With all these critters,by
I never really feel lonesome
live way out in the country with the closest neighbor living at Alanreed about
four miles to the east. Do we feel alone, or do we get lonesome? Not in the least
and here's why. |
Although not avid bird watchers, we do notice the changing
patterns of bird arrivals and departures on the ranch. Our 6-by-6-foot picture
window is our screen to nature. We are aware and can prove that feeding wild birds
in our yard almost eliminates mosquitoes, flies, elm beetles and gnats. This same
chow made available to wild turkeys has almost eliminated grasshoppers on the
When our resident wild turkey flock comes to feed each day, the
bugs flee in terror. This, plus the continuing comedy, live and different, that
is presented is well worth the cost of the feed.
We have three old turkey
"Jakes" who are like old men past their prime, who evidently like "Wheel of Fortune"
as they peck on our picture window each evening at that time. Now, that might
be a Trew story.
The huge prairie fires of 2006 pretty well eliminated
our quail. However, a new breed of Eurasian dove has begun proliferating in their
place. Once or twice a year a flock of bluebirds pass through resting on their
journey south or north. The beautiful monarch butterflies often fill our trees
and canyons on their journey south to Mexico or back again to the north.
A resident cardinal and his mate watch from tree tops until I scatter morning
feed. He often sits on my pickup mirror and scolds his reflection in the glass
while pooping on my pickup. I imagine we have seen every species of bird at one
time or another.
Almost every morning trip to the coffee shop in Alanreed,
I meet a waiting jackrabbit who races me for a few hundred yards before peeling
off into the prairie. A huge red-tailed hawk always sits atop one of two power
line poles on each side of my cattle guard, his neck twisting in a 180-degree
circle as I pass by.
I usually meet three crows on their morning cruise
down Interstate 40 looking for road kill or a tidbit of food thrown out by the
travelers. I have to drive slow before dawn to allow the deer to cross the highway
and jump the fence. When I arrive at the coffee shop and feed quarters into the
Amarillo Globe-News paper machine, the resident roadrunner or his mate are standing
by watching for any night bug or insect disturbed by my presence. They moved to
town last year where they now make a good living under the flood lights of the
Our ranch motion lights around the house are turned on frequently
at night as raccoons, opossum, skunk and an occasional deer inspecting the leavings
of the daily bird feeding. An armadillo usually leaves his signs of grub hunting
where our water storage tank overflows. Once in awhile we see the teeth marks
of a porcupine, and in the fall our lawns show the remains of wild plum seeds,
hackberry seeds, apricot and pear crops left by our night visitors.
all this daily activity of birds and wild critters we have no time to be lonesome
or the least bit bored. We are truly blessed.
© Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew" April 14, 2009 Column
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