Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Nature in my backyard and on the road
One morning at work, we discussed the meaning of certain animals running in front of our cars. For example, what does it mean when a beaver crosses in front of you? Well, we came up with a few R-rated meanings for that and for the filthy, mangy cat that ran out in front of my car that same week. The conversation came to mind today, as I had a deer leap out in front of my car, not close enough to scare me, but close enough to make me sit up. I know that black cats bring bad luck, but what does a deer crossing your path mean?
I grew up in a suburb of Boston where the only wildlife we had were skunks. Living further north, I have had a few close encounters with animals previously only seen on the safe side of a cage or fence. On the same road that I saw the deer this morning, I have had deer jumping out at least four other times. Just around the corner, on a state highway, I hit a moose, not head on, but his big butt tore off my side mirror and left a dent the length of the van. Then last year, we came home to find a bear at our bird feeder and if we don't use our grill for awhile, tenants such as the mouse above move in. Sometimes, we just need to see creatures up close and personal to remind us that we share the neighborhood with more than just the occupants in the houses.
We can't let our cats out of the house because we have a creek in our backyard that leads to a beaver pond. Among the beavers in our swampy woods, there are fisher cats. These weasels are notorious for killing smaller animals, even though I read an article that indicated owls may be the predator attacking cats. Either way, my spoiled pets stay indoors while the rest of the wild life enjoy my backyard. In writing about my little spot on planet earth, I am curious, what critters share your space?