Earth day +2 in the city;
back’a my neck getting burned real pretty!
Our ritual Sunday morning quest for coffee-shop coffee, an almond croissant, and a generous helping of high-quality newsprint was delayed yesterday 04-23-23 by a gaggle of wild turkeys crossing Monroe Street here in Madison WI.
Except cross, the four big birds did not. The three males fanned their plumage like avian crossing guards waving stop signs — a display of male gallantry for the lone hen. So we paused in the middle of the street, between the UW arboretum and the old Dudgeon school, laid on the flashing warning lights, and watched nature strut its stuff.
Just a few days ago, the honking of sandhill cranes broke the early morning still as the old homesteader retrieved two newspapers (both initialed WSJ) off the driveway. Once exotic, the birds’ stilt-like legs made them visible above the cattails of the marsh and pond beyond. Occasionally they will do a noisy fly-over of the Stately Manor. One evening a curious raccoon peered at us through the windows of our four-season sunroom here on the SW side of Madison; an eery sight, to be sure. A few years ago, the indentured servants, tracking down a strange tapping in the basement, discovered a large painted turtle. The mute creature had fallen into the window well and was seeking return to the marsh.
The indentured servants were intrigued by the story in this morning’s Wisconsin State Journal that foxes are resident at the renamed Glenway golf course. And that they travel far and wide. (Thank you Barry Adams!) We’ve seen red foxes scurrying across the fairways of Odana Hills, adjacent to Madison’s busy Beltline highway. Also an eagle — the kind of birdie that perches in trees — at Odana and Yahara Hills. Saw otters working the rocky shore of the pond on Odana’s 13th hole.
Back here in Orchard Ridge, a deer fawn nibbled the petunias next-door a few years back. Only in winter, it seems, do we hear our neighborhood hoot owl. Hawks circle above in all seasons. They’re welcome to the chipmunks and bunnies overrunning Blaska Experimental Farm.
Muskies spawned again at the Lake Wingra dam this spring. Peregrine falcons returned to Madison Gas & Electric’s nesting box atop its Blount Street generating station downtown. To top it off, last night the aurora borealis could be seen at our latitude. Earth’s magnetic defenses continue to ward off those deadly rays!
Blaska’s Bottom Line: The proprietor of your favorite blogge grew up on a farm outside Sun Prairie when television had but three channels, two of them UHF. We did not experience on the farm then the wildlife then we see today here in the Emerald City, population 269,840 and ringed by still more urban development. But then, we grew up before the apocalypse of Climate Change!
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Howse about the coyotes, Blaska; they chopped livah…?
I’ve also wondered the degree to which Hell is being visited upon today’s Earth if large mammals like the buck (not the well-documented Milwaukee Buck variety) can survive and live large in Madison.
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