Saturday, September 1, 2012

Its a Jungle Out There

     My husband was outside in the dark watering the lawn one evening while I was in the house reading. He hadn’t been out there long before he came in and said he would finish watering in the morning. Coyotes were nearby yipping and howling to one another, and he didn’t want to surprise one in the darkness. Probably a good decision. Over the years we have had encounters with deer, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, ground hogs, wild turkeys, possums, skunks, raccoons, feral cats and even a rabid cat. We have our share of wildlife even though we do not live in the wild.

     Several years ago, my globe-trekking spouse went to visit friends living in a remote Indian village in the Amazon jungle. He flew in by bush plane and landed on a grass airstrip. Immersing himself in the surroundings, he bathed in the river with the piranha and stingrays, and ate tapir and crocodile for dinner with our friends. It was difficult, at first, to fall asleep at night because he was unaccustomed to the relentless jungle noise.

     One evening, after visiting with our friends in their bungalow, as he made his way through the darkness to his own quarters, he heard a noise that sounded like a baby crying. The crying continued at intervals until he drew near the small house he was staying in. Then it turned into a hair-raising roar. Needless to say, he retreated. Quickly.

     A cougar had been foraging from the village chickens for weeks and, after my husband returned home, we heard that one of the Indians had shot and killed it. If you are a native in the Amazon jungle, killing predators is allowed, you don’t need permission to do it—it’s a matter of survival. Here in the suburban jungle, however, we just keep our distance.

photograph by Tim Knight

1 comment:

  1. I love the sound of the wild outside my windows, though the scream of coyotes can be a bit unsettling. But the owls! I do so love the owls.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend!