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Lately my wilderness explorations have been relatively local, to my work and to home. But that has created a new challenge in strengthening my new nature eyes. Even though I am definitely looking forward to another adventure into a more rural and “natural” area, I have found that even in the busy weeks and in the everyday grind there is wilderness all around us. All it takes is an awareness, open eyes and open ears, and you might be surprised.

Vultures flying high above

Just this past week I was surprised by many different wildlife moments. While driving home from dinner on a quiet suburban road, my headlights shown on a plump rabbit. The rabbit immediately bounded away to safety. . . but it was there and it called this place home, just like me. Later when I was unpacking my groceries I was enchanted to hear a chorus of ribbiting and croaking and hearing the frogs croaking nearby. During my lunch break at work I took a pencil and a pad of paper and in less than ten minutes I’d encountered several cheerful phoebes, some quick flighty birds that were twittering up a storm (and which I wish I could have glimpsed better to have identified), and saw two huge turkey vultures riding the winds high high above. One of the vultures shook its tail mid-flight as it soared high above me, as if it wasn’t already an impressive sight.

It has been in little moments like these that have made my daily grind infinitely more enjoyable and has reduced the stress of the daily commute. It has become a treasure hunt, a game of hide and seek, trying to find those little glimpses of incredible biodiversity in a busy and big world. I am grateful for those moments of looking closer as life rushes along and for having incredible friends and family members who remind me to look up, slow down and enjoy the burst of pinks and golds and reds in the sunset while commuting. . . To be curious about what lives under each leaf and finding a small jumping spider making its’ home there.

European Starlings

. . I hope you all have fun this week looking under rocks, and taking some lunch breaks outside to enjoy glimpses of nature in our big city.

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