A Surprise

14 03 2021

Yesterday, Saturday, 13 March 2021, I was sitting in the kitchen with coffee and reading with the traffic and sirens going on the busy street I live on which is usual. Then there at the edge of the usual noise there was something, familiar, but unsure I was actually hearing it, I got up and went out on the back porch which faces south and scanned the sky. At first there was nothing then as I watched a flock of 25 sandhill cranes came flying from the southeast and as they got near turned west toward the forest preserves that are a few miles west of where I live. There was a pause in the traffic and it was easy to hear the warbling call of the flock – a sure sign of spring for me. I watched till they were out of sight. It made my day.





The Cattails in the Corner – Update

18 08 2019

Cattails – August 2019

Cattails 2 – August 2019

As you can see, we have 6 cattails in the corner where the water seeps under the two retaining walls. That goldenrod volunteered to grow there as well. The catalpa tree that was cut down decided it wasn’t dead and has sent up several strong young trunks.

The overgrown alley below us is full of weeds as well as one healthy elderberry plant with soon to ripen berries for the birds.

Our wildlife neighbors have increased to add a handsome healthy young fox who looks very out of place poking around all the concrete and asphalt driveways here. There are chipmunks living under the stairs to the top of the retaining wall, a very bold young squirrel living in the network box of the neighboring condo building who visits us on the porch railings and is very friendly and unafraid and seems to like being talked to, so got named “Nutty”. We don’t feed Nutty, just talk to her when she visits – silly squirrel. The skunk waddles up and down the driveway, the opossum and raccoons visit the garbage cans but can’t get into them. The flock of goldfinches and pair of cardinals enjoyed the thistle seeds down in the alley and are busy eating something else down there and the purple martins flying after the bugs up high. They all are our interesting neighbors. the humans are more invisible, don’t use the porches or walk around back there, so it’s generally quiet and peaceful – other than the traffic noise from in front – and usually with a nice breeze.

Smoky the dog crossed the rainbow bridge in March and it just isn’t the same around here without a dog, it’s the first time in 53 years we’ve been without a dog and we don’t like it, but we knew the conditions of being here and will have to wait until we leave. There is no knowing when that will happen though, rather sooner than later but not my call.

The crickets are singing again, started just last week, the cicadas and katydids are rasping (ratcheting as the kids used to say) the coming autumn even if we’re not ready for it.