#104 Wildlife in the city

We two-leggeds have done a remarkably thorough job of gobbling up the best and most easily accessible land on the planet. When wild relatives insist on hanging around, we get pretty testy if they eat our roses, stomp on our pets or raid our garbage.

I understand. Snails have eaten my seedlings. Raccoons have tipped my garbage. Starlings have punched holes in every one of my cherries. Deer have gobbled my roses. Bears have chased my sheep. Foxes have eaten my ducks. I understand how easy it is to go ballistic when the prize beans intended for a gourmet dinner go missing or the lamb disappears down a cougar’s gullet.

On the other hand, there are some real pluses to sharing the planet. Walking through an urban neighbourhood and stopping to watch a deer pull leaves off a tree is one of them. So is catching sight of a heron coming in for a landing, an osprey plucking a fish out of the lake, or a mother duck taking her fuzzy newborns on a foraging expedition.

When I see my wild neighbours, I’m reassured that although we’re doing our best to narrow their options, some of them still manage to thrive in cities. I wish there were more of them. They remind us we share the world with some pretty remarkable creatures.


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Carol Lynn - July 25, 2011

Thank you so much for your understanding, Cathryn. Our great planet is limited in size. We humans have mainly clustered in areas that we find appealing. Our expansions are increasing those areas. In the process we are moving rapidly into what is the living rooms of our fellow species and too often requiring them to move over. When we cloak our living spaces in concrete, roads and the buildings in which we live, we too often shut ourselves off from the beauty of the natural world. As you so beautifully say, sometimes we are privileged to witness it still, up close. One of the great needs is to learn to live together in harmony and understanding – and according that to those who were there first .Along the way, we may find great value in what we would otherwise lose. My thanks for your insight.

    admin - July 25, 2011

    We’re a colonizing and careless species. I miss living surrounded by the great wild creatures of Canada. We shared space with bears, cougars, wolves, coyotes, moose, deer, and a host of other furred and feathered neighbours. But I’m grateful for the wild relatives who’ve managed to continue sharing our urban spaces.

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