Sunday we had breakfast at the Colonial Café. Leaving the restaurant we saw a pair of Canada geese who had set up housekeeping on an island in the Hobby Lobby parking lot next door. We pulled close and could see they were wary of us. They held their ground. We parked and watched.
We humans have been encroaching on the wildlife habitats in our country since the first settlements on the east coast. The first immigrants to our shores came to take advantage of this new world of abundance. And there was abundance, abundant wildlife, abundant forests, abundant waterways and abundant natural resources. Approximately four hundred years later we do not enjoy the same abundance. We have cornered wildlife, chopped down forests and polluted waterways. We have not done a very good job of living with our environment. If we continue to conspicuously consume our natural resources, anyone with an imagination has a pretty good idea of what the future will be. There is speculation in some quarters we may be too late to save the planet for our grandchildren’s grandchildren.
There are days when I wonder where it will all end. And there are days when I see wildlife pushing back. Several years ago I saw two coyotes within my city limits and one running in the woods alongside the I-88 toll way between Lisle and Naperville. My urban wildlife sightings have included whooping cranes, herons, pelicans, eagles, Canada geese, several variety of ducks, deer and all of the smaller animals I consider “pesky rodents”, (ie. raccoons, opossums, armadillos, groundhogs) within “city limits.”
Wildlife pushback is on the rise. Last year we had a Mallard drake and duck raise a family of ducklings in our neighborhood. We think their nest was in the backyard of the corner house. They used neighbors’ swimming pools for paddling practice. One day mama duck brought her brood through the fence and into our backyard before she found her way across the lawns back to her nest. (editorial note: The pair is back this spring.)
For several years we followed the family planning efforts of a pair of Mallards in a nest located on a concrete island in our local Home Depot parking lot. They finally abandoned the nest last year.
On his way to Lowe’s, Mike swung by to see our little outdoor urban family. When Mama got up to stretch her legs, he saw eggs with the little holes where the goslings are trying to find their way out into the Hobby Lobby parking lot.
©2011 Susan Kendall. All rights reserved