Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Wild Critters Returning to the Neighborhood

Boulder is continuing to have extremely warm temperatures so fat this November.  Our normal high temperature is 53 degrees (F), but we've had temperatures usually in the 60s and low 70s.  Today, we're forecast to have a high of 76 - and there isn't a cloud in the sky...  A small storm is due to arrive Thursday and give us a high of 40 degrees, and, with a low in the teens that night, we have rain and a small chance of snow, as well.  I'm not crazy about "grey days" but we really need moisture, so I won't complain a bit.
    In my house- and pet-sitting neighborhood, in north Boulder, the coyotes have finally moved on, and a few red fox have come back into the territory.  We've had an explosion of the rabbit population, and the fox are beginning to deal with the surplus.  And, two weeks ago, I saw something from a distance at dawn, and convinced myself I had imagined it.  My niece confirmed my sighting last week, so I can now report that there is a mink living in the neighborhood, also.
   Since I first saw the mink running across the road in half-light, I thought I just hadn't seen it plainly.  I thought  - No, it wasn't a darker, elongated squirrel, without a bushy tail; you imagined that... - but then I saw it's head and shoulders pop out of a woodpile last week.  Several hours later, my niece saw the mink climb on top of the woodpile, stand on all four feet, then rise up on it's hind feet, and survey the area.  She was sitting 15 feet away from the woodpile, and had an excellent view and time to study it.
    Last night, one of the neighbors was taking a walk around the area, when he saw a bobcat sitting in the street in front of my sister and brother-in-law's house.  Mark said it was gazing up at the nearly full moon, and when it heard his approach, it looked at him, stood up, stretched, and calmly stalked away.  That report made my sister and Jim very happy...

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