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Greeting The Day In The Wilderness

I ask wild animals,

“What is your first morning

activity or thought?”

Mr. Squirrelly

Mr. Squirrelly says, “The first thing I do is stretch and think about what new plants I smell in the air this morning.” A young squirrel that lives in my palm trees says, “I stretch and yawn and I think about where I should go first, your birdbath or the birdbath down the street. I like to have a drink of water first thing in the morning.”

Sulphur Mountain female deer says, “I make sure my young ones are safe. I tell them to come close and I connect with each one of them by licking their heads. Then I bring them to a safe place to play. After that the herd travels to a place where there is good grass to eat and a stream.”

Buck photo by Jeff Muth

Sulphur Mountain buck says, “I wake up earlier than everyone else and patrol the boundary of my territory. Then I go and get a younger buck and we do it again together. There is a lot to teach him. Now I am teaching him how to aim his antlers better. If we look like we are good fighters, the mountain lions will pass us by for a weaker herd.”

Ojai East End bear says, “I listen to the birds with my eyes shut while the sun begins to rise. Then I roll back and forth a few times before I stand up. I then head to eat avocados before I go into the stream. I think a lot about whether I want to move up into the mountains, but I have not ventured out of my territory yet. Food is more scarce up there, but it is more peaceful.”

Mourning dove says, “The first thing I do is fly to a safe place on the ground and walk. I like to walk my legs out; otherwise they feel stiff all day. Then I fly to a wire and just sit with my friends watching the morning activity until we get hungry. We talk about the raccoons and how we love to watch their babies play.”

Raccoon says, “I let my babies come out to play just after the sun goes down. Just when the sun rises the babies may have another burst of energy before we retire for the day. When I first awake I count my babies and am thankful for another day. I thank my den, my friends, and my body. I am lucky that I have had no tragedy in my life. I have seen others that suffer. I saw a raccoon once that got his leg stuck in something and he died from an infection. I am careful about the road. I teach my babies not to cross it because I have seen raccoons hurt from those bright-light vehicles.”

Red Tailed Hawk Photo By Jeff Muth

Red-tailed hawk says, “The first thing I think about are my wings. I stretch them, flap them, and then preen my feathers. I will survey my environment and then I just sit for a while with my eyes open. A vision of where I should hunt that day will always come to me. Then I go there and wait for my prey. I never know what I will find at that spot but I always find something. Sometimes my mate and I sit together. Other times he flies off. He likes to fly more than I do. He is always finding different areas to hunt. I like the same spots. He likes to change.”

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11 thoughts on “Greeting The Day In The Wilderness”

  1. Awesome! I might have mentioned this to you, but there’s a coven of turkey vultures who all live in a big lime tree at the corner of Woodland Avenue and Rice Road in my neighborhood. It would be really interesting to hear what they have to say sometime, they’ve lived in that same tree for years!

  2. It is very comforting to know that we be-ings all have the same needs in the morning; gratitude, stretching and entering our bodies, safety, learning, and thoughts of ‘what’s next?’
    thank you!

  3. Alene LaDelle Brown

    I really love this particular ‘letter”. I wish you could talk to the “resident”red Tail hawks that live in an Eucalyptus tree a little above Main Street, near where
    there was a hospital = sort of near the courthouse on top of Calif. St. My friend, judi takes pictures of them and their babies. She named the mother and father
    Nestor and Pestor – This year’s babies are uno, dos, tres, and taquito. She journals their growth every year. Sometimes former offspring stay close by too.
    This year she hasnt taken so many pics as there is another tree in the way.
    I wonder what THEY think. They are so busy getting food for the little ones = snakes, rabbits, maybe even a small kitty, which would be awful. Loved what the wild ones think. love you, too. We’ll have to talk soon. LaDelle

  4. Thank you for taking the time to share all of this. Words cannot express how much reading these stories warms my heart with happiness etc.

  5. melindq bedrossian

    I really loved hearing the thoughts of the little wild critters. The racoons are always stealing the stray cats food. I can tell they have babies and are very,very hungry. Man keeps moving into their habitats. I use to love the two mouring doves on the roof of the house…and then their was one. For years he kept returning..now none. I really miss their cooing.

  6. So fascinating, and so moving. Animals seem to be happier folk than most humans. I would love to know what insects think, though; they don´t get much attention and I’ve seen behaviors that cannot be just instinct; I am pretty sure they think and feel just like the rest.

  7. Hi Laura,
    I hope all is well with you. I so enjoyed this..so moving and touching. It made my heart happy! You are amazing!
    Keep well..xo

  8. Sonia Nordenson

    Thank you for being such a clear channel for the love and wisdom of animals, Laura. (And you’re also an amazing medium for our loved ones on the other side!)

  9. Joanie Blaxter

    This isn’t about the newsletter per se, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the column you wrote in the last edition of the Ojai Valley News about things you probably didn’t know about your animal. Very informative! Although my cats so far don’t appear to prefer a plate over their bowl 😉 but then, again, I’ve always known they were unusual ps Puma has fully recovered from her eye injury. I still don’t know if it was a foxglove in her eye that worked its way out or conjunctivitis that the antibiotics zapped, but in any case, her eye is fully healed!

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