If you've been paying attention, you know I spent about ocho anos as a National Park Ranger. My primary duties were law enforcement (now classroom management) and interpretation (now teaching).
Searching this blog for the arrest of the time traveler, naked guy, and the high speed chase through Cherokee, NC should give you a taste for some of the odd things that I encountered during that part of my journey.
I mention that past career only as a link to this point. At times, in the Park Service, I lived in the park ... which sounds really cool, and is sometimes, but ... you are never really off duty.
On your day off, if you went outside your park housing, you were in a crowd of happy park visitors ... not a lot of privacy.
The evening was better after the park closed, but there were still "incidents".
At any moment, some "ignorer of signs, begging for a entering a closed area ticket moron" might come knocking on your door after hours.
You might have been chilling in your baggy shorts with an extreme case of bedhead, but suddenly "poof", you're on duty.
That makes for a grouchy law enforcement officer ... I'm just saying ... in case you ever think about entering a park after hours.
The upside was the abundance of critters and being surrounded by wildlands.
Now I have that same effect without park visitors ... or any visitors most days. I actually rode through a favorite wild park recently and saw less wildlife than I had seen in my own backyard that same day.
Take yesterday morning, I was standing in the kitchen with my baggy shorts and a severe case of bedhead going on, when this deer caught my eye out the kitchen window.
I left Bear inside (whine, whine) and slipped out barefoot to get close to this doe and her two fawns. The rain had just ended and they were moving through my garden area.
She looks so healthy. I think the daily (is this Seattle?) rains have given the ungulates abundant forage this year.
I have her fawns on video. In the picture above, the fawns were just out of the picture to the left. Click here to see Flag in action.
Walking back to the house, this black racer was hunting around the cement pad that the two heat pump units sit upon.
Sleek, beautiful, so graceful in movement that they seem to float over the ground ... I love having them around. This one is pretty big for a racer.
I think they are thrilled with the nooks and crannies of the waterfolly.
My red swamp mallow is still in the pot (Points for Lowes for carrying native plants!) and has been blooming continuously since I bought it.
This very green grasshopper was out also. He was munching on my swamp mallow, but not causing any serious damage so I didn't show him to Bear who was out again since the fawns had moved on.
Grasshoppers and cicadas fear Bear ... as well they should.
He is fascinated with them ...
... in a pouncey, eventual dissection sort of way.