Buddy Can You Spare a Grub?

Picture a third grade “get to know nature” class at Kapaa elementary school. The teacher asks the students, “What do butterflies really like?” The class enthusiastically shouts out, ” Crown trees!!”
( We learned that yesterday right?). Now the teacher goes for what she thinks is the tough question….” And what do egrets really like?” These kids have grown up here on Kauai and know the score so they don’t miss a beat….”Lawn mowers!!!, ” they cry out in unison.

It’s true. What crown trees are to butterflies, lawn mowers are to egrets. Now I am sure, in the distant past, prior to humans populating all about, if an egret heard a tree branch break in the woods, he or she would go check out the sound, knowing there is a good chance for some bug lunch where the branch turned up the dirt. And when a heavy rain soaked an area, all those tasty insects floated up to the surface and it was an all you can eat bug buffet.

Now the gene pool has been irrevocably altered. If a tree branch breaks the birds get the hell out of the way, if it rains-hey go find a dry place. But let a lawn mower engine rev up and you are number one in the egrets Fine Dining on Kauai Guide. The bigger the lawn mower the better. “Cut a wide swath, Big Boy we be hungry…” I’ve counted up to thirty egrets following Aaron around the Sanctuary as he was mowing, making a great tossed salad of greens and grubs. Yum. I worry about the birds if we permanently run out of gasoline and we have to go back to sheep and goats to keep the lawns down.

They are rather Keystone Cop-like I must say. Elegance in the air rarely translates to the ground. They chase and dart and dodge the lawn tractor and fear not the human operating the food processor. I had just a few friends show up as I mowed the 140 House yard today. Not many, but enough of them to pass on a photo and some trivia you don’t really need to know.

Thanks for taking some LIP from me,


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