Monday, June 08, 2009

24 Hours of Wild Animals

First of all, I know I haven't posted for six months. I know. Believe me, it's on my mind constantly. (Mom reminds me on a very regular basis just in case it isn't already on my mind.) The upside of the situation is that not too many exciting things have happened. Just the same old same old (not to diminish the importance of any of them): Work, home repairs, church, going to the doctor, searching for new doctors... Lather. Rinse. Repeat and repeat and repeat... But, even that has felt like too much most of the time.

There haven't been too many events that are different than what has happened in the last year of posting. But, there may be some big things happening in the upcoming months, so I will try to record them here. We'll see. I'll give it my best ol' college try in the midst of trying my best to juggle the basics.

I don't know why I'm even posting this. But, I realize posting anything will maybe help me get back in the swing of things here on the blog. So, I'm going to do it. This past weekend, we had a surprise 60th birthday party for Mom, and it was a really fun day. (More on that later after our family members share pictures with each other.)

However, after the party, Cousin Kayla and I started heading home. We first had to pull out the stakes that were placed on specific corners in Mom's hometown to direct friends and family to the party. When we went to remove the last one on the state route, we saw a family of raccoons. A parent and some baby raccoons were walking along in a row in the moonlight while climbing out of the culvert. That's always a nice sight to see. Very cute.

The very busy day had worn me out, so I was struggling to stay awake during the long drive home. But, as we were just 10 miles out of Edwardsville, something made me perk up quickly. I saw an auto ahead (facing us) with its hazard lights on. When we came closer to the SUV, we could see that a young deer was standing in the middle of the opposite lane just a few feet in front of the SUV and looking over its shoulder as if it were waiting for family and friends to cross the road to catch up to him. I backed up the car to speak to the driver to ask what was going on. He explained that he had called the police because the deer had been standing there in the same position for about 30 minutes. The situation was odd. But, it was interesting to see such a beautiful young deer standing at such a close distance.

The next day, we had a blessed time at church, but Cousin Kayla and I left earlier than expected because both of us were very tired from the previous day. Before exiting the parking lot, we both wondered what happened to the deer from the previous night... only to pull out onto the hard road and see two baby bunnies in the church yard.

I immediately commented on how interesting it was to see so many baby animals in such a short time and joked to ask Kayla if she had any guesses on what we'd see next. No quicker than the words left my mouth, I slammed on the brakes right there on the offramp of route 143. That's because a parent and baby woodchuck were right in the middle of the road. We both laughed so hard as the woodchucks scurried off.

I continued on my way into campus to drop off Kayla... when I saw the largest wild turkey I have ever seen in the grove of trees on the right side of the road. (I've seen only 3 outside of a zoo or turkey farm, so I realize that's not saying much.) He puffed himself up and gobbled and gobbled. We always see a lot of animals on campus but not usually turkeys. Sadly, no baby turkeys appeared.

I joked with Kayla about what else we'd see and noted that, of all of the squirrels in my backyard, I have never seen a baby squirrel. We pull into her lane, and BAM! Baby squirrels. (I don't mean BAM! as in we hit them. I just mean BAM! There they were!) I decided to keep my mouth shut from that point on. (Kayla scrambled to get her camera, so we have a few fuzzy pictures of the baby squirrels and turkey to prove this. But, they were moving quickly.) When Kayla got out of the car, I think our eyes were wide open because we had no idea what we'd see next.

I pulled out of the parking lot, drove toward my house, and saw two more wild turkeys before exiting campus. I literally rubbed my eyes to make sure my exhaustion was not making me see things. I drove 2 more miles to reach home and saw a hummingbird near my sage plants along the driveway.

I know none of this seems like a big deal to some folks. But, it has been a long time since I lived in the country when these sightings are more common, and I don't think I've had a 24 hour period when I've seen more wild animals. Especially wild baby animals. I guess it is still officially spring since summer doesn't arrive until June 21. So far, no interesting animals have been seen today, but I wonder if there will be any spotted this evening. I'll keep you posted.


Jeremy Sarber said...

You saved yourself a trip to the zoo.

Siren said...

That's so cool - I'm throwing a surprise 60th birthday party for my mom next month!! (Shhhhhh!!!)

Chelle said...

When we lived on Main Street we were constantly amazed at all of the wild animals we saw. Lots of groundhogs and deer, but we also saw skunks, possum, raccoons and the occasional rabbit and squirrel. Our favorite was a fox family that came out to eat the berries on the ground under the mulberry tree. Who would have thought, right there in town? It was a nice foil to all of the "wild" across the street. :-)