A Natural Mix of Past and Present

This week I’m in Colorado visiting my family, and one treasured part of staying in the house I grew up in is enjoying the wildlife of my childhood.  It’s May. The smell of lilac is bursting from bushes and tree blossoms are shedding their gray winter coats. Last night, windows open to the fragrant breeze, we heard a fox barking. I looked out into the inky darkness but couldn’t resolve the animal. Still, just knowing the red-ruffed canid was there, gave me a quick simple pleasure, and I promised myself to get outdoors in the daylight and see what I could see.

So today my mom and I are enjoying a lazy afternoon on the back porch swing, chatting, the tinkle of ice in our tea glasses, as the local denizens scurry about preparing for the feast of summer. Miss Robin Red-Breast is hopping over the wooly grass in search of pudgy brown worms. Chittering squirrels dash across power lines like over zealous tight-rope performers. And—one of my favorite little creatures—a gentle roly-poly, the beneficial garden woodlouse who has charmed children for eons with its knack for curling into a miniscule grey ball, just wandered past my feet in search of better soil.

I love sharing stories from habitats far and wide… the ocean, the rainforest. But at this moment, the best biome in the world is my mom’s backyard. The place I’m sitting where the animals are real and right now. Don’t let the glory of spring slip by without a jaunt into the outdoors. Go to the park, hike in a nature preserve just beyond the city or just sit by the pool. I think you might be surprised how many animals you see. And let’s face it; a bit of sun on our backs and the whisper of wind in our faces is just plain rejuventating.

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