I just received the perfect gift, something I’ve wanted for a while. It’s a Hyperfire High Output Covert IR (infrared) camera. When located properly, I’ll be able to catch images day and night of the birds and animals which roam our property.

My son suggested we put it up by the old pond far off the beaten path from everything. He is sure creatures must come and drink there at night and mentioned he rode up there on his dirt bike last week. I wonder did he notice our old canoe which rotted out after decades of use? Has the pond already claimed it? I wonder, too, did he remember the hours we spent as I paddled him back and forth across that tiny pond (think many three-point turns here), pushing aside bulrushes and waterweeds in search of newts, him poised with a minnow net in the bow of the boat waiting to catch the orange-bellied newts as they rose to the surface for air? I seem to remember a glory day when he caught more than twenty-two, all of which he returned to the pond at the end of our voyage.


Our new pond, down by the chicken coop, has gone from a leaky, water-filled mud wallow to a thriving ecosystem filled with frog song and duck play. At dawn, I’ve seen wild turkeys sipping there. At dusk,  deer drink there before munching on our greenery. I’d love to see the pond at night, since every time I approach, the frogs freeze in shocked silence. I’ve never seen them there, though I can count by their confident voices that they number in the hundreds. Somehow, I imagine the infrared camera would reveal a raucous pub scene spilling from pub to the streets, to quiet froggy homes.


This camera has daytime capabilities, too. I hope it will record my newly forged alliance with our local crows, a friendship of peanuts, pasta, and hard cheddar.


My husband considers the camera as an object of deliverance, revealing the “creature” that lives under our deck. What is it? Why does it bother the dog? Why does it leave scats on the deck, by the doormat, on the steps? Why does it soil intimate places such as the shoe prints of the stepping stone our kids made years ago, as if to say, “I hate family and tradition.” “I’m sure it’s a fox,” my husband said,  sardonically adding, “I’ll be pissed off if the infrared catches one of the neighbors up on our deck at night marking his territory.”


My husband has had trouble of this kind before. He shamed one of the neighbor’s horses for walking into the recording studio and the otherwise gentle chestnut mare whinnied and scattered, clattering on the deck and leaping down the short staircase to the meadow. She left ample droppings in his parking place for more than a year, registering her umbrage weekly and protesting his pointless shaming. I have no idea why the horse walked in the studio that day. Perhaps with this camera we’ll discover it’s a nightly ritual of attempted breaking and entering and not the solitary incident we’d imagined.


2 Replies to “Wildlife”

  1. I love everything about this post. It is why I am welcoming your return to more frequent blogging with open and eager arms. You range far and wide and yet it always connects, and the beauty and poignancy are pervasive. I can’t tell you how much I’m hoping it’s a fox! I love foxes–so sacred, somehow! (Even with the coop nearby, which I know presents issues…)

    That camera is droolworthy! If I had one here, though, all I’d catch would be cats, possums, cats, possibly a raccoon every now and then, and more cats. LOL.

    I can’t wait to see more of your frogs, turkeys, deer, and crows. I’ve met them, and it will be good to catch up on their lives. Thanks for the poetry of this post.

  2. Love, love, love this! And in the grand tradition of acknowledging things valued and missed, I feel like I have just been given a glass of cool water after having wandered the streets of Seville in mid-June. It feels like coming home to my favourite over-sized sweat shirt and flannel PJs.

    I can’t wait to hear more stories of froggy pub crawls and vengeful denizens-under-the-deck. Oh and equine interlopers, too, although I definitely understand the motivation. Seriously, do you have any idea how expensive studio time is? Well, it is in Colorado, anyway.

    I am SO looking forward to reading more!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: