Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Nature with visual aids!

O.k., our mail is being delivered and our dsl is up and running so no more angst (at least for today). Oh, and hero husband found the camera battery charger so you can finally enjoy some of what we experience everyday.
We are living in such an amazing wilderness! I've always loved most-things in nature (not so much ticks or spiders) and I do have a dad who my pal Kelley dubbed "Nature Man" (this was after he taught her how to wear a lizard as an earring), but even ^J^ , Mr. "I hate Science", has caught the nature-bug (ha! I'm punny!). We went to the library and got field guides for mushrooms (^J^'s idea of course), trees, birds, wildflowers, and insects. We've seen so many beautiful and strange looking new bugs that we never saw in Georgia. There was a huge Katydid on our porch last weekend, a stick bug that was on our car and drove with us about a mile, a luna moth on our bathroom window, shiny large green beetles in our yard, butterflies galore, and not so fun things too like big flying ants in our kitchen and a too big red centipede in the yard. *A*'s been collecting cicada shells she finds and the bug sounds at night are deafening, and that's with the windows closed!
The birds are wonderful too, our most recent finds have been these pileated woodpeckers. I think there must be a family of them up in our trees, they make this crazy "chuc, chuc" sound and I followed the sound one day and saw three of them hanging on the side of a tree. They're really big, crow-sized and they have that distinctive woody-woodpecker red tuft and beak. As I'm typing this, I can look out the window to the treeline of the woods and make one out on the base of a tree. We also have a consistent hummingbird population. I know of at least one pair that chases each other around the feeder and they make this cute squeaking noise. We've seen bunnies and deer all over the place, in broad daylight even. One night I went out to the porch to feed Gracie(dog) and Ella(cat) and this wave of skunk spray smell came in. It must of happened pretty far out in the woods and travelled to our house, but that is a new thing to think about when we go out for hikes or let the animals run around in the backyard! This morning Ella brought us a present...a bird. When ^J^ went to take it outside, warning *A* it might die soon, it flew off. I guess Ella just played with it and then got bored. As he was coming back in I saw a field mouse running around in the grass, or it could have been a vole...I don't really know what that is, I guess I need to get a mammal guide book too.

Anyway, we're all so into all this wildlife. *A* gets so excited when she discovers something and she's usually the one who points something out to us. She's the one who found the stick bug and she comes running inside in a panic screaming "a tick bug, a tick bug!" I didn't even know she knew what one was. Yesterday she took a walk with ^J^ and our next door neighbors who are 6 and 7, and she told them in her stage whisper "Shhh, we have to be quiet so we can see the deers and bears.". The seven year old informed her that she had been living here almost 3 years and she had never seen a bear. Well, that's good news but I'm not convinced they don't live somewhere on these 10,000 acres.
I'm reading Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver and it's so perfect. It takes place on a mountain in Southern Appalachia (I think it's supposed to be Virginia, but it's so similar; the county they live in is even Franklin, which is where we live) and it talks about all the creatures that live in the woods and about life in the country. People who live in the country are a whole different can of worms, I'll just stick with the animals for now...they're much more interesting.

1 comment:

Gale said...

Oh - my favorite - stick bugs!

Doesn't Barabara Kingsolver write beautifully. I don't think I've read Prodigal Summer. Her essays are wonderful!