Snow Drops

Sixty degree weather in February has created some unique opportunities for me this year.  While it’s not quite late enough for much of anything to be growing or flowering, there are some typical early bloomers that appear almost out of place without a blanket of snow on the ground and nippy air on the nose. Continue reading “Snow Drops”

Red Squirrel

A stroll down a suburban alley reveals remarkable wildlife.

The sun rises laboriously in September, battling the recent chilly mornings along with the multitude of goosebumped commuters. Continue reading “Red Squirrel”

Feral America

catgrass

The cat is a wild animal that inhabits the homes of humans.
-Konrad Lorenz, Man Meets Dog

Fresh snow lies on every surface and the nighttime temperature dips to around 20°F.  As I do nearly every night, I strap a leash on my dog and we head out the door for a short walk around the neighborhood.  Depending on what time we leave, we see a surprising amount of wildlife just within the suburbs.

The usual group of eight white-tailed deer or the smaller family of three can be found browsing at night in the football field of the local middle school.  Raccoons and opossums are denizens of the bushes and strips of forest around railroad tracks.  I’ve seen screech owls waiting near lampposts for moths or rodents to scuttle by.  I’ve even heard of coyote sightings in the neighborhood–which is not unlikely for the elusive canid to hunt suburbs for food.  Every now and then, I have seen a red fox take to hunting in the nooks where shrews, voles, mice, or nesting young rabbits may be found.  Though, nowadays, I see the fox less and less. Continue reading “Feral America”