It’s a cliché to say that life is a complex, intertwined web, but when you live in a place that looks like this, the cliché comes fully to life.
I’m a human with dull senses. The spotting scope that we have in our window helps, but still. Although some of the larger animals come within view, even they aren’t always obvious.
This doe passes through. Depending on how the sunlight streams, I might miss her. Sometimes she leaves her fawn in the grass. I only know that because I’ve seen the baby stand up and lie back down again. Yesterday a buck came by. His new antlers were covered in plush velvet.
Some of the land’s residents have made themselves more known. I’ve been watching two pairs of bonded geese. Mildred and Max had three babies, but the other couple, Hobble and Bobble (as far as I know) had none. One gosling has survived. The five graze on the lawn and strip the tall grasses of their seeds. Unlike the nuisance Canada Geese that you find on golf courses, these few are delightful and are welcome.
Being human, I focus on these big and obvious animals. I get excited when I spy a beaver swimming by, pulling a long branch. The golden eagle, an apex predator for sure, intimidates, even when perched high and still on a dead tree in the marsh.
Once in awhile I become aware of creatures that are usually out-of-sight. What is this squiggle on my path?
A baby ring-necked snake!
I know there’s far more than my eyes can take in. It’s noisy all around. Many smaller birds call and sing. The frogs sound a cacophony of croaks. And the insects! Who knows what’s going on in the grass, the leaf litter, and in the bark of the trees.
Once in awhile I get a glimpse of the abundance that fills all of the spaces in this landscape. Remember the Highlights Magazine game of finding the pictures within the picture? That’s what it’s like.
Sometimes, though, I can’t help but see.
This landed on my riding lawn mower.
I was able to get a closer photo before it flew off. Yes, it flies!
Dramatic. This beetle is far less imposing, but an absolute jewel of a creature.
Much of the front field is a blueberry barrens. The fruit is beginning to ripen. I’m sure that will bring foraging black bears.
But for every bear, there’s a hundred, a thousand, a million, smaller beings right there in front of me. I’m looking out for them.
What’s your favorite small and over-looked creature?