Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lions, and tigers, and bears...well, almost

We drive 90 miles north to a doctor every other week and lately the sights we're seeing on the way up and back make us feel like we're driving through a wildlife park, where the wildlife are contained for your viewing pleasure. Some are saying our area hasn't received this much snowfall in 30 years. There is still much snow in the mountains, and so the animals are coming down to the open wheat fields and meadows because they are hungry. The deer are everywhere, some in large herds. I spotted two elk (cows) last week.

We heard that a moose (cow) was in our town's junior high parking lot after school a week or two ago. The kids were ordered back inside the school and the buses were delayed about an hour until the moose had left the vicinity. Friends that live out in the country have told us of moose tracks in their yard, lately. We've also heard reports of wolves in areas near a couple of small towns close to us.

When we flew back home from California a month ago, a coyote was in a grass area between landing strips. He started running toward our plane as we were landing, like he knew there'd be some food scraps for him to find soon.

Yesterday on our trip to the doctor, besides the normal spring sightings of new calves frolicking, puppies playing, horses being frisky, and Canadian geese couples staying close to their goslings, I delighted in seeing the extraordinary. I spotted a group of wild turkeys. I saw a large flock of white birds in a marsh/pond area, as we zipped by, and wondered what they were. Later we saw another flock of white in another marshy area of a field. They had long necks, but I didn't think they could be swans. At home, I paged through my bird book and found out they must have been tundra swans. Cool!

But the grand finale of yesterday's trip was the bald eagle sitting in a field. All three of us saw him as we drove by, and my son, driving, found a place to turn around the car. We pulled over to the edge of the road across from him. He sat so regally and majestically, turning his head this way and that. He was huge! I'd read somewhere, that animals don't usually get frightened by a car, but if you get out of it, that is when they'll run away. After we had admired him for a while, I decided it was okay to test this theory with the eagle, as I wanted to see if I could get a closer picture. Sure enough, my getting out of the car frightened him, and he took off in flight. Surprisingly, he soared back toward us. We saw his huge wing span, as he sailed past us and up into the pine to disappear from view.

Next time, the binoculars need to come along. And some day, I'll have a digital camera so I can share my pictures along with my stories!

1 comment:

Traci said...

WOW!! That is so cool! ;)