Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Another Encounter with Nature -- Part 2

       It was actually several months ago, but I would like to remember the fact that I had an encounter with deer in a suburban setting, on the outskirts of a town part, similar to the above photograph.
     I was actually driving along, in a part of town that skirts around "Wildwood" Park, when I noticed something starting to move, off to the side of the road. It was actually an adult deer and three smaller deer, at least two of them with the visible white spots of a fawn. Mother and children were getting ready to cross the road, and it was still daylight out, though later in the afternoon. I've spoken to a local person about this, Becky at "Curves,"and she pointed out her daughter recently moved to a more remote town, Snowville, and she's actually had a black bear right in her yard!
     Are we encroaching more and more on wild animal habitat (or could it be the other way around)? Running between natural wilderness corridors, I suppose that makes it more possible to see deer in town. I hear in some places they vote to get rid of deer by extending the hunting season, because they think they are becoming pests in their gardens. I don't have a woods around me (so no big animals in the garden), but my neighbor has complained of rabbits in hers. I did see deer one night as I was driving home from work, and they looked like they were headed to the cemetery. What, to visit a friend? There are big trees at the nearest cemetery, too high I think for them to reach the branches, but maybe they were going to eat some grass and shrubs instead. Deer seem to be amazingly fearless, until you start moving toward them. They are the gentle creatures of the woods and we should appreciate their presence, because they are a reminder we still have nature quite close to our door, if we would but let it in.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Some Glimpses of Nature Part 1

     It-- he or she, traveling so fast I couldn't tell which -- stared straight at me as I cracked open the front door of the house to let the cat in. Sammie -- our cat, named after Samantha Brady of "Days of Our Lives" TV fame -- didn't seem to notice that barely above the hedges partly in front of the walkway in front of the house and slightly above my eye level was (gosh)  a hummingbird (we're talking back in July, not now in January). It was a female, a ruby throated hummingbird (many birds being dimorphic) looking at me. She was in her helicopterlike position, as though she were waiting for me to throw her some bread crumbs. Close to my front door is also a tall, gangly rose bush. Maybe she had tried for some nectar from those red flowers before it decided to just hover by my front door? I couldn't tell. But in 15 seconds she suddenly "zipped" away. Too bad we didn't have a feeder out front.
     Our neighbors had a tree of Sharon and a sugar water hummingbird feeder out front, but I believe they were in the process of cutting it down. After that I didn't see any more hummingbirds. They are very fast wing flappers and one wonders how they keep their energy up, especially in winter, when most of them do travel south to warmer climes. As long as we have "sugar" feeders and deep, nectar filled birds the hummingbirds will survive, though I'm also told, like other birds, they will wolf down tiny insects too. The early bird literally "does" catch the worm, and eat it too!