bunt sign

Monday, July 22, 2002

I've seen more wildlife since I've been home than I did the whole time I was at the lake. And that doesn't even take into account the fact that the local deer hasn't been around.

It hasn't been exactly a joy ride, though. I came home to discover two yellow jackets' nests under the eaves of my house. One is at the very top of the A-shaped roof, but since I can only see it through the loft window I'm not really worried. The other one is just a few feet outside my front door. They're both very small, so far, but there are too many yellow jackets buzzing around them for comfort. Not sure what to do. Wait for winter and whack it away, I guess.

This afternoon my whole side of the county was patrolled by buzzards. I don't think I've ever seen that many of them at one time, and I once took a picture because there were so many of them circling over my house. Everywhere I could see, buzzards were flying high and low, near and far. I have no idea what the attraction was, but they were around for a long time. Circling, ominously.

And then there's the possum. I'm walking back from the mailbox, and here's a lumpy old opossum ambling out from behind the garage and heading up the driveway. Toward me, but without seeing me. I shouted, but it didn't seem to hear me either. I picked up a rock and tossed it in the possum's direction, but it didn't react. So I picked up another rock and threw it hard. Not to hit the stupid, ugly thing, just to make it go away.

It did, but only after looking up and looking all around, as if to let me know that it was in no hurry and wasn't intimidated by my tactics. Then it waddled off, back where it came from (I guess) and disappeared into the brush. It moved with no haste and no fear, just as if it intended to go back behind the garage all along and decided on its own to do so just then.

It's the first one I've seen since I moved here, and I'd be happy if it's the only one I ever see here. Happy, but surprised. They give me the creeps. I had visions of getting up one morning and finding a nasty old opossum curled up on the floor by my bed. If anything could make me move back into town, that's probably it.

Shasta Lake

Katie preparing for a dive.

Okay, it's not true I didn't see any animals at the lake. Every day we had visits from waterfowl, and we could always see birds of prey watching over their territory and diving for fish. Ducks, geese, eagles and osprey. I saw one great blue heron, plus the deer that showed up in our cove at meal times. Once I was sitting on the back deck and a hummingbird came and checked out the red fire extinguisher over my head. And on my last day there, a mouse started eating the cookies, but I didn't see it so it doesn't count.

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