A Strange Day Indeed, Most Peculiar, Mama!

Was at Lake Luxembourg on Wednesday, not a lucky place for me lately. It was on my way there at the end of July when the Cooper broke down, which caused me a bunch of grief and still is in an indirect way.

Before getting into this week’s tale of woe, allow me to rant some about my latest crusade. Seems I’ll have to be raising hell to get my reimbursement for the extraneous towing charges after the car broke down again, throwing a serpentine belt that had been replaced at the Mini dealer a few weeks prior.

It was a hot afternoon in early August when the dilemma occurred. Without the belt, the car began to overheat immediately, at which time I shut it down and coasted into a parking lot.

My head felt like it was about to explode as well. Calling the Mini service department, which had just closed for the day, I left a heated message on their answering service, explaining my frustration and demanding someone call me up in the morning to make arrangements to fix the car. My needing a tow into the shop was added to the voice mail, for which I made it clear I wasn’t going to pay for the charge.

One of the service representatives called back right after I had hung up in a huff. He said not to worry about the towing bill, and to arrange to have it brought in the following morning, which I did.

They repaired it at no-charge. On the service receipt, a notation about their issuing a check to cover the towing would be sent to me in the mail. Ha! Where have I heard that before?

It’s now a month later and no check yet. I texted my service rep. She replied about going to reach out to the dealer’s accounting department to find out why no payment had been sent. Yesterday, I texted back to ask what the status was and got no response.

So, Monday, I’ll go and pay them a visit. I’d hate to have to take the dealership to small-claims court over this.

Getting back to Lake Luxembourg, upon my arrival to a favorite spot, a fisherman was crouched down out of sight on the other side of Woodbourne Rd. Bridge, with just the top of his head visible.

Keeping the car running with the air-conditioner on in the meantime, putting the big lens on the camera, I noticed him looking over at me a couple of times before he stood up and walked over to begin an unintelligible tirade about why I was photographing him.

“I’m not doing anything of the sort,” I said, shutting off the engine and getting out of the car. “I come here all the time to photograph the birds and wildlife.”

The man then started to rant unintelligibly again, saying something about taking pictures of “stupid birds,” and not understanding why people do it. He stomped back to his spot and began to gather his fishing poles and gear, all while going off on another rave about birds and mumbling expletives, throwing the stuff in the back of his vehicle before hopping in, screeching his tires, making a u-turn, and roaring off in the other direction.

I was a bit paranoid that he might return with a gun or something crazy.

The resident bald eagles were a no-show again. It’s been a while since I’ve seen them, and hope they’re still around. Got shots of the white egrets and blue herons that were hanging about instead.

A cormorant had been swimming close by since the time of the fisherman’s meltdown. I was able to get some nice shots with the big lens, and noticed something was stuck into its neck. Looking further at the photos, I determined it was a hook of some sort, attached to a small rope:


The poor bird looked up at me like it was hoping I could help him out, for which its sad eyes broke my heart.

No way could I have scaled the steep hill going down there alongside the bridge without killing myself.

The cormorant would have taken off probably anyway.

He made his way under the bridge to the other side of the lake.

While looking down, watching the critter swim off, I noticed a spider web with an arachnid planted in the center.

Leaning over the bridge’s railing, I took a few shots of the creepy crawler, as seen below:


Orb-weaving Spider

spider-Lake-Luxembourg-09-05-18-sA woman’s voice from off in the distance said, “Hey, are you all right?” I stood back upright and saw she was exiting an ambulance, walking across the road to where I was stationed.

“I’m fine. Why do you ask?”

“The way you were leaning over the bridge’s railing, I thought you were going to commit suicide by jumping in.” That cracked me up.

“Thanks for caring,” I said. She patted me on the shoulder and told me to be careful, heading back to her vehicle afterward.

“I was taking a few pictures of spiders,” I yelled over. “Want to see?”

“Ew, no way. I can’t stand them.” She smiled and drove off. Strange that someone who was an EMT couldn’t look at a measly spider.

I took some more photos of the lake’s avian wildlife. Spotted another cormorant on a log, standing there with two river cooters. It’s amazing how different species like that can get along. If a human approached them, they would all scatter in different directions.


Cormorant flanked by two river cooters in Lake Luxembourg

Still waiting for the eagles to show up, I noticed a male osprey was flying over from the opposite side of the lake. ‘Twas quite a surprise to see, as the majority of the raptors had left already on their trek south for the winter.


Male Osprey

With the bird heading straight towards me, I started shooting away, hoping to get some nice, close pictures when my camera’s shutter stopped operating, displaying an error message that read, “Release Shutter Button Again.” After pushing it about a hundred times to no avail, I packed up my stuff and headed to the camera-repair shop.

Just my luck the shutter-gear motor burned out. Cost for the repair was more than half the price of a new one, not to mention a three-week lead time, prompting me to purchase another camera online. I’m expecting it to arrive on Monday.

Maybe I should stay away from Lake Luxembourg for a while. Wednesday was certainly a strange day indeed.

At home and reviewing the photos taken that afternoon, especially while looking at that poor cormorant with the hook in its neck, made me think of that crazy fisherman. The bird wasn’t too far away from him when I looked down in the water while the wacko was performing his jeremiad.

Maybe he was the one who hooked that bird, I thought, unable to imagine what he would have done with it once captured. I wonder, what does cormorant meat taste like? Probably chicken. Shame on me for even thinking that.

Thanks for stopping by and reading this long-winded entry, if you made it to the end; and muchas gracias for your continued support.

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at Lulu.com.
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