Kickapoo Ramblings
By Cynthia Smith


Home Cynthia 1

Loving Nature

By Cynthia Smith

Last week as I drove home from Boscobel Library, I came around the curve into Steuben along the (still high) Kickapoo River, slowing down to the posted 25 mph speed limit. This slow down enabled me to glance at a movement off to my left.  A mama red fox (a vixen?) with two kits just playing in the grass.

It was an enchanting scene - but the kits quickly headed for the tree line of the woods. The mama was a bit more curious and watched me go past her as she sunned there in the grass. Finally - a dry day! At last, dealing with those active twins, I could imagine her thoughts: they
can run off some energy.

I think often of a mother, caring for a bunch of offspring, at a time when nature has gotten some gloomy front stuck over Crawford County for three or four days. Do they think to themselves, ‘ Oh heck, another day stuck in the darn den!’

The other day as I was feeding the birds grape jelly for the orioles, a few halved oranges, shelled sunflower seeds, and so on, my squeaky sliding patio door startled a doe.  Her head up instantly, a quick turn and all I saw was her tail up as she bolted for the hills. BUT, she left her baby behind.  It hunkered down in my daylily bed -nearly invisible - but I managed to grab a camera and its spots showed up nicely on film!  This baby was the smallest I have ever seen since living here.

Why am I so enthralled when I spot a baby of any species? I guess because so many creatures are becoming extinct or nearly decimated with “progress” as more and more habitat gets ruined  - forests being harvested and the like, leaving no area for shelter of the species.

I will admit I feel little sorrow when I see a squashed turtle on the highway - only because for years, living on a small lake in Missouri, I would watch those turtles grab a baby duck and pull it underwater to drown, that I became aware of that cruel activity (my husband paid the lake kids $1 bounty per turtle).

It has pleased me to have a baby barred owl stay for days in my yard. I watch its parents come in to make sure it was okay - feeding it and helping it in manner of owl parenting until it could fly which took days and captivated all our neighbors.

Cynthia can be reached at


Return to Home page

Copyright, Midwest News, 2001- 2018