Nature is the best entertainment

By Evelyn Richardson - Here and There

I have window peepers. Shortly after dark I begin to watch for them. Up to four or more little tree frogs take positions on my front windows and peer into the lighted room.

Of course their mission is to blindside tiny nighttime insects that are attracted to the light. The frogs’ main meal will soon arrive for the taking.

I move up close, nose to nose, with only the thickness of the windowpane between us. Apparently, I pose no threat, as they do not move until their instinct tells them to.

It’s hard to tell who is studying whom. Their bulging eyes stare directly at mine. I’m fascinated by their soft throat that pulsates continuously. Their suction-cup toes allow them to stretch far to reach a bug.

I patiently wait to watch one snap a bug and swallow. Then it happens so quickly that I’m not sure that I really saw it! He has a magician’s move.

These funny creatures intrigue me. Their oddly proportioned bodies make me laugh every time I look them over. I watch them with interest as if I were seeing them for the very first time.

I take pleasure in noting how they seem to have grown overnight, fed by the bountiful supply of bugs. Of course, I may not be looking at the same frogs at all.

The windows are left smeary from their visits, requiring frequent cleaning with Windex and a paper towel. A small price to pay for such good on-site entertainment.

I also am the victim of thieves. All summer I have observed a mother deer and her two fawns. The first time I saw them, the babies’ legs were still wobbly and they could hardly keep up.

Each early morning and late afternoon I glance in all directions to see if they are around. If they are, I pause and watch for a long moment, no matter what chores might be waiting.

All of the mother’s teachings are not identifiable to me, but I am confident that they are going on all the time. When a fawn has his head down and becomes separated from mother deer, he leaps to catch, just as he has been taught to do.

The bird bath seemed to need refilling more often, and then I caught them drinking from the handy supply. Hosta clumps along the sidewalk obviously have been nibbled. I watch them at the edge of the woods graze their way out into the sweet alfalfa field. Shucks hang loose on the cornstalks, bold evidence that the deer have helped themselves.

I don’t fret, but feel a satisfying partnership with nature. Now when the pair cross the lot, nearly grown, no mom to be seen, I feel a kind of pride as another cycle of nature has repeated itself, although I did nothing but be aware.

By Evelyn Richardson

Here and There

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