Hunting

Red Tail Hawk

I’m really missing that I no longer get these encounters anymore. For over 10 years we had nothing but an open field behind our house. Until we put up our fence a couple of years after we moved in, we would get deer in the yard, right next to the house to eat my flowers. The day we moved in, a coyote took up residence against my back door and scared the crap out of me when I went to open it. After the fence was put up, we would often get sights like this one because it and the kids swing set that used to be there were the perfect perches for birds to stand watch and hunt in the field.

We used to get so much wildlife up close. Birds, deer, coyote, tons of rabbits and the occasional fox. Now that the land finally sold, the only thing I get are annoying neighbors that leave lights on all night to shine in my bedroom windows while their dogs bark endlessly, day and night. It made me cry when the first house went up so close it felt like it brushed our fence. We not only lost the peace and quiet, but we lost the view and we lost the wildlife. I’ve only heard the coyote calling maybe twice in the two years since they began building, and that was at a distance I nearly didn’t hear them.

Now, our yard that was once quiet and free of nosy neighbors and prying eyes feels like a fish bowl. My view is ugly houses in numerous shades of dirt brown and gray. The only trees still in view are the ones in my yard and the tips of the line that used to define the edge of the field. The only hawks I see are the ones that are flying over to find new hunting grounds somewhere else.

We knew when we built that eventually we would get houses behind us. Were actually told construction would start the following year, but it didn’t happen and it didn’t happen, so we got used to that unexpected peace and seclusion. Now, I miss it so much I want to move. I am now very much in a love hate relationship with where I live. I love our house and our general location and proximity to everything, but I hate having lost so many of the other things I love. Moving means starting over and very possibly not having some of the things we love about where we are now. It is also incredibly limited as I refuse to pull my kids from their school.

For now, we will live with the loss and put up with the ugly view and the noise and the bad dog owners (not the dogs’ fault they haven’t been taught any differently). It has pushed me to evaluate pretty heavily what my priorities are, though, and I am right on the very edge so I’m trying to keep an open mind as to what my options are to keep as many of the things that are important to me intact. At the moment, that means planting a whole lot more trees and bushes (and trying like hell to keep them alive in utterly horrid soil), having hubby send nicely worded emails to the new neighbors to keep their grandkids from chucking cupcakes into our yard because they think it is fun and contemplating the niceties of finding my own large lights to shine into other peoples windows or some sort of automated firehose set up that would be triggered by noisy dogs only to realize that it is fun to fantasize about, but I’m just really not that evil.

Author: TJ Fox

Slightly sane artist, book addict, wife and mother of 3 who is forever rethinking her place in this world.

10 thoughts on “Hunting”

  1. very sad to lose the wildlife..my son is in a similar situation, 7 years of living with open field and trees beside him and lots of trees in his back property that brought in the wildlife. Now the neighbouring property has sold, the field has been plowed, trees cut down and houses going in. He was talked into selling the back part of his property so his trees will go and also will go the deer and rabbits that used to visit. I think that he will regret selling. It’s sad when progress destroys the wild spaces.

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  2. Did the cupcake thing happen? I once had a “family” next to me that I think consisted of six unattended kids under age 8. They used to throw old food and garbage into my yard for my dog to eat. I wasn’t sad when they moved out in the night after a few months.

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    1. Oh, yeah. It happened. Visiting grandkids standing on the back deck throwing both ice and the infamous cupcake. We have a dog, thankfully she was inside, but she is super sensitive with allergies and all kinds of things. I would have gone postal if she’d been outside and been hit with the ice or ate the cupcake because she could have been seriously sick (we are talking life threatening sick). That is the reason why Hubby wrote the email. I could not have been as polite or as nice as he was.

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      1. We went from having only 2 neighbors to having a total of 8 different properties that touch ours. Because of the weird shape and size of our lot we now have 5 that actually border ours and 3 that corners touch. We have the most actual neighbors in the entire neighborhood. It has been a lesson about learning not everyone in the world is as nice or as considerate as we are and figuring out how to live with that. I’m not sure my diplomacy well is deep enough.

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      2. Ha! Love that! We joke because when they built, they put a HUGE drainage ditch between us and the new houses. It is literally nearly a house deep in places. If you drive the street behind us, we kind of look like this huge castle with a moat around it now, so rowboat it is!

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