Monday, December 7, 2009

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers 12/07/2009

Urban Wildlife by guest Blogger, Gayle Cochrane

I’d like to point out a marvelous gift of life in Arizona, urban wildlife. Here in the heart of suburbia, surrounded by thousands of nearly identical homes, I see lots of wildlife. I also see people climb into their vehicles and speed off to their workplace. At the end of the day they can be spotted briefly as their car approaches and disappears inside, garage doors rattle down. In a parallel existence a remarkable array of wildlife carry on unassuming lives right underneath our noses. In the course of early morning and evening jaunts around the ‘hood I have recently seen; two javelinas running full speed just feet from the sidewalk, a four foot gopher snake writhing slowly across pavement, great horned owls flying silently overhead, coyotes skulking. A wide variety of songbirds visit, feed and nest in our backyard native plantings, and chuckwallas hang out on the rock wall in the summer. Red-tailed hawks circle high in the sky, and turkey vultures sail inquisitively past. In the evenings bats swoop around the lights, and later still raccoons and coatis begin to roam the perimeter, that porous membrane between our lives and theirs. Take the time to go out in the dawn and dusk to listen and watch. What a gift from nature!

Gayle Cochrane

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