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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Wildlife Central

Today's walk felt like that.

I peeked out of the front window, hoping that yesterday's frost warning had been just a missed call, but the frost glittered quite alarmingly pretty on our neighbor's carefully manicured Scotts lawn. Ours, not so much, a moderately well-trimmed mix of old ryegrass, fine fescue, dandelions and moss. A couple of rabbits grazed happily away just a few feet away from me, albeit with a wall and window between us. One rabbit attempted to sniff the other's rump, and got kicked lightly away, as the first took off into the bushes.
I stepped out of the house about half an hour later, after verifying that the old sheets draped on my deck plants still remained in place. The air was bracingly cold for this time of the year. It's Memorial Day weekend, and there is still a frost warning! What a way to greet the summer.

As I walked past the normal turkey zone, there were two gorgeous turkeys with dark feathers. One was a  large male with a wattle, the other appeared to be a younger male, with a purple blue coloring on the head, and no wattle. The wattled male glared balefully at me as I stopped to watch them, issued a warning call, as it stretched its neck and fluffed its feathers in an aggressive display. It repeated this twice, and I continued on the walk, leaving fighting turkeys to their own devices.

More assorted turkeys here and there, browsing on grass up a hillside, barely pausing to acknowledge the presence of an interested stranger.

Rabbit zone was fairly quiet, no baby bunnies were in evidence yet. I did spot a guardian rabbit sitting on the hillside, watching me cautiously. I have no doubt that the entrance to the warren must have been the almost hidden hole just a foot above where the rabbit sat.

A red cardinal shot across the road in front. It must have been chased off by the other cardinal sitting in the mulch on the other side. 'Tis a time for territoriality and displays, not yet time for the babies and such!

Rounding the corner to get home, a young deer leaped around in classical deer style, bounding gracefully across our lawn and the road to the neighbors. I guess the neighbor's free-ranging labrador may have spooked it (I know, having been 'yelled' at by the said-dog even as I peacefully gardened on my own property.) The dog seems to think its territory comprises all the houses on our side of the street and barks at anyone who infringes. If this continues, I shall have to complain to the township.

And that's the end of today's report from Suburban Wildlife Central, brought to you by Sujatha.

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