Friday, August 23, 2013

This has been a summer of Wild our house. First it was the Killdeers hatching the four chicks in our neighbor's gravel driveway. 22 days we watched from our lawn chairs on our deck for this to happen. The male and female Killdeer taking turns sitting on the eggs.  Then mama and papa  guarded over the 4 chicks for 24 days in our back pasture...mostly under the Weeping Willow tree, where I had created a mud pond. They finally fledged and never came back. We were happy at first, and then sad. Did they not know this was their home?
Then the Red Shouldered hawks moved in. For three weeks the female started screaming at daylight and then continued almost every hour. She sat on the gates, in most of our trees, and the front lawn, for days on end. She pulled huge red worms out of the lawn after it was watered, and sat waiting for the water to shut off so she could feed again. She killed our King Snake that lived in the back garden. She sat in the pasture and ripped it apart, a feast she surely enjoyed.  She allowed me to approach within 20 feet or so. She had found a home I thought! The male would stop by from time to time...but like many males I have know, he was inclined to wander. She did not care it seemed. She had us with our big cameras and lenses clicking away. We deleted almost 300 exposures and still had many left for our use.

What a wonderful summer with our wild, wild, visitors.  The female hawk sat one last time on a low limb of one of our Maple trees in the front yard. Without a sound, she just up and flew away. We are sad for the moment. And then we feel really good. Maybe next July, when the pears ripen in our yard and the lawn is green, and the red worms are crawling about.  We will have the dripping hose under the Weeping Willow, to make that soft and oozy mud.We will be waiting in our lawn chairs with our cameras and glasses. Will the wild ones visit us again?