Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Animal Sightings

Had two interesting animal sightings lately. Lucy‘s favorite place to explore is the back corner of our property - the wilderness area. It‘s wet ~ after the heavy rains it‘s actually swampy. It's full of grasses and wildflowers and wild plants. Good cover for animals and it has homes for field mice and other small critters for the larger ones to hunt. We get deer that come through from the woods and cornfields behind us. When we first moved here, there were often pheasants in the fall, although I haven‘t heard them for a few years now.

One day we walked around the corner and I thought what is that big, gray blob? Then I saw the long neck and the head and realized it was a blue heron. I was surprised - although it‘s wet, there's no pond and definitely no fish. It moved from the open area to the back of the high plants, so you really couldn't see it unless you were looking. It stayed for a few hours and we were getting concerned that it might be hurt. But it flew away quite effortlessly, so I guess it was just hanging out and resting. I've never been so close to a heron before - it was HUGE!

Lucy would like to go out in the morning when it's still dark, but I make her wait until it’s at least brightening. One morning when we rounded the corner I saw a red fox trotting through the grassy open area to the back, thick area which leads to the woods. I heard a fox passing through the yard one morning when it was still dark-it sounded like a high-pitched dog bark. It must have been moving fast because I heard one loud bark and then two, getting fainter as it was moving off. It certainly woke up Lucy and I put her out in the yard with the light on, but it was long gone by then. It does explain why we're seeing very few rabbits in the last month or so.

One year a red fox had babies underneath our shed. Boy, were they cute! They'd come out at dusk and play, chasing each other and wrestling - just like a litter of puppies. Maybe this one is the offspring of one of those pups.

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