The visitors to my little piece of Heaven are many and varied. All are welcome, well, aside from the snakes, but they just seem to leave their skins behind like ghostly, translucent calling cards, and that’s fine by me. As I told my son years ago when he was campaigning for a pet snake, “I prefer my animals fluffy.” The ‘lake’ (think pond) behind my house seems to draw quite the assortment of critters. Some, but not all, have posed for me. The woman we bought this house from said that sitting on the lanai looking out at the lake was like taking a tranquilizer, and mostly that’s true. But closer inspection through the zoom lens reveals the daily carnage going on out there. I take pictures of the hawks because they are beautiful, and then realize that as I’m happily clicking away they are tearing some other poor creature limb from limb. And eating them! The Little Blue Herons and egrets take quite a toll on the frog population. One day we had a mysterious swimmer, who I thought looked like a bear cub, or a wild pig, but turned out to be nothing more than a run-of-the-mill possum. And then there are the Sandhill cranes! To me they are the royalty of the lakeside population.