Friday, March 20, 2009

Wildlife and the city girl

I have a broad definition of wildlife. As a city girl, I didn't have much experience with the great outdoors. The wildest thing on my block was probably the cranky lady who would yell at all of us kids from her window. Now I live in those "wild" suburbs of New York. Here are some of my encounters with the wildlife in my yard. Remember that I'm a city girl, so anything scampering, scuttling, slithering, or hopping will probably freak me out :) I'm not totally nervous about all the wildlife in my yard. Birds and I are on good terms for now.

"We need to call in the Calvary."
Pregnant with a toddler wrapped around my legs, I looked outside to see a skunk squirming on his back next to our playhouse. Of course, hubby was at work, and I immediately called him for some direction and "wisdom". His response, "Call the cops." We don't have a town Animal Control Department, so I had to call someone for help. When a police officer arrived, he surveyed the situation and explained to me that the skunk needed to be removed. My response, "Great. I'm glad that you're here. I'll be inside. Let me know if you need anything." His response, "Sorry, ma'am, but it is not our responsibility to remove this skunk. It is yours." With eyes bugging out of my head, I go on to chastise the poor guy about how is a pregnant woman supposed to handle this sick skunk. I even went on about how could he feel good about himself knowing that he left me alone with this problem. Well, I guess "my pathetic girl in distress" rant worked because he went to put on what looked like a space suit to confront the skunk. The poor skunk was really sick. I did feel sorry for it. He had to put it out of its misery. I don't know why it took him three shots to get the job done. His target was just 2 feet away from him. I wonder how is aim would be when chasing a true perpetrator. Gratefully, he agreed to dispose of the body. For a minute, he wanted me to do it!

"Mom, the bushes are shaking." Getting in the van one day, my five year old asked me about the shaking bushes next to the driveway. I postponed responding to his comment because I was in "pack up the kids" zone. Well, I get startled easy. All of a sudden, two squirrels were doing flying leaps into the bushes. I was absolutely freaked out. Now when I walk down my driveway, I tend to favor the other side. I don't want any squirrels mistaking my curly top as another bush landing place.

"Look at the screen." Typing away at the laptop, I noticed a squirrel holding on to my screen with both his hands and feet. I'm very glad that the window was closed. This squirrel was huge! Even in the city, I never saw such an assertive squirrel. I guess he wanted to see what I was typing about. My kids thought it was cool how he hung there for a minute.

"Cute little froggy." Nature is out to get me some days. One day, my daughter was happily walking around her little outdoor play house. When I went out to check on her, I wondered what she was studying. A very small little frog was holding her attention. I didn't know that they could be so small! I decided to become a "nature girl" for once and enjoy this bonding moment with my daughter. That sweet moment didn't last long. Of course, another little frog decided to hop near my shoulder and that was the end of my nature study. Like a silly girl, I jumped around to the amusement of my kids.

Good thing that I live in this part of NY. I wouldn't do well in an area where bigger wildlife roam around:)

20 comments:

Becca said...

Haha! Those are all so cute! If we are lucky, we will see a stray cat run through our yard!

Mari said...

I love these stories! We have all of the above with an occasional turkey, deer or maybe a fox!

shabby girl said...

I had my laugh for the morning! No, really, I'm laughing WITH you!!!

T Rex Mom said...

Great wildlife encounter. The skunk one was my favorite - feel bad for the poor creature - I guess the officer wanted to make absolutely sure he was out of his misery!

thezeninyou said...

He actually shot the skunk!? Awwwwww... I would have freaked. I grew up next to a forest preserve, so I saw all sorts of critters and animals...now I live in the city and my wild life is pigeons, rats and crows...lol...

Sara Moriarty-delaFuente said...

What amusement. I do better with animals than I do with bugs. Bees, ants, ear whigs, beetles - all cause for me to scream at the top of my lungs and run away in horror. Even my four year old laughs at me and gives me the "they're only bugs" lecture. Anything for a laugh I suppose.

Oh and I just remembered another terrifying run in with bugs. I lived in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for 6 months in 2004. Given the weather, the homes and condos seldom have full doors or windows. I was in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner when a flying cockroach flew through the windowed door, dive bombing my head. I screamed for atleast three straight minutes and believe that I am emotionally scarred from it. :) In that moment I became hugely grateful for American doors and windows. :)

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rightonmom said...

Yea, you'd get eaten up alive in the feral wilds of Oregon! Why just yesterday, I saw a dead rodent, small not NY sewer size. But I'm not a total nature girl either, I screamed, freaking out my son.

Funny post!

Juliet Colors said...

That's some funny stuff. I especially like the skunk story (poor skunk). :-D

Joanne said...

We had a similar skunk incident a few years back, and upon calling our police dept animal control officer, a police officer arrived first. We watched from a back porch as he went to surmise the skunk in the yard, and were surprised when, without warning, and my young children watching, he shot it, yes 4 to 5 times!

H.K. said...

Squirrels scare me too! I love watching them from afar in the safety of a locked car or through my closed windows from my home. Squirrels are nothing but rats that can climb trees. (yuck!)

Lois Lane II said...

See, I WANT squirrels to come over to me!!! lol

Teri said...

I love nature and all the critters...as long as they all keep their distance. Like about the length that I would need to use my telephoto lens to enjoy them.

Michelle said...

And here I thought you were going to say that you picked up the frog and he peed on your hand. Silly me ;)

You should look for the No Child Left Inside book though. Very interesting.

CDB said...

Very cute (: I can appreciate this, having grown up in upstate NY (once found a raccoon hiding in my mom's station wagon engine.)

I feel a little sorry for that skunk too. A little.

Andrea said...

Great post...I'm still laughing!!! Thanks for sharing. :)

Heather said...

The skunk thing is funny - seriously the cops can't shoot at anything without firing off several rounds.

Maya Ganesan said...

Cute stories! Thanks for dropping by my blog.

Beth Kephart said...

Can I learn effective ranting from you? I mean, do you give lessons? My ranting never works.

Loved the post! (and frogs are cute)

Kim said...

I dread the day Deaglan starts to be interested in insects. I love being outside just as much the next person but some of God's tiny little creatures creep me out beyond belief. My husband and I have already discussed this. I promise not to teach our son my fear of certain bugs and he promises to redirect him if he wants to bring any into the house.