Pandemic Road: Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!!! Since the weather was clear and cool, I couldn’t resist going out into the wilds of the Houston Arboretum and visiting with some of my favorite plants, trees and animals. As soon as I arrived, Mr. Squirrel met me and beckoned me on. It looks as though all of nature decided to sprout, blossom and show off just for this particular occasion. What Mr. Squirrel was trying to tell me here was that there were many other nature elements waiting for me just inside. While this isn’t exactly a yellow brick road, I wasn’t hoping to meet any great wizards either. Not to worry, though. I always have my own flying monkeys if they are ever needed.

As always, there were many turtles. During this particular visit, I toured as many of the different ponds as I could find. The majority of the ponds were home to a wide variety of turtles. This particular reptile was most happy to sit on his favorite log and chat with me a while. He was also enjoying the fine spring weather. We both agreed that we were dreading the heat of July which was sure to come. This gentleman also made mention of the fact that there were many more turtles in the arboretum now than there used to be. More ponds, more room for more turtles. I wonder if the real estate market for arboretum wild life is as volatile as it is for us humans. I can understand birds wanting a nice high rise in the trees, but I don’t see that for four-legged creatures.

Next, I met Ms. Rabbit. She was most polite about sitting still while I took a good picture of her. Actually seeing a series of animals all sitting very still made me think. I began to envision a “union” of arboretum animals. Their job is to show up everyday just before sunrise and entertain the humans. Their duties include, but are not limited to, posing for pictures, looking cute and trying not to scare small children. At the end of the day.…say around dusk.….they all punch their little animal time clock and go home. Over dinner, they talk about the humans they saw that day just like we discuss our adventures in the arboretum.

Finally, I saw this beautiful egret. She stood very still admiring her domain. Then she did a bit of a dance where her neck went in one direction while her head and body went in another direction. Yes, I was very entertained. I wonder if this was her version of an “Earth Day Dance”?

All of this is very interesting and entertaining. I am so grateful to all of the plants and animals for sharing this day with me. However, I am also thinking about animals that try to live with us even if we don’t want them to do so.

Recently my friend, Sue, heard strange sounds coming from the attic of her home. She assumed it was maybe a squirrel or a raccoon or something small. At some point the sounds got louder. This was an animal with large feet which made Sue wonder what the animal could be. Guess What? It was a DUCK! Yep, you read that correctly. A big duck had made a home in her attic. She and her husband tried to catch the duck, but this one was very quick and cunning. This was not one of your cute white ducks. This was a large black and white duck with a large red bill and mohawk hair style. A wildlife specialist was called who caught and released the duck. And while he was in the attic, he also found 35 eggs. Yes, 35 eggs. You read that correctly. Don’t you hope the nice wildlife person found all of the eggs?

I, personally, have been known to have bats in my belfry. But I have never had ducks in my attic. How exciting for Sue. What strange critters have taken up residence in your attic? Or your belfry?

Until next time.….