Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Daily Encounters

One of the nicest things about living up here is that I have encounters with the resident animals almost every day. Now you realize that none of these encounters are a big deal. They just add a little extra zest to my days.

Let's take yesterday. The human part of my day had me taking my walk in the morning. Then I spent the rest of the morning at my computer trying to get caught up. The afternoon was in the garden getting a little section ready for winter. That night we drove down to a neighbor's home to look at movies from the 1940's on the Gunflint Trail. Nothing exciting there.

There was no wind at all during my walk. I don't walk with an Ipod or anything because I like to hear the natural sounds around me. The reward yesterday was hearing something rustling in the bushes along the side of the road. I stopped and finally located a grouse not 10 feet from me. He was not happy at being seen and quickly flew off. How many other grouse had I already walked by?

Part way into the walk I met Eva and Tucker. We walked the remainer of the road together. At one point a raven fly overhead and cawed at us. Even Tucker looked up to watch the bird.

At the end of the walk, I was coming down the driveway and noticed a squirrel alongside me. He was happily munching on a mushroom cap. I think it is one that we wouldn't eat but obviously he was enjoying it. It was easy to watch him for a few minutes.

My office at home has large windows that look out over some iris and the sky. About 11:00 the phone rang. While talking, I often look out the window to see what is going on. My reward yesterday was a bald eagle flying by. The bird quickly was out of sight but it makes your heart jump for just a second.

That afternoon we were out getting more of the garden ready for winter. As is often the case, Tucker was with us. He will run around for 3-4 hours while we dig, pull weeds, and spread horse manure. It was hard not to watch Tucker and the squirrels and chipmunks play tag together. Of course, Tucker always lost.

Finally last night Bruce and I drove to Hungry Jack. We saw several deer along the way. It's the usual about now. But we did notice that the deer are starting to change from a reddish brown hide to their more grayish winter hide.

So my day was filled with lots of small encounters. Each one was no more than a couple minutes. These encounters constantly remind me that there is another natural world surrounding and intertwining with the lives we humans lead. Sometimes it's hard to remember that in the middle of a city.

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