Waiting, sitting in the truck, annoyed with myself for forgetting to bring a book or my Kindle, I studied my surroundings, far and near. I thought about how the prairies fool so many people (me too, at first) into thinking it’s a boring landscape. To pass the time, I tried to name some of the animals I`d seen in those fields that seem empty at first glance.
Hiding in the thick clumps of bushes and trees, mule deer, coyotes, porcupine, pheasants, and owls hoped not to be discovered. In the grassy hills, I`ve seen ground squirrels, badgers, sharptail grouse, and meadowlarks. Not all in the same day or at the same time, of course!
This field could easily hide pheasants, rabbits, and sharptail grouse. I’ve heard Canada geese fly over it and heard coyotes yipping and howling at night as they patrol along the distant trees that line the Missouri River.
In the midst of my daydreaming, a robin flew over to ask me why I looked bored when I had so much beauty all around me. It sat in the branches of a Russian olive tree just outside the truck window and said, “Did you know that pheasants like to eat these olives? Sometimes they’re one of the few food sources available in the winter when the snow covers everything else.”
Seeing that robin so close was a little thrill for me. He obviously hadn’t expected a person to be right there when he found a perch beside the truck window. I fumbled stealthily for my camera and hoped for the best. I was so glad this bird came to cheer me up. Wouldn’t he be surprised to know he will now live on my blog?