Monday, August 17, 2009

Making Tracks

Good Lord, I can't believe it's August! And August is half over! Summer has flown by and we haven't had much of a summer to speak of. Yesterday it was hot, and it looks like it's going to be that way, and dry, for a couple more days (hot being 89 and 90) and then it's supposed to go back down into the 70s with more rain. Hallelujah! Because we sure haven't had enough rain this year! I jest. I read in the paper that it didn't rain here 7 of the 31 days of July, July being one of the wettest since they started keeping track of such statistics, and June and July together are now on record as being the two wettest months ever. I'm afraid of what the winter will bring. But I digress.

This morning I went out to take a few pictures of the progress that is being made on our kitchen from the outside. The first thing the contractor said to me was "Have you had some turkeys here?" And actually we have. We saw them two days in a row, but they've probably been here when we weren't looking, too. Mickey first spotted them in the north yard. They had come out of the woods and scratched around the yard for a while before disappearing back into the woods. Then, moments later as I left to go to work, I spotted them again, but this time up on the hill behind the house where I have started a compost pile. The next morning I saw them there again.

Now, please notice that the turkey track is in sand. "Where did you get sand?" you may ask. Well, it's natural here. When people talk about having sandy soil, we have it. And we have sand with no soil, as you see in the picture above. When the excavator was doing work on the hill, he discovered that there is nothing but sand, and giant boulders, 8 inches below the soil. So with all the rain we've had this year, the sand has washed down to where the drive is/was.

As the contractor and I admired the many turkey tracks, I noticed another track. At first my brain thought "Mickey's bare foot", then I realized he would have to have strangely shaped feet to make the track I was studying, which he doesn't, the last time I checked.

The contractor thought that it was a bobcat or lynx. Certainly a large cat. Nearby was a smaller cat track, presumably Maxwell's. Compare.

But now, as I look at the picture of the smaller paw print, it doesn't look like Maxwell's. But certainly some other cat-sized animal. The other night when coming home from doing laundry, a fox ran in front of the car and into and across the yard. And the other night as we enjoyed dinner on the front porch with friends from the city, one of the little boys screamed "a deer"! A huge doe had leaped out of the woods across the street, galloped across the yard and into the woods on the hill. It was spectacular!