Where The Wild Things Are (My Beach House)

 Where The Wild Things Are (My Beach House)It’s moving into later August now and after this busy spring and summer, I’m taking a few weeks at my beach house in RI.  I’ve never spent a long period of time here in the 12+ years I’ve owned the place, choosing to come for long weekends or for a week at a time, but I’m snuggling in for a bit, getting to know the terrain and my neighbors – a changing population of critters native to South County.

It’s a huge year for bunnies.  There are at least 6 of them at any point in time on my beautiful property and they are so relaxed I can get within 3 feet of them.  My brother Mike, a hunter, says that the rabbit population follows a seven year cycle intimately connected to the predator cycle. Some years I see no bunnies.  Clearly, this is a glut year and I expect the owls to move in soon to reinforce a balance, as they did a few years ago when I saw lots of bunnies and then heard the owls in the night.  (sorry – a sad but true fact about Nature).  No owls yet.  Waiting.

I’ve seen several deer crossing the road and my property.   They seem oblivious to traffic or pavement or human rules of any kind.

A huge possum lives across the street and all throughout the day, I pass busy little chipmunks who race to and from my cottage.  Despite all of my sleuthing, I still don’t know what they are up to and if I should worry.

Several toads seem to live in the outdoor shower, a smart choice for an amphibian that eats bugs.  A definite win-win here.

The birds are busy having babies in the eaves of the house.  There are many of them around and they always cheer me up with their baby bird antics.  This part of the world is home to a huge avian population of great diversity, so I’ve had the pleasure of seeing many kinds of birds hurrying on to wherever they are hurrying.  There is much hustle in BirdWorld.

A fox family has moved into the area.  I saw fox here 20 years ago before I bought my house and they seemed to have disappeared – before this year. They are back and I’m happy to report they are around and seem to be happy.  No wonder there are no cats out and about anywhere.

Along one whole side of my property, along the road, is an old stone wall (it’s New England).  Early on I had a vision of replacing the poison ivy and the overgrown random vines and thicket covering the stones with a row of beach roses that would bloom throughout the summer, and the west wind would blow their scent across my great expanse of lawn-laced-with-wild-thyme and into the house.  This is exactly what has happened. Because I’ve lovingly tended to the roses over the past decade, they are seven feet tall now and the traffic on the road is no longer seen or even heard much.  The bushes all along the stone wall are home to anything that wants to hide or needs shade.  Many bees work the flowers and carefully fly around me as I reach in to trim here and there.  We show each other real respect.  I wouldn’t dream of hurting a honey bee, a critter so necessary and so endangered, and they don’t want to sting me either.

Everyday is a different scenario.  This is the message.  Every moment is utterly unique…and precious.   These animals are all my neighbors and just as I love having friends of all ages, I love having friends of all species.

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