It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m grateful to walk less than a mile from my home and find a bit of country life.
I’m not kidding. There are little “county islands” that haven’t been incorporated into our town that still boast acre lots, with quite the variety of farm animals. Some Clydesdales hang out for part of the year across the sidewalk from the Riparian Preserve. A small flock of emus and a steer or three wander a two acre corner lot. Of course that one also backs up to a major intersection of power lines where you can hear the buzz of electricity overhead. Still, the cattle moo with all the gusto of country cows, and the roosters still encourage the sun to hurry up and get on with things.
On a recent walk we spent a few minutes watching a determined rooster dig for grubs. Oddly mesmerizing and fascinating if you’ve never seen it before. A few goats also joined in the entourage thinking maybe we’d brought them something to eat. Sadly we hadn’t. And a tiny Shetland pony nuzzled up to the fence looking for a bit of love and a nibble.
I felt transported for those few brief moments, leaning against the bars of the fence. Soaking in the pastoral wonders led me to wishing I had an acre lot of my own.
You’d never suspect it driving the streets of our little town now, but when we first moved here seventeen years ago, I often spotted a fox or coyote loping across a field as I drove my two oldest to high school. Seeing huge jackrabbits almost two feet tall wasn’t unusual. Smelling a dairy farm came with the territory of living here.
Now those things are rarities. The building boom ten years ago tripled the size of our town and pushed most of the rural life further into the desert.
Happily, several weeks ago we did see a coyote run through the park across the street. I imagine he’s found an easy to reach hen-house nearby and has made a few raids. Poor lost little guy. It’s not that difficult for most wildlife to follow the canal roads from the mountains down into the valley where the pickings seem abundant and unaware. I hope they don’t get caught.
I’m a lucky woman to find such variety in close proximity to my home. I like to think there’s still a bit of wild in the wild west where I live. Thankfully, I’m finding evidence of that every time I venture out.
We’ve had a coyote in my inner-city historic neighborhood before! (Just heard our city size rank last night & already I’ve forgotten whether we’re 16 or 18 …) I’ll never forget making eye contact with one in the tall grass off the highway once, probably about 20 years ago. A glance to remember, for sure … those were some powerful wild eyes.