The light and dark are nearly equal, tipping forward into days stretching along the equinox, here at the 44th parallel.
There are pockets of hidden wild within the city limits, in overgrown quarter-lots, secluded utility easements, secret places the children and raccoons know.
Our house joins a grassy verge that slopes sharply down into stands of fir and oak. In the winter and spring, a creek runs rough down the steep slope through the woods. Deer track through, bringing twin fawns, in the spring. There’s a growing flock of California quail skittering under and among the blackberry bramble. The dog considers this grassy
threshold part of her territory. When we walk out, she stops to stare into the blackberries, holding the quail scent, until the birds panic and break, skittering into flight.
Flocks of wild turkeys wander the streets and neighborhoods. The hens hang out together in small shifting groups that blooms to a flock when the eggs hatch and the young turkeys gain their footing. The male “Tom” turkeys are out strutting on the grass, displaying their fanned tails and puffed chests. The hens giggle and peek at the impressive feathers.
Sometimes, a hawk lounges in the birch, trying to act nonchalant, waiting for an unwary sparrow. The crows come and harry the raptor out of the roost. There are pockets of hidden wilderness in the city. This is mine.