A Blessing of Wild Things

We’ve had an explosion of wildlife sightings in our neighborhood, most of them by Walking Partner and her family across the street. In April alone they have observed a great horned owl in a tree just south of their house, a hawk’s nest in the yard to their north, and this past weekend, a fox in their back yard–at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. (I’ve had foxes in my yard, too, but I have to get up at 5:30 a.m. to see them. This is soooo not fair…)

Tonight it was my turn.

Today was the first full day of sun for as long as anyone can remember, and even though I went for a brief walk earlier, I went out again after supper. Heading back home about 20 minutes before sunset, I saw, in the space of eight minutes:

  • One Little Blue Heron, in flight above the trees along the Menomonee River. I know it was a heron because its neck had the characteristic S curve, and I suspect it’s the same one Walking Partner and I watched by the bridge last summer. Little Blue heron aren’t supposed to live this far north but apparently this one hadn’t gotten the memo.
  • One coyote (my first ever, a moment of major squee!!!). It trotted across the parkway toward the river and disappeared into the underbrush, which was not that much of a trick since the coyote was the same color as the bushes, which have not yet leafed out.

All I need to make this a perfect walk, I thought, are a couple of deer. And three minutes later I passed the sledding hill and there they were, two does browsing in the soccer field at the foot of the hill..

It has been a long, long winter in my part of the world. While winter and gloom and rain make for great writing weather, lately I have been running pretty much on empty.

I think things are about to change.

© 2011 Anne Bingham and Making It Up as I Go

This entry was posted in Notes from the Neighborhood and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to A Blessing of Wild Things

  1. Amy Lou says:

    Just a little further up the river, Prairie chickens, Great blues, and wild turkey too! We need these blessings. Thanks for sharing.


    • Anne Bingham says:

      I knew there were turkeys around, because a couple of years ago Walking Partner reported seeing a pair crossing 76th Street near the library. (That led to much discussion about why the wild turkeys crossed the road…) I thought they were from the County Grounds, but I haven’t seen any in all the years I’ve been walking this end of the parkway. Now I know they were just in the neighborhood to return some overdue books.


  2. anna says:

    How exciting! I always feel these kinds of sightings must be good omens of some sort. On my way into work I sometimes spot geckoes, galahs, little king parrots and a rabbit or two. If I see all of the above, I feel pretty sure it’s going to be an excellent sort of day 🙂


  3. Anne M Leone says:

    Ohhh, sounds like such an amazing walk! How exciting to see nature all around you like that.


  4. Becky says:

    I’ve seen a lot of wild turkeys this spring (and no, I’m not talking about my children).


  5. Well, you’re welcomed to my wild turkeys. I heard an army of them with their goofy, gurgling call, yesterday, in the woods. They’ve already begun eating the hostas down to nubs.

    The coolest siting I had was a bobcat in my backyard. As he sauntered up from the woods, I thought he was our neighbor’s manx. As he got closer, I thought their cat must have gained some weight. Then I saw the little tufts on his chin. I was up on the deck so only a few yards away. He was gorgeous. And oh, so entitled, like he owned the place. I gathered this wasn’t his first time through.

    So, you want cranberry with those turkeys? Hmm?


    • Anne Bingham says:

      Bobcat! So cool. We have those in WI, too–apparently about 2500–but mostly in the northern counties, occasionally in the north central counties. I’ve never seen one or even read a report of a sighting.


  6. MaryWitzl says:

    We regularly see deer, owls, badgers, and herons here, and the occasional fox and red squirrel too, but there are no coyotes. I’d give a LOT to see a bobcat, though I’ll bet my cats wouldn’t.

    It makes my day to see deer running through a field or sparrow hawks hovering in the sky. Even though I’ve seen loads of them now, I’m always thrilled.


    • Anne Bingham says:

      I’d give a lot to see a badger in the wild! Wisconsin is known as the Badger State not because there are so many around but because of the Cornish miners who settled in the southwestern area. Badgers dig, miners dig… But the only badger I’ve seen not associated with a UW sports team has been in the zoo.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s