Thursday, July 23, 2009

Walking With Wildlife


Barred Owl and Little Bllue HeronThere is just something magical about finding a feather. The blue-grey one I recently found floating on the river as I kayaked. The Wacissa was full of Little Blue Herons that day and so I am guessing it was from one of them.  The other feather I found on my morning walk around our neighborhood. This is a Barred Owl feather. We hear Barred Owls several times a week. We love  them and love to hear them, especially in the early spring when they are calling for mates and make quite the ruckus with their variety of eerie sounds.

I have been seeing quite a bit of wildlife as I walk this summer. If I am a “good girl,” I walk in both the morning and evening when school is out. This also increases the chance that I will see interesting things. In one day last week, I saw a grey fox (in the morning!), a Barred Owl and a deer. This was my fourth sighting of the fox, but the other times were in the evening. It was my first ever sighting of a deer in our neighborhood, though I have seen deer in areas around our neighborhood and with as many woods and wetlands as we have around here, I knew they must occasionally come into our neighborhood. The deer was in  the backyard of a house, browsing on the branches of a large oak that had come down in a storm. It was about 7:30 in the morning and I was downwind and we were both startled by seeing each other. She ran off and I walked on.

We have seen armadillos. Raccoons are common. There are always Red-shouldered Hawks and, in the summer, the Mississippi Kites are very visible, nesting in tall pines. Yellow-billed Cuckoos and Great Crested Flycatchers are commonly heard but rarely seen. One morning, I was surprised to see a Cattle Egret picking bugs out of a lawn.

So with all this entertainment, who would ever want to walk a treadmill?

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