Last week, six baby chipmunks emerged from the burrow where they had, unbeknownst to us, been born and growing for the previous month. Their mother, chunky and slightly beleaguered-looking, leapt out first and headed straight for the seeds and nuts that were waiting at one of the nearby bird feeders. The babies hung back. A few brave ones peeked out and nosed the air. Presumably, they were pushed out because their siblings piled up behind them, eager for a turn. More tiny ears, and shiny eyes, and black-feathered noses peeked between the blades of grass.
I had been sitting at the kitchen table, looking out the window, drinking coffee…but what spell can even caffeine cast upon you when there are adorable creatures about? I forgot my coffee and knelt at the window to watch them more closely and unobtrusively photograph them.
I can’t be certain that it was their first outing, but their expressions seemed to indicate it was. I am someone who believes animals have complex experiences and emotional lives and I read it as: wonder mixed with wariness. The world is BEAUTIFUL! Also, SO SCARY!
I haven’t written formally in years (and I’m rusty), but here I am writing. The nature I experience daily is (just) a suburban woodland-adjacent garden, but there is something wild and worthwhile in it every day, and I want to share it with you.
Wherever you are reading this, I hope you enjoy what’s to come.