There's a nursery in the shelter belt, that protective strip of trees and bushes across the pasture. When the golden eastern sun slants across the landscape in the morning, split into beams that finger through the trees, I can see speckled, tawny colored bodies, flapping ears, dark noses, and soft eyes. Families of does and fawns waking up, getting up, stretching their limbs, nosing and nibbling the first dewy grasses of the day. (By evening, they're right here in the yard, eating the green lawn, of course.)
Then, there's the gray squirrel (or, most probably a whole family of them) who lives in the trees, creekside, who runs along the fence top, hops to the branch that crosses the creek, leaps to its trunk and runs down it, almost within reach of Nellie, who's been watching its every move. They have a heated conversation about whose property this is, and off he goes just before she can snatch him.
It's probably not that the hummingbirds have just this summer found our place, but that just this summer I've had flower-filled window boxes for the first time, and I've finally seen them on the regular. Turns out, flower-filled window boxes are a proven favorite place for these nectar sipping tiny birds to have a sweet snack. With only a thin pane of glass separating us, I've had the best seat from which I could watch them hover and sip from flower to flower to flower.
In the darkness of warm summer nights, through the open windows we can hear the coyotes' howling and raucous laughter from their sometimes hang-out at the top of a nearby hill. We're neighbors to a wild, late-night party in the animal world, or so it seems.
Then, there's the occasional skunk, the occasional raccoon, the occasional mountain lion, and the occasional black bear that wander through - all best that they are occasional sightings, of course.
Part of living well is being part of the animal world that surrounds us. It's waiting, it's watching, it's seeing what circles of life lie just beyond our own. It's noticing our neighboring creatures and observing their rhythms and habits. It's smiling in the middle of a busy day because, look out your window, and there they are.
What wild things live outside your windows? Do you have a daily practice of noticing them?
Here, I write on living well. Where tasteful design and simple living meet in an inspired, organic way.
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