Even thought I was born in Texas, I grew up in Orange County, California. I learned to drive on the 405 and the 5, shopped occasionally on Rodeo Drive, and, while not a Valley Girl, certainly had no interaction with nature at any time. I once got close to it at a dude ranch, but managed to pretty much avoid it all other times. My feet, in their 4 inch high Candys, did not touch anything but paved roads and shopping center tile.
But then I moved back to Texas, and fell in love with a small town country boy, boots and all. No idea what I was thinking. And, since then, he has opened my eyes and taken me to Places of Nature, both local and international. I have camped out, I have woken up in a house with cows in the front yard, I have met and had my picture taken with a steer that I would later eat. On an even more nature-y scale, I have seen whales wave their flukes, and bald eagles fly around like seagulls.
But this post is about smaller bits of nature-y things. Mainly, squirrels. A couple of years ago, the trees in our neighborhood finally got big enough that squirrels started visiting, and we fell in love with them. They are so much fun to watch as they play and chase each other, so we started feeding them. And Bruce built a squirrel house and mounted it on the fence; sure enough, we watched a mom raise 4 babies in it, saw when they poked their heads out the first time, ventured out a little more each day, until finally they all would run up and down the wysteria vines as if our backyard was their personal amusement park.
That family has moved on, and this year, we have one squirrel who visits us daily to eat peanuts. We have gradually moved the peanuts closer and closer to the house, so we can observe her more easily from the comfort of our easy chairs in the air conditioning, because it so so hot, even the squirrel has to flatten out on the cool cement.
Yesterday, I didn’t put out the peanuts at the normal time, and got this response:
The look of outrage at my ineptitude was hilarious. Except I had weird dreams last night, and feel like I may need to sleep with one eye open from now on.
Oh, and I mentioned bugs in the title, too. I was amazed on my way to the walmarts yesterday that this fly stayed on my windshield the entire time, at speeds up to 45 mph. That is one bad-ass fly.
Ain’t nature grand? As someone once said “It’s so nice out, I believe I’ll leave it out.”
In other words, naptime! Right after I put some more peanuts out.
Postscript: She brought her babies up!