Saturday, September 1, 2007

I've been on a semi-vacation in upstate New York for the past week, staying in the converted farmhouse where I grew up and where my parents still live. The house is set on 40 acres, most of which is split up into three fields that used to be planted with corn or harvested for hay. Beyond the fields are woods that are still full of wildlife.

These days, you can see a variety of animals right in the backyard, and the sightings have been the highlight of my week. Three young foxes are playing in the picture above, which was taken just beyond the yard last month. I saw one of them, now mature, trot along the side of the house and through the backyard two days ago, very early in the morning.

I've also seen a friendly groundhog who has made a home under the hot tub deck in the backyard, a chipmunk who lives beneath the old dog house enjoying some lunch he found under some fallen leaves, and a large doe who walked right through the yard on the way to a safe spot where she could wait out an approaching thunderstorm. Several flocks of wild turkeys have crossed the roads when I've been driving in the area.

The most dramatic sighting is one I missed, however. My mom saw a bobcat walk right through the backyard! Bobcats are sighted here only every couple of years and I missed it again! What gorgeous creatures they are, and I would love to see one.

Soon I'll be back in the Boston area for the beginning of a new work year, and we'll be preparing to take Hamilton in for his treatment on September 10. But for now, I'm glad I've had this chance to enjoy some time off with a few wild creatures.

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