Wednesday, July 9, 2008

In the Woods

There are several finished projects to photograph but I'm too lazy for that right now.

About noon today I was sitting on our deck taking a break with my knitting when I heard a rustle in the woods. The woods is only about 25 ft from the edge of the deck. I beetled over to the railing just in time to see a red fox chasing another animal. The fox took a flying leap over the gulley and suddenly I heard and saw the great flappings of a wild turkey. It was as if the turkey was running along and the epiphany came to her: "I have wings! This must be what they are for!" Thankfully she made it away in time. Turkeys are not good at flying, what with all that body and the wattle and all. I know foxes have to eat too and I don't begrudge them a morsel in the woods but a whole turkey seemed a bit over-indulgent. It would have been an untidy mess in my little woods.

Another bit of woodsy drama occurred last week. There is an Eastern Phoebe that built a nest on our downspout, under the eave. Mind you, she has a whole woodland at her disposal but apparently yearned for the city life. The babies had hatched and were peeping away, asking for lunch. One day I noticed the tail feathers of a red tailed hawk hanging down from the eave. He had a phoebe tender in his mouth. When I ran out on the deck he flew off with his catch. Again, the predators have to eat also. There are still babies in the nest and hopefully the rest of them will be safe.

Now I am thinking of the books by Thornton W Burgess that I read as a child. I read copies that had belonged to my father. All the woodland characters had names: Reddy Fox, Granny Fox, Danny Meadow Mouse, Grandfather Frog, Old Mister Toad, Sammy Jay, Mother West Wind...I read those books over and over. My children didn't enjoy them nearly as much as I did, which was a disappointment.

I finished reading The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith. I've been reading this series since the first book came out and savor each one. If you have not read about Mma Ramotswe and her #1 Ladies Detective Agency, I urge you to get the first book in the series ASAP and read them in order. (The first one is called The #1 Ladies Detective Agency.) The next book for my reading pleasure is The Miracle at Speedy Motors. I'm saving that one because I like to space them out a bit. The audio versions are also excellent, even if you have already read the books.


KPiep said...

What excitement! I had to giggle over your comments about the turkey and the fox...indulgent indeed!

My parents have had swallows build a nest on their porch for years and years. It started in the top of an old ficus tree, and then moved to the top of the light. It's now a tradition, and they lose the use of the front porch for much of the summer...with happiness.

Marie said...

I don't think I've seen a red fox up close. It must have been a spectaular sight ... and a bit silly. Red foxes are much smaller than turkeys. I suppose he was relying on his sharp teeth to finish the job.

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