He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

October 8, 2010

Wild & Weird

Last weekend Matt and I drove down to Sequoyah State Park on Fort Gibson Lake to scope out their campgrounds. That's where we ran into this guy -- a one-and-a-half winged bald eagle who is a permanent resident at the nature center there. Apparently he got his wing caught and severed on some power lines a few years ago. Weirdly, they didn't have a name or any other info posted on him (or any of their other animal guests), but he sure seemed to enjoy being the center of attention and preening for the camera.

We hadn't really planned on getting out of the car, but when we passed the eagle cage we had to get out and take a closer look. He shares the cage with an owl -- I couldn't tell you what kind of owl, but he was big and pretty, albeit more camera-shy than his cage-mate. Further back they also had a coyote and a gray fox and some other animals that didn't want to come out and be seen, all of which were injured or otherwise unable to survive on their own in the wild.

Since all we had were our crappy phone cameras, we didn't bother with any more pictures. But we're planning to go back this next weekend to spend more time checking out the park and the nature trails (since when we do finally go camping there we'll have our dog and won't want to wander too far from our tent), and this time we'll take the good camera.

Speaking of wild things, we encountered a bit of a mystery in our back yard earlier this week. The other night Pete and I could both hear some kind of yipping animal noise nearby. It reminded me of the sounds the foxes would make when we lived out in the country, but I thought surely there wouldn't be any foxes this far into the city. Still, it didn't sound quite right to be just another little yapping dog, so I wouldn't let Pete outside to bark.

The next day, Matt found a hunk of animal hide, about two inches wide by about four inches long, lying between the back of the shed and the wooden fence. The fur sure looked like it could have come from a fox, but it could also have been a dog, I guess. The real mystery is, how the heck could an animal lose a chunk of its hide like that and there not be any blood anywhere in the vicinity? And how did it get in our yard? I suppose we'll never know, but I'm definitely keeping a close eye on Pete when we let him out after dark from now on.

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