The hotel was lovely, the company was charming and the small amount of gambling that we did was fun but I think at heart, I’m just not cut out for places like Las Vegas. I’m not sure who exactly is suited to life in Las Vegas, but the place is WALL-TO-WALL people and growing by leaps and bounds.
Here in Ann Arbor we’re always growing, too, although right in our neighborhood things are well established and the lots are large. We are a short half mile to the heart of town and the houses run the gamut from modest Cape Cods (us) to large brick Tudors but what we all have in common are trees, shrubbery and gardens. The landscaping is mature and, especially at this time of year, wonderfully lush. There is a vast and varied population of feeder birds and small mammals and rodents common to urban environments. At any given time we have raccoons, skunks, possums all living under the back deck. They seem to co-exist with each other as well as the cats; on many a summer evening Mrs. Skunk and her children and Mrs. Raccoon and her children are all dining in the yard under the bird feeders while McCloud and Sophie observe from high atop the porch railings.
That’s typical but more and more we are seeing creatures that are not what you normally expect in your urban backyard. A couple weeks ago we had wild turkeys roaming around. Earlier this year I looked out and saw two deer off their feet resting on the back deck.Perhaps they were observing that their world seems to be wall-to-wall people these days.
One recent evening I heard a commotion out there and when I looked both cats were puffed up to a faretheewell and swiping at the door to get in. As they fell over each other in a race into the house I thought I caught a glimpse of an unusually large cat? dog? with a bushy tail ducking under the shrubs at the side of the lot. I told Rich I thought I might have seen a fox in the yard and then a few days later we did, in fact, catch a glimpse of a red fox scooting into the brush across the street.
This morning Rich was walking along the edge of the golf course, engaged in his usual
peculiar meditative activity of gathering up stray balls that fall in the woods and leaving them in little piles near the ninth hole. Look what he discovered. Clearly this is their territory and den because he had enough time to run back to the house and fetch me and my camera. There were four pups and either mom or dad. At first, I just assumed it was mom but at second glance I didn’t see a matronly underbelly so perhaps mom was back in our yard looking for breakfast? These pups were wrestling and pouncing with gay abandon until mom/dad decided I had been in their space long enough and took the gang back into the woods.