This guy showed up today, or maybe just showed himself for the first time this season. He's about five feet long and looks like no one I'd like to get to know up close. I worry about our duck friends but they seem to know how to stay clear and have mostly taken up residence outside the pond.
Here is the part about being outside that is kind of the opposite of looking at flowers up close. Here is an example of an amazing animal who really needs his space. We humans have clearly decided we are going to build vacation homes in his front and back yards. It doesn't matter that the grass is cut, the flowers are tended and the pool is cleaned, this guy lives here. Welcome to my house, he seems to say. Healthy respect, I think. And no feeding the ducks.