Kindling Neighborly Connections between People and Nature.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

My Favorite Wild Neighbors on Waln Street

As Erin and I prepare to move to Athens, PA tomorrow, I'm reflecting on some of my favorite wild neighbors whom I've gotten to know during our five years in Wellsboro, PA. 

Chubbycheeks is the Eastern chipmunk whose home is a complex of small burrows in the back yard of the parsonage (within the fenced in area). The location of his burrows tend to change a little from year to year. I’ve enjoyed periodically feeding him/her black oil sunflower seeds by hand. Chubbycheeks has taught me a thing or two about patience as well as joy.

Spot is an American Robin whose breeding territory includes the lawns of the addresses 54, 56, 53, and 57 Waln Street. While American robins may migrate hundreds of miles each year between wintering and breeding territories, each year during our 5 year stay in Wellsboro I’ve enjoyed seeing Spot on his breeding grounds from late March to early September. I've seen him every day during my short walks to and from the parsonage. I must have given him about 900 blessings, each time we see one another with a simple, “peace be with you, neighbor.” I feel that he’s given me about 900 blessings in return, just with his unique and beautiful presence. I've been able to recognize Spot by the unique white spot behind his right eye. Here is a photo of him:

During two out of the five years we’ve lived in Wellsboro we’ve had Fish Crows and Merlin Falcons nesting in the tall pines on our block of Waln Street. They've been fun to keep an eye (and an ear!) out for. Instead of the typical American Crow’s “caw! Caw!” the fish crow sounds like a muffled, “cu-uh!” These are typically southern coastal birds so sometimes when they are calling in the back yard on a sunny day, Erin and I could close our eyes and imagine ourselves at the beach in Florida!

Here is one of the merlin falcons perched atop the great big sugar maple tree on Waln Street:

Here is a merlin falcon alighting from the upper branches of one of the Norway spruce trees bordering the neighbor’s yard:

While it saddens me to leave these wild neighbors behind, I wish them well. 

Peace be with you, neighbors.

1 comment:

  1. Since we are moving this appointment year as well, I can relate to saying good-byes. It is such amazing how you are in relationship with these wonderful creatures, call them by name and recognize them. For me it's leaving the soil/land behind. The soil that has been enriched by compost and the plants which took root and now are part of the landscape of a small parcel of land. Thanks for your observations!