Monday, June 23, 2008

Urban Wildlands

Recent wildlife spottings around the TurboPalace:

1) Opossum: He's been here for several years, lurking mostly in the Norway maple next door. I saw him a few weeks ago, late at night, frozen like a statue on the fence.
2) Woodchuck: Seems to have taken up residence under my back steps. I can't imagine where he came from. He doesn't seem fast enough to have crossed major roads without squishage. But I saw him waddling across the lawn the other day. And he has mowed down my neighbor's peas, parsley, and pansies. She plans to capture him and release him somewhere else.
3) Coyote: I was working on Sandra Lee over at the boatyard the other week. The place was deserted. I climbed down the ladder at dusk and saw the coyote loping along between the rows of boats. He saw me and bolted for some scrubby shrubs. (The boatyard, as you can see here, is right in Smallish City, adjacent to one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the state. So this was pretty cool.)
4) Spiders: I walked out the back door last week and saw a glob of something yellowish attached to the garden hose, which was hanging over a railing. On inspection, it turned out to be a ball of maybe 500 baby spiders. When I approached they scattered in all directions, but a few minutes later re-amassed themselves. They stayed there five or six days; then one morning, they were all gone. Where to??


Anonymous Valerie said...

1. Maybe a "bunch of" spiders is a "ball of" spiders? Like a flock of chickens?

2. your woodchuck's relative is in my parents' garden, looking exTREMEly sleek and self-satisfied. He hardly even budges at the sight of the Xtracycle these days.

6/23/08, 1:51 PM  
Anonymous girltuesday said...

ugh. those damn things are probably on their way over to my house.

6/23/08, 9:49 PM  
Blogger Backdated said...

Isn't it good luck to spot a coyote?

6/25/08, 9:10 PM  
Anonymous casey said...

There's a really incredible book of essays called "The Curious Naturalist: Nature's Everyday Mysteries" by Sy Montgomery ... you might enjoy reading it. Ask around to your nature-lovin' friends to see if anyone has a copy to loan you. It's a fun read and reveals some of life's little mysteries.

6/25/08, 9:54 PM  

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