He lost it a month or so ago now, when I first mopped the dining room floor with orange oil. I moved our inflatable bed and there was the little green tail, maybe 2 inches long and still wiggling.
Since then I’ve been able to easily identify Jeffrey, my pet gecko, amongst the dozens of geckos that live at our place. I believe he lost his tail in a gecko skirmish, of which there are many. It’s growing back now.
Jeffrey has spent lots of time with me in the kitchen this last week as we prepared for Hurricane Ana – which swung south and missed us but gave us lots of rain and a reason to cook and clean.
We have no cat yet – inflatable beds and the responsibility for a domesticated animal are my reasons. Still, oddly enough, I don’t feel pet-less. When I moved half of a plastic Home Depot shelving unit into the middle of the kitchen as a work island,
Jeffrey hopped on and looked right at me, his little throat pulsing. Time to bake again, he said. It’s been so long. I’d like a brownie to go with my Coke, thank you very much.
I baked brownies, and they were good.
So it’s Sunday morning, and I’m baking again. Cookies this time. The Bearded One sits at our little table and reads the newspaper. I woke him early when I thought the water pump might be on fire. It bangs and thumps like a dragon under the house, which is normal, but the smoke smell isn’t.
Turns out it was vog and smoke from the Pahoa lava flow 10 miles away. All the rain on the lava and burning forest.
I smelled it earlier on our walk, too, though it was beginning to dissipate. The air was saturated and there were three dead Cane Toads on the road, lured out by all the water and squished by cars.
They’re big toads, the size of a baseball glove, and I considered having one as a pet. Lizards, dragons, toads — what’s next? It’s starting to feel a bit like Harry Potter around here.
Jeffrey isn’t around as I get out the baking supplies, so I call for him. The Bearded One laughs from his chair.
Just then I look up and see the flash of a giant wing out the kitchen window. “Look there!” I say. “I can’t believe it!”
The bird is very large and has settled in an ohia tree 20 yards from the window. I can’t see its face, but there are feathers flying everywhere as it jams its beak into the prey. Which I see is another bird.
“Is it a hawk?” The Bearded One sees the beak now, which looks like an eagle to me. And the head is white.
“It’s mid-morning, how could it be an owl?” I say, but I grab the camera and race outside.
I circle around and snap numerous pictures, but I’m not sure it’s an owl until she looks straight at me.
It is an owl. She continues to eat her dove as I watch. I talk to her. She lets me take her picture straight on. She is wild and she is no pet but she is happy to see me, too.
There are only two kinds of owls in Hawaii, the Barn Owl and the Pueo or the Hawaiian Owl which is endangered. About a week ago what I guess to be this very owl flew right in front of us on an early dusk walk, flapped once and took a right turn.
Whatever kind this owl is, I hope she comes again.