Friday, May 10, 2013

It came from the woods...

A wooded lot has its advantages. Privacy; shade; a pretty summertime view.

But it also means you have an overabundance of wildlife.

Our move to our current house was, technically, a lateral suburban move. We sold a house with woods in the backyard leading down to a well-travelled road on a cul-de-sac street; we bought a house with woods in the backyard leading down to a well-travelled road on a cul-de-sac street. We had birds and squirrels a-plenty outside our old house, and were thrilled one spring when we spotted a deer in our back woods. A deer! How exotic!

When we moved, we moved to an older suburb a little further north and a little closer to the city. We can hear the hum of an interstate highway and another major artery when our windows are open. I figured our deer-spotting days were over. I was sad to leave "the country."

Little did I know we would practically have a nature preserve on our backyard.

In the two years we've lived there, we have seen on our property...

Chipmunks. Large snakes that flee into open garages and have to be killed by the Kona Ice man. Lots of deer. Owls. Hawks. Woodpeckers. Turkey vultures. Frogs. (We currently have one living in a little hole in front of the front porch. Nothing gets your heart started like reaching to fill in a hole in your landscaping and having a large amphibian eye blink back at you.) Bats. A very rare salamander. And, as of last night, wild turkeys.

At this point, I would not be surprised to see the trees moving one day and watch a polar bear with a Dharma logo emerge from the greenery. If not a polar bear, maybe an Ewok. The view from my deck looks a lot like the green moon of Endor.

On our honeymoon years ago, we went to Gatlinburg. Being city-dwellers, we drove and hiked all the well-known wildlife-viewing trails in search of deer and bears and bobcats--oh my! All we saw were some feral kittens and lots of red squirrels. We should have just stayed in and taken a scenic tour of the wilds of our home county.

I am sure that eventually the wildlife spottings will get to be common-place. A turkey wandering through the backyard will not cause all of us to pause our dinner and stare out the kitchen window in awe of an awkward creature that's technically a bird but seems to defy God's blueprint for flying animals. We'll just shrug it off as another day in the life and then go out and check our chipmunk traps and be sure to wear shoes when stepping out into the garage.

In the meantime, I can't help but echo the words of Charlie Pace:

"Guys...Where are we?"

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