For those of you who follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter, you probably realize why I haven’t posted on my blog for so long. Having a book launch for Mystery of the Bear Cub last October, then selling our beloved campground in November, packing up 27 years of our lives, settling into a new house, all in the midst of the Thanksgiving – Christmas season . . . . all while going to school every day . . . well, it took every ounce of energy I had.
And just when I was getting my feet back under me, our beloved 13 year old pup, Cookie, became ill and passed away. I was heartbroken.
I won’t kid you . . . I began to miss our land, because those walks grounded me.
Lower Range Pond right out my front doorstep . . .
It’s trails, it’s wildlife . . .
and the opportunities to study, research and then put those nature findings into Cooper and Packrat’s adventures . . . and then to take these photos and wildlife sighting stories into schools to encourage another generation to wildlife watch with respect and care . . .
well, it had become my love. My passion.
Now mind you, we had moved to a beautiful home in a beautiful location . . . only steps from a the edge of a new lake.
But I didn’t get the chance to explore it before the cold weather moved in. And I didn’t have a trail I could fall out my backdoor and step onto at a moments notice when the writing got hard. Or I wanted to procrastinate a bit.
I kept asking myself, would I, could I, still get my nature geek fix here?
The sunsets were certainly amazing!
I set up my bird feeders and waited anxiously. It was a first step.
Slowly they began to arrive . . .
And then, they came. The bird I’d been trying to attract to my Poland feeder for 27 years with no luck. My Grandmother’s and mother’s favorite bird.
My son saw them first.
The male . . .
And then the female . . .
Cardinals!! I’d always wanted to study Cardinals!! This pair is still elusive, and I’m still trying to get that crisp, clear shot, but they’re here!
And just a week later, a flock of nine turkeys showed up . . .
I hadn’t had turkeys on my back lawn before!
I set up my writing secretary in the sun room, where I had a view of the outdoors in every direction. Skylights, floor to ceiling windows …
And oh, I quickly realized that was a big mistake. I began to have the hardest time concentrating! But I was in heaven.
A Pileated Woodpecker showed up one day . . . . at least 75 to 100 yards through the trees.
I hear him quite regularly now, and when I do, it makes me smile.
And I heard the call of a Barred Owl, clear as a bell from across the lake, on another afternoon.
I found a new trail, just a short drive away, and friends encouraged me to lookup a couple more in the area. Then lake froze over and I made plan to snowshoe its edges, too. But what a difficult year for snowshoeing it has been! Lots and lots of rain between the snowstorms.
Then last Wednesday, on a school snow day, I saw a familiar shape and color through the treeline at the back of the property.
A pair of foxes!! I grabbed my camera and flew to the second floor window. Opening it, I listened. I knew from studying our foxes and their den for four years, that this is mating season for them. Would they come closer? Would I hear them call? I waited . . .
and waited . . .
And was rewarded . . .
When this adult trotted through my backyard.
Click, click, click went my camera. This fox heard. And paused.
Coming to a full stop, it looked around for me. But I was tucked in the house in the shadows. I captured a photo or two, before it trotted off to the neighbor’s backyard.
I had tears in my eyes, for in that moment I remembered my own words of encouragement to readers . . . whenever I speak at my school presentations, I always end by telling them that if they look hard enough, no matter where they live, they will find nature in their own backyards, too. You just have to slow down, and look for it. Be open to it.
Yes, there’s going to be plenty of wildlife in this new location. And if too much time passes between sightings, I can always hike by Lower Range Pond to check the eagle, loon and fox nesting/den spots as I always have, thanks to a generous offer from the new owners. AND my husband and I will be hiking, geocaching, sailing, kayaking and more this Spring and Summer. I plan to report back on those adventures, the pros and cons, whether they are family friendly hikes or more difficult, so you all can go out and try them, too.
I hope to post once a week – sometimes about my writing goals, sometimes on school visits, and of course everything nature. I am, after all a nature geek.
Please come back often, or follow me on Facebook (Tamra Wight – Children’s Author), Twitter (@TamraWight), or Instagram (tamrawight).
Here’s to 2018 and a new chapter full of adventures!