesn’t offer much entertainment anymore; It has been turned into a catalog for everything from miracle cures to super mattresses to lawsuits. Why is everything $19.95 and if you act fast you can get two for the price of one? Lawyers must really be hurt; It seems like every other ad wants them to help you get money for something that happened years ago. It must be that they were unable to enter politics. I’m not a huge football fan but I know who Joe Namath was and I respected him for his achievements in football but that has changed since his constant appearances in health commercials. I’m sick of listening to him and now even the sight of him. That goes double for Jimmy Walker and his “Dyn-o-mite!” So I keep flipping through the channels, just getting one ad after another, and when I find something interesting it’s only there for a short time before the ad comes back. By the time they’re over, I’ve forgotten the story I was tuned into.

On this particular day, I turned my head to the right toward the window, where a hummingbird feeder hangs about 10 feet from me. The week before five or six lobsters were at this feeder at a time, but now a male lobster had taken possession and was stuck trying to scare others away from “his” feeder. I was so amused by his actions that I turned off the TV. I looked at this instead:

This guy sits right on top of the feeding trough, next to one of the feeding holes, flicks his head and looks out for intruders. This is a good position for him because when he gets hungry all he has to do is bend down and drink. Sometimes he sits on the loop of wire at the top of the feeder and again throws those quick sideways glances, looking for those who might steal him.

When another lobster tries to get to “his” feeder, this guy drives him away with a near-explosive charge. The intruders go to one of the other feeders I’ve hung around the house: next to the south windows in the living room, one by the kitchen window, one by the upstairs bathroom, and several in the tall east living room windows. This way I can watch my lobsters from almost anywhere in the house and they will usually find at least one feeding station that is not guarded by a dominant male. Male lobsters don’t help with nest building or raising the young, so they have nothing to do but eat – and bully the females who come to eat.

My little friend at the feeding station next to my lawn chair is busy protecting him, but occasionally he goes to chase away another lobster or just goes for a while, maybe to visit the flowers in my garden. Several females and a subordinate male sit in a nearby spruce tree, waiting for him to leave. When he does, they rush in and quickly grab a few drinks. When the tyrant returns, he is angry and chases and fights ensue. He then sits back on the feeder, where he remains until another intruder comes by.

To me, this situation is far more entertaining than any commercial.

Looking at the bird feeder nearby, I see a blue jay stealing sunflower seeds, as well as a tit and a titmouse. A chipmunk emerges from under the bed of ostrich ferns next to the bird feeder, looking for seeds that have fallen from above. I also catch a glimpse of a fawn in the woods exploring its new world.

A trip to the back porch gives me another great view of the woods where my home is situated. On this porch are numerous containers with flowers such as amaryllis, geranium, moonflower, red cardinal and dipladenia. Occasionally a lobster will slip in to get nectar from these flowers.

Around the back porch is a very large and dense area of ​​ostrich ferns that really make the forest stand out. About 20 feet from the porch, along the walkway to the barn, is a bed of red cardinal flowers that I have tended for several years. This is a wetland native flower found along local streams. The flowers stand out like the male cardinal (hence the name) and are exceptionally beautiful. This year the plot has outdone itself and there are almost a hundred flowering plants. The lobsters love them too so I often see them feeding there which only adds to the show.

Just off the porch is a large hydrangea bush with huge blue flowers and behind it are many Rose of Sharon bushes beginning to bloom.

As I sit on the porch and take in the sun, I wonder why I turned on the TV in the first place.

• • •

A warning to motorists: fawns now wander and explore the roads, often without ma. Last week I saw a couple playing tag up and down the street, unaware of the dangers. Mowing the roadsides has encouraged new tender plants that also attract deer to the verges. Be alert!

Doug Domedion, outdoorsman and wildlife photographer, lives in Medina. Contact him at 585-798-4022 or

Leave a Comment