I have a post about two new critters who came to visit, called Stinky Boy and his Cousin. It was supposed to be posted yesterday, but the tribute to Alexi Leonov pushed it forward to the Monday before Thanksgiving.
As I was writing that post, I was a little uneasy. It ended up mentioning a large cadre of critters. Even though I made it clear that many only came by once in more than a decade, I still wondered if some readers would imagine that I live in a virtual zoo, instead of normal foothills full of sweet but ordinary creatures, and more rarely visited by the exotic.
Then today happened.
We went out early by car to watch a cattle drive which happens twice a year, going to the high country in spring and back down to the foothills in the fall. The critter count included cows, horses, dogs, and cowboys, but they don’t really count because they are all domesticated. Except the cowboys.
Driving back to my house, I had to brake for quail flying across the road. Driving on down toward the valley afterward, we had to dodge a tarantula crossing the road —
“Why did the tarantula cross the road? Mating season.”
— then passed a flock of turkeys in a neighbor’s yard. Still less than two miles from home I saw an egret standing at the edge of the lake waiting for a fish. Yesterday at the same spot I saw a flock of geese floating on the water.
A moment later a vulture swooped down. For a moment we were bracing for a collision but he was only interested in a piece of road kill in the ditch.
Okay, you’re right. I do live in a zoo.