Total Pageviews

Saturday, December 25, 2010

What did you find in your Stocking?

Christmas mornings are for stockings but, oh, what a surprise my wife found in hers a few weeks ago! The morning of our first snow, Doris pulled out her knee-high winter boots from the closet when she discovered them filled with dog food pellets. Ditto the adjacent hiking shoes.

We recognized the signature trademark of the culprit, a fat-bellied mouse that we had caught a couple of months earlier after discovering a box of soap pads under the sink likewise filled to the brim with Eukanuba kibble.

Like many residential areas, Ithaca is increasingly host to the encroachment of wild animals, deer most prominently. We have deer on our lawn daily, and twice have had births beneath the trees behind our house. We’ve had to relocate a family of six baby skunks from our shrubs, a groundhog from under our tool shed, and a dead possum from the same location.

While conventional wisdom suggests that wild animals living in our communities result from our encroachment onto their natural habitat, we think the situation at the Smith residence (where we have lived for almost 30 years) is much simpler. Where we once had two young lively cats, they gradually outlived their hunting prowess over the past decade. And while our two young dogs would at one time patrol the property, our sole aging cocker now merely lifts his ears with interest.

Perhaps the same thing has happened in Washington, DC. About six weeks ago, I captured this photo of a red fox within 100 feet of the Capital building. Is Capital Hill also missing the daily romps of Senator Ted Kennedy’s two Portuguese Water Dogs?

Red Fox 100 feet from US Capital Building Dec 2, 2010