Eric Mayer

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Nothing much happens around here. Nothing essay-worthy. About as close as I can get to writing about a wild life is describing our wildlife. And even that has been tame recently. None of the wild turkeys, or bears, or bobcats we've spotted in the past. Well, Mary saw the bobcat. I've only seen one in a zoo but it's neat to know they are wandering around the woods out back.

We've seen a woodchuck rambling around the yard. Whether last year's or not I couldn't say. Every year there's a woodchuck but it's impossible to tell where one woodchuck leaves off and another begins. In the spring, when I first mow the lawn, I usually discover a new, or old woodchuck hole. They've been everywhere -- the back, the front, in the weeds at the edge of the yard, out in the middle of the lawn, under the deck.

A few days ago I saw a doe grazing on the lawn about three feet from the back window. When I called up the stairs to Mary the doe pricked up her ears and trotted away. We seldom see deer, probably because there are plenty of more hospitable places in the woods and fields nearby.

We can't grow vegetables surrounded as we are by trees so deer and woodchucks are perfectly welcome. (This is not the case with Jim, I see, who is contemplating venison for dinner.)

Then two nights ago a skunk passed by. We didn't see the skunk, but they leave a certain aura in their vicinity. Just as well I don't take the trash down to the road. I used to put it out after dark when I lived in Rochester. One evening I had an encounter of the too-close-for-comfort kind. It was only after I had dropped my bag that I noticed the skunk that had been sampling the neighbor's garbage.

A sight you never want to see is a skunk turning its back on you.

I guess I set the unofficial world record for the fifty yard dash and slammed the house door shut in the nick of time. Twenty- five years ago I could move faster. If ever find myself staring down the business end of a skunk these days...well...that would really stink.

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