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  • Writer's pictureEdie Montreux

Back to Nature

I grew up in rural Iowa, so I'm used to being up close and personal with nature. We had rabbits, raccoons, snakes, song birds attracted by my grandma's feeders, and every kind of bug you can imagine native to the Midwest. We even saw a mink once. So pretty.

We did not have chipmunks or squirrels, something we definitely have in the city. Another thing I didn't realize we needed to worry about: mice. We had a mouse in our house this week. It drove the dogs crazy, broke into my bag of pumpkin seeds, and treated a conventional mousetrap like a restaurant. I hate being that asshole, but we resorted to sticky traps and we no longer have a mouse in the house.

They're building our fence next week. If you feel like I've said "next week" for the past three weeks, you're right. We assumed contact with them meant they would be starting, but no. This time, it's the real deal. They'll start Monday, probably need all day Tuesday, and may even need to do some work on Wednesday. Our yard is huge.

We've spent more time outdoors getting ready for this fence than I think I spent outside the five years before old man dog died. (Back when I was not the dog walker. I'm outside twice as much now, and this fence won't change a thing for us - we will still be in the yard with the dogs, making sure no mountain lions are hanging about. That's something else we never had to worry about as kids, but there's been one about town this summer.)

This week alone, I've seen a chipmunk, squirrels, bunnies, and baby robins not quite ready to leave the nest. I also almost ran over a garter snake with the lawnmower (and cheered, since this is the first one I've seen in a couple of years, and he made it past the blades!) There will be plenty of chasing around the yard once the dogs are free to run wherever they wish.

It'll be nice for me, too. I'll be able to leisurely stroll through the yard, rather than be dragged by the leash. Big dog is leash trained, but prey drive in his own yard is a force even training cannot control. I can walk around the yard like a track and no one will know. I can even set up our umbrella chairs and read or write while the dogs are out. I can't wait.

What's your favorite way to enjoy nature?

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