Posted tagged ‘Wildlife’

“This squirrel is inadequately afraid of humans! Squirrel, I am a threat to you! We are enemies! Please get off my bench! Oh, god! Oh, god! Don’t touch me—oh, god!”

June 7, 2015

All glorious adjectives are springing from my dancing fingers to describe the morning. The sun is where are my sunglasses bright and the sky is the bluest blue in any palette. It is warm, the warmest in a long while. I can hear my deck calling. My book is nearly finished so it and I will amble outside later to enjoy this lovely day. Gracie is already outside and has been all morning. That is one smart puppy!

Two red spawns have found each other, and I’m thinking they’re spooning. This morning both of the red beasties were on my deck eating at the bird feeders. They ran as soon as I grabbed my hose. Later they were chasing each other up and down branches and tree trunks. That’s all I need, a family of spawns living in my backyard.

I used to think squirrels were cute standing on their hind legs begging for peanuts when I visited the Boston Public Garden. They were everywhere running and chasing each other. I think they were the first wildlife I ever fed when I was little. My dad would give me a bag of peanuts in the shell and once a peanut appeared hordes of squirrels ran and stood all around me hoping for one. I’d throw a peanut or two and the crowd of squirrels would head to the thrown nut. I thought it was fun, but then again I was too young to realize I was perpetuating a species of spawns.

My backyard has attracted a variety of animals. I saw a coyote back there a couple of times but not since the fence. Inside the fence there has been the giant raccoon, the spraying skunk, the playing dead possum, the baby grey squirrel chattering at me as I saved it from the mighty hunter, Gracie, and a mouse. The last one was sort of funny. Both Gracie and the mouse were around a tree trunk-one chasing and the other being chased. It reminded me of the tigers running around the tree until they turned to butter. I finally grabbed Gracie and the mouse ran to safety. I expect both were a bit dizzy.

“As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!!”

January 17, 2013

Yesterday it poured all day, but off-Cape had snow so I’m not complaining. Miss Gracie and I did a dump run, and I didn’t even bother to change out of my flannel pants and sweat shirt. The dump was pretty empty in the rain.

The mouse count is now 14. Two got caught yesterday: one in the plastic trap and one in the have-a-heart. I have a story. The one in the plastic trap was making so much noise scratching and banging that it woke me up. I wanted to sleep in peace so I decided, despite the dark and the rain, to take it outside. I walked across the street, my usual deportation spot, and was about to open the trap when I heard, “Hello.” I just about jumped out of my skin. I turned around and all I saw was a light, not a flashlight but a bigger light. “Who is it?” I asked. “Billy,” was the answer. It was my neighbor carrying the light, an umbrella and a huge cup of steaming coffee. He was walking Cody, his dog. I asked the time. It was six o’clock. He wanted to know why I was in the rain, in the dark at six o’clock. I told him about my mice. He said he was sorry.

When I was a kid, I never did see much wildlife where I lived, maybe a skunk or two but that was about it. We saw cows at the farm and animals at the zoo but nothing exciting in the woods. Here on the Cape I’ve seen deer, rabbits, foxes, wild turkeys, coyotes and the common skunks, raccoons and ugly opossums, though that last one is redundant. I didn’t mention the spawns on purpose. The coyotes are common but usually at night or early morning. I used to see them on my way to work. They all looked healthy. I know one is around here when the rabbits disappear and when I can hear the horrible screams of the prey when the coyotes hunt. I never worried about Gracie as she is too big to interest a coyote. A friend once saw a coyote dragging her small dog by its hind quarters trying to take it. The dog was crying and scratching the ground in an attempt to get some traction to run. My friend saved her dog who only had a few bite marks. Another friend’s dog, another small dog, was attached to an overhead line in the backyard. The coyote grabbed the dog in its mouth and ran. When they got to the end of the line, the dog popped right out of the coyote’s mouth and was saved. The wild turkeys are the most fun to watch. They travel in fairly large groups, fluff their tail feathers as they run and make all sorts of noises. They’re now pretty common, but the first time I saw them I stopped my car to watch.

Wild turkeys can fly unlike the ones on WKRP in Cincinnati, a program I used to love. I’ll never forget the program entitled Turkeys Away. In a Thanksgiving promotion the station decided to give away turkeys and to drop them from a helicopter.

“It’s a helicopter, and it’s coming this way. It’s flying something behind it, I can’t quite make it out, it’s a large banner and it says, uh – Happy… Thaaaaanksss… giving! … From … W … K … R… P!! No parachutes yet. Can’t be skydivers… I can’t tell just yet what they are, but – Oh my God, Johnny, they’re turkeys!! Johnny, can you get this? Oh, they’re plunging to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, the humanity! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Not since the Hindenburg tragedy has there been anything like this!”