img_0869

She’s not the first to go. Others in the sunflower patch with petals clamped and far from unfurled have been decapitated before her, but she was the first to go in full and fantastic bloom. When I was confronted with this end result done last night no doubt by the neighborhood raccoon, I was at first saddened.

Reconstructing the theft I imagine the agile, dexterous animal scaled the fence and balanced upon it while reaching out to this the nearest available flower that it then pulled close enough to bite off its business end. A disturbance in the surface of the soil of the pot of basil growing below it, belied where the flower landed when the raccoon lost its grip on the thing. Climbing down it dug it out and made off with its prize.

But to where I knew not. A few few withered yellow petals lay on the ground and one more on the fence’s cross rail, but the trail quickly went cold after that. I suspect it climbed back up with the flower firmly in its jaws and made for thicker higher foliage.

Like I said at the top, this glummed me some. It was a beautiful flower in its prime — the second biggest of the bunch (and home to the crab spider I wrote about in yesterday’s post — who I thankfully found unharmed and camped out in the smaller blossom of the same plant). There was a lot of life left and a lot of stuff to keep the bees drawn and busy. Now it’s no more.

But then I realized the death wasn’t in vain. Just as the flower nourished and sustained  a variety of insects, now it has served another creature in the circle of life.

There’s some consolation in that.