Wild Life

The wild life in the title of this piece doesn’t in any way refer to my life, which is about as tame and domesticated as one life can be. The wildest I ever get anymore is following the adventures of various fictional explorers who seem to be that fabled “only one man” who can save the world. Do I care that these characters are men rather than women? Absolutely not. It makes no difference to me. The so-called gender bias in such fiction doesn’t affect my life in any way. I still am who I am (whoever that might be) no matter what biases are present in any novel I read. I glean what I need to from the story and then get on with my so very tame life.

The wild life mentioned in the title are, in fact, wildlife, just not the sort of creatures we normally consider wildlife. I haven’t seen any bears or lions, coyotes or even any of the skunks that live around here. My wildlife sightings consist of the daddy longlegs that stared down at me from the ceiling over my bed, the flies that sat on my lap when I perched on my bench outside surveying my kingdom, the feral cats that chased the squirrels eating from the birdfeeder next door, the half-grown rabbits that played tag in the middle of the road, the hummingbirds that sipped from a pink wildflower growing in with my bushes.

(A short diatribe — why is it that with all the books I have on weeds and wildflowers, and with all the resources online, I can never find out the name or nature of any strange plant that shows up in my yard?)

I also saw two turtledoves cuddled on a wire, their heads together as if whispering sweet nothings to each other. I’ve seen photos of turtledoves behaving that way, but never in real life. No wonder they’re considered a symbol of love! I didn’t have my camera with me at the time, and when I went out later, they’d move on to more important bird-ish affairs.

And I saw the first tarantula hawk of the year. Can the tarantula migration be far behind? I have yet to see even a single tarantula since I moved here, even though this area of Colorado is supposed to be tarantula heaven, but perhaps if I get up early sometime next month, I can go on a tarantula hunt.

Meantime, there is always my backyard to entertain me with its myriad wildlife.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator