Wildlife sightings began ticking up in mid-June, probably as a result of rain and increased forage. Deer were everywhere, causing Flash and me to occasionally interrupt our walking. A young doe careened around nearby yards in the early mornings, acting a little crazy.

One morning, Flash sent me a snapshot of an entire family of foxes and their kits lazing on a neighbor’s patio. My sister Lynn reported the rescue of a young fawn from a storm sewer. Chocoholic witnessed a young Cooper’s Hawk chase the fat squirrel onto our back porch. Two days later I heard a kerfuffle on the porch and have not seen the fat squirrel since. I assume the worst. A younger, smaller, foolhardy squirrel took over the territory. I feared he was not long for this world, but as of late August, he’s still here.

Strangest of all was the road runner. I had only ever seen a roadrunner once, maybe twice. They are elusive creatures that avoid civilization… or so my thinking went. Early on a mid-June morning, my neighbor and I stood talking outside in the shade about the young doe. She thought the doe guarded a baby fawn hidden in the grass behind another neighbor’s house. We turned and watched as a roadrunner appeared and strode confidently toward us. He carried a twig in his beak. We were not hidden or quiet. He showed no hesitation as he came within 4 feet of us. He circled the tree we were standing under, still only 3-4 feet away and stalked easily up the trunk to a nest near the top. I never knew road runners climbed trees or nested in them. I never knew they approached people.

My neighbor and I were both struck dumb. My mouth hung open in awe. It was almost as if the roadrunner nodded to us as if to say, “Morning ladies. Beautiful day!”

Follow up note: As of Labor Day 2023, that was the last of the rain to date with only 20 minutes of slow soft rain a couple of weeks ago. I stood outside and watched every minute of it. We are now in EXTREME DROUGHT. The road runner has moved her residence to another street.