Things that come around

Published 8:48 am Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Now that the season seems to be settling down there are a lot of things we notice.

Older folks have a lot more time to sit and watch something besides the television. One of our favorite things to watch would be the birds and animals that make our yard their home. It’s interesting now to watch the birds as they make their way to pairing off and go into the nesting process.

It’s kinda like the young couples getting married at an early age. They start getting settled in a home of their own, just about like the birds do. This is a time of excitement in both cases and seems to be a time of remembrance for we oldsters. The animals we see don’t seem to be having as much fun as the birds , maybe because we just see them once in a while.

Our yard attracts squirrels, raccoons, cats, doves, redbirds, sparrows, blue jaysand a strange creature every now and then, and it’s fun to watch. We feed the birds and raccoons every evening and they all eat and try to keep the others from eating more than them. I wonder if they adopted that from watching humans or if the humans copied them. In times gone by those living in a neighborhood could tell a lot about what was going on by noticing the clotheslines.

We can really appreciate the lack of clotheslines now due to the availability of our washing machines. A writing has appeared several times in emails we receive about the clotheslines and what could be noticed about the neighbors’ activities by what was hung on the lines. I guess we didn’t pay that much attention as we were growing up, or maybe we just didn’t live that close. We lived in Texas when our daughter was born and had a set of three clotheslines that worked pretty well until one morning the baby diapers were frozen on the line. The next day we had a dryer that we used for years.

Different parts of the country have different species of birds and animals, but they are similar wherever you happen to be. We worked a number of years in Colorado in the spring and summer in a campground and the wildlife there was an entirely different story. There are a wide variety of the animals that you can see almost every day. One of the most interesting is the little Vole, a small rodent that looks like an overweight mouse. The voles live in holes they tunneled out or under the edge of a building. These were very friendly little rodents and would let people that came by rub their head or give them something to eat, and they especially liked the children.

One species of the vole were water lovers and dug their holes from underwater into the bank of the stream and came and went from the underwater entrance, a clever way to avoid any of the predators that were always nearby.

Another very friendly member of the rodent family in Colorado would be the chipmunk. Several different members of this group were plentiful in the southern part of the state and several visited our RV site every year, maybe the same ones.

There was a patio type entrance to the RV, made from rough lumber. This patio thing was about 8 feet by 10 feet and was about a foot high. The chipmunks would come and live under the patio and have babies every year. The mama and daddy chipmunks would take the babies out around the area and find food they could eat.

Some bird food was put out for the different visitors and some was put on the patio for the chipmunks. If no food was available in the later morning hours these little animals would come scratch on the screen door to let us know they were hungry.

Another odd thing they did was to train the young ones how to find food and then would run them off to find their own living area.

Just be thankful for what we have to enjoy as we grow older and have time to watch.

May God bless you all.