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Carol Perkins: Nature Talk

Previous Column: Day Trip to Nolin Lake

By Carol Perkins

When I reached for the water hose that was wrapped around a post next to the kitchen window, Ernie's grandson grazed close to my hand. I shrieked. I turned on the water, switched the nozzle to "jet" and was soon chasing Ernie Jr. up and down the brick wall.

The windows where Guy stood, watching me.

"Don't kill him!" he shouted as I zagged with his zig.

Ernie, Jr. was going to drown if I had my way, but he was faster than the power of the water. Once again, he escaped. Ernie, Jr. is a blue back lizard, grandson of our resident lizard whom Guy named Ernie. I have no love for either lizard and when I can, I terrorize them.

"They don't bother you," Guy protested. I secretly wished one would run up his pant legs and then we'd see who shrieked.

The other day when I was having my morning coffee on our deck, I found myself engaged in a one-way conversation with Sammy or it could have been Tammy. Both are squirrels who have lived in our trees for years. Sammy stood tall, with his little hands together as if he were holding something, and seemed to be listening as I said, "Come here, little squirrel, I won't hurt you."

If that squirrel had obeyed, I would have picked up an umbrella and flown among the trees like Mary Poppins. In my younger and busier days, I would never have talked to a squirrel. Or a rabbit. Or a deer. Even last year I would have not noticed them except when one crossed in front of me.

As I observe my furry friends (and stomped the deck when a lizard crossed in front of me, hoping to give it a heart attack), I am impressed by how organized they are. How efficient.

For example, they can hide the nuts they gather and know where they put them weeks later. I lay down my scissors and can't find them for a week. We found a walnut on the steps to the patio. "Look what Tammy left us," Guy said. We assumed it was Tammy, but it could have been Sammy. Then I was puzzled how such a small creature could carry the walnut (still in the hull).

Another observation we make daily is our hummingbird. He will not drink from the feeder but prefers to fly from flower to flower, looking for his dinner. We have no success with our feeder, but lots of success with his company because of my newfound flower adventure. He isn't afraid to get near us as we sit on the patio and watch.

A few times, both of us have ducked, thinking he was zooming at us. On my table inside the house, I have some red flowers. That hummingbird tries to get to them through the glass. One day he's going to break his nose!

Maybe we have something in common with Dr. Dolittle!

Carol's most recent book, based on a true story, The Case of the Missing Ring, is available through Amazon, both paperback and ebook. You can contact her at

This story was posted on 2020-09-03 11:02:41
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