Friday, July 16, 2010

Forest alive


By CHRIS MILLSPAUGH

All of a sudden, the animals of the forest have started to appear. I don't know whether it's the weather or that the Fourth of July with all its loud explosions have ceased or that Allen and Co. has left town after holding meetings and creating mergers. Monday, at the office, a phone call alerted me to step outside and view two large deer in the parking lot by the mailbox. How cool is that? That never happened to me when I was in Boise or New York City or Houston or Santa Barbara or anywhere else that I have lived. OK, I saw a cougar in Phoenix, but she wanted a foot rub and I was beat.

Just today, a friend of mine mentioned to me that he had heard from no less than three other people in the know that there were bighorn sheep seen walking down the middle of Highway 21 seven miles west of Stanley. "Yes, it's true. They were ewes. Wouldn't it be great to have one?" I answered, "Why would anyone want a used bighorn sheep?"

But never mind that, what I'm telling you, friends is that they're out there to be seen and if you've ever wanted to see wildlife in all its glory, drive to Stanley about 7 in the morning or just step away from your computer and look out the window like I did.

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What's next—sandhill cranes in the tool shed? Black bears in the Elkhorn pool? Moose at Nelson's Oil and Lube in Hailey? What a place we all live in! Why, just two nights ago, a badger sat in on a poker game in my neighbor's backyard—won $123. Come on! We're living right in the middle of Disney World here.

Well, I think it's wonderful. It's worth all the hassles in our lives to be able to see these magnificent creatures right up front and personable. I hope to see a lot more of them soon, although I've heard that they'll be away during the Sun Valley Road Rally, to be staged in the forest towards the end of the month. It's tough at the deer crossings on Highway 75 to negotiate a walk across when cars are screaming down the pavement at 190 mph. But, it's for charity, don't you know?

Enjoy your forest this month, and nice talking to you.




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