Country Living – Part 2

It has been a little while since I wrote “Country Living – Part 1”, so I had to go back and read it again to make sure I didn’t repeat myself. It turns out, I only told you guys about one animal that has come by. There have been many more since then, so let’s go ahead and get started.
The last post ended with the mysterious disappearance of the rooster that came by our house to visit… and to poop all over our porch. About three weeks after that, we had another visitor: a bird. More specifically a wren, which is a tiny little brown bird. It was trying to build a nest in our garage. I took it down, worried about what would happen if baby birds were born in there. But the wren came back and tried again, so I took the nest down again. The little bird still didn’t get the hint and it came back a third time, so I took it down once again and walked upstairs, frustrated. As I opened the door, something flew right over my head, something much bigger than a wasp or a fly. It was the bird. Somehow it got lost after its third failed attempt to build a nest and instead of fleeing the scene through the garage louvers, it decided to fly up the stairway and wait right by the door – maybe it wanted revenge against the nest bandit. Once it got in, it started freaking out. As you probably know, birds can’t see glass (if you thought that was just a joke, well, it is not). The poor little critter kept flying into our front door, then as I approached the door to try to open it, it flew up the stairway and straight into a window. Its little brain didn’t seem to register the fact that it was glass and not his escape route, so it kept trying over and over again. I started to panic at the thought of a dead bird in my house, but more importantly I felt really bad for her (or him?), so I grabbed my cell phone to call my husband … and realized that, of course, once again, he was out of town and unable to help me (refer to my previous post if this doesn’t make sense to you). I ended up calling my neighbor instead and her husband came right away to rescue me, I mean the bird. After the wren was safely guided outside, I took a deep breath and went on about my business… and so did the bird. It must have been really traumatized, because it didn’t come back into our garage again that Spring. Bird episode (almost) over. We had another bird visit this year, but that’s a story for another post. Now on to the next “wild” animal.
I am not going to go into detail about the fox, hoot owl and the two bald eagles that live in the vicinity. I am just going to say that they are actually pretty cool to have around, especially since they stay far away from us and our dog. Well, the owl tried to “attack” our dog one night, but once it got close enough to see her size (90 lbs.!), it quickly flew away. We have also had the pleasure of seeing baby raccoons hanging out on the oak tree in front of our house, and a marsh turtle that came by and laid eggs in our front yard. These last two “events” were neat too, especially for my daughter. And just when I was starting to get used to this country living, something happened. Something that was not neat, or fun, or cool.
The last wildlife story I have to share with you, at least for now, has a connection to the first one (yes, the infamous rooster story). I was in my office one morning, probably about 6 months after the first rooster came into my life, when I noticed a pick up truck drive around the cul-de-sac and stop in front of the lot next to my house. At first I didn’t think anything of it, because that used to happen fairly frequently. The lot was still for sale, so people would drive by, stop, and walk out of their cars to take a closer look at the property. But this time, that truck parked there for a different reason. I noticed the driver walking around to the back of his truck, lowering the tailgate and pulling a cage towards him. I kept watching it, not understanding what was going on and all of a sudden I saw it: there was a rooster inside the cage. Not a white rooster like the first one. This one had dark reddish/brown feathers. I quickly ran to the front door and by the time I walked onto my front porch, the man was holding the cage upside down, trying to get the rooster out. I yelled “Hey, excuse me, sir”. He ignored me. “Excuse me, sir!”, I said more firmly, and he turned around, still holding the cage upside down with the rooster holding on for dear life. “Sir, are you trying to release that rooster here?” He calmly responded “Yes”. So I said “This is private property, you can’t do that”. After those words came out of my mouth, I immediately realized that he was probably the same person who brought the other rooster to our neighborhood a few months back. His response was as astonishing as the thought of having a rooster dropper-offer around the area. He said “Well, it is either this or kill it, and I don’t feel like eating chicken”. What?!?!?! “I don’t feel like it either, sir, so you need to take it back”. He looked at me with an angry expression on his face, as if I was the one who said something absurd. And since the rooster held on tight the whole time, he had no option but to close the cage back up and take the chicken with him.
Every time I tell this rooster story, people laugh – and so do I. It wasn’t funny then, because I was totally perplexed at the fact that someone could actually do that. But now it is pretty hilarious, especially the dialog between me and Mr. Cocky. And another funny thing is that this man had a personalized license plate. I didn’t even have to write it down, I memorized it right away … just in case another rooster inexplicably appeared on my front porch. But needless to say, after almost a year, we have yet to see another chicken roaming around the neighborhood.   

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Country Living – Part 1

Sometimes it feels a little weird saying that I am a city girl when I have been living in a somewhat small city for most of my life. But it is true what they say: once a city girl, always a city girl. Well, not sure if anybody says that, but if you grew up in a big city, you understand what I mean. That is not to say that I don’t like where I live. On the contrary, I love it! It is on the coast – which is something very important to me, it is historic, there is always some type of art or sporting event going on, and tourism is at an all-time high. So I guess I can say that I live in a small city with a big city feel. Actually it had been feeling more like a big city than a small one for a while … until a little over a year ago, when we moved into our new place.

Five years ago, my husband and I decided to buy a lot on the water (river to be precise). We came across it while at a party at the developer’s house, and really liked the area, especially the view. It was quiet, surrounded by live oak trees, and the view of the river was stunning. It was also a good deal, so we bought it and three years later started construction. After 12 months, our house was, for the most part, finished. We fell in love with it from the moment we moved in. What I wasn’t counting on were the “country living” experiences I was about to have.

Four months after moving into the new house, I was making myself a sandwich during my lunch break and started hearing the sound of a rooster crowing – you know, that cock-a-doodle-do sound. I had no clue where it was coming from and started searching the house for it. I figured it was a toy that suddenly went off, because our alma matter’s mascot is a Gamecock and we have some Gamecock stuff around, but I couldn’t find anything. Then I heard it again … and again. So I decided to walk outside and to my surprise, there was a rooster on the vacant lot next to my house. It was the first time I saw a rooster in the area and thought it was a bit weird, but I assumed it came from somewhere nearby and went on about my business. Later that night, I was preparing dinner for my daughter while she danced around the house. As she danced her way towards the front door, I heard a small scream and thought she had fallen down. I asked if she was OK and she replied “yes, mommy, but there is a chicken on the porch”. I thought to myself “oh, no, she fell and hit her head”, but as I walked towards her, I realized she was telling the truth. The same rooster I had seen earlier that day was back, and this time it was on our front porch. I tried to shoo it away – nothing. I cracked the door open and let my dog peak outside and bark – nothing. My daughter grabbed her duck call toy thingy and started using it – nothing. I actually asked her to stop immediately because I was afraid ducks would come over and join the chicken. This was all happening and my husband, of course, was out of town for work. My luck! He laughed as I described the situation and I guess it was pretty funny. I finally gave up trying to get the rooster to leave and we all went to bed. In the morning, the front porch was covered in chicken poop and the rooster was nowhere to be found. Must have gone back to his coop, I thought. WRONG.

Later that night, the rooster came back. He also came back the night after that and the night after that. By the second night, my husband was back and we could not figure out how to get it to leave the premises. Poop was everywhere and the sound of that thing crowing was driving everyone crazy, especially our dog. At the end of the week, as we were getting ready to go on a road trip, the guys who were doing work around our backyard showed up. My husband approached one of them and said that there was a rooster roaming around, it was not ours, and jokingly added that they were welcome to take it if they wanted. By the time we got back from our trip, the rooster was gone – for good this time. We are not exactly sure why or how the it went away, but have a pretty good theory.

Don’t worry, my Country Living story does not end here. That rooster was not the only bird to pay an unwanted visit to our house and it was certainly not the only “wild” animal around. More to come on the next blog. Stay tuned.