Monday, July 20, 2009

Wild Things

It seems like I've been seeing (and hearing) all sorts of wild critters lately. On the way to work last week, poking its head from the weeds at the side of the road was a bald eagle. I'm sure it was lunching on roadkill, maybe a whole deer or a raccoon. I remember fifteen years ago or so, when the eagles were just coming back from the brink of extinction, we took the kids on a hike down to the Mississippi River, hoping to see one. It was late December and the water was open and there were at least four or five big eagles feeding on Mississippi River fish. What a thrill that was! And now there are enough eagles that seeing them around here is a pretty common occurrence.

And then there are the deer. This time of year they are more of a traffic hazard than anything. Two fawns at the edge of the road, trying to cross then chickening out, back and forth to the center line then finally across. I was glad I saw them soon enough to slow down and take in the show. On Saturday while fixing breakfast, I heard the strangest noise... was it a bird or squirrel? I looked, and saw a doe, 20 or 30 feet from the house, looking down at something and making that whistling-snorting noise. I opened the window a little and she looked at me. Then down. Then at me. I'm not sure I like having deer so close to the house (my hosta plants, you know) so I made a little bit of noise and she took off into the woods. And there, just above the weeds, went the furry tail of our mouser cat, Cougar, after her. Did she really think she could catch a deer?

I think I saw a groundhog heading into the corn the other day. And there are the howls of the coyotes and fox at night, making me go out looking for little Betty, my favorite cat, the one we don't think is smart enough to run from predators. And of course, there are the bluebirds and hummingbirds who like it when I water the garden. I quit filling the regular birdfeeder, since it attracts raccoons and possum this time of year, and I do NOT like having that kind of wildlife on the deck!

All this is diversionary for me. We are still waiting for approval of the cover for "Eddie's Wake" from Outskirts Press. They have to OK it, then I have the final say, and then it goes into production and then, in three to four weeks, I'll see the book. The real deal. Next post I hope to be able to say, "We're on our way!" but for now... wait, wait, wait.

The photo above is Betty, soooo busted.

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