MY LIST OF ANIMAL STORIES continues to grow with each year I live in
Sunol. Nobody in urban New Brunswick, New Jersey where I grew
up would believe that I have helped tarantulas across the road,
coped with several very large rattle snakes on my porch, or
gotten myself in the middle of four baby skunks, who, as you
might guess, perfumed me as only they can.
Then there was the morning the hubby and I were awakened by
what I can only describe as a wild turkey square dance on the
hillside just behind our bedroom window. There must have been
twenty of them, facing each other in pairs. Gobble, gobble,
gobble, and switch partners. Gobble, gobble, gobble, and switch
partners. And again. It was just past dawn and there we were,
peering out the window with our mouths hanging open. We looked
at each other, wide-eyed, said absolutely nothing and sunk back
down into our covers. Was it a shared dream? Bizarro.
Of course we get our share of raccoons, including three babies
I found cuddled up in our laundry room - we ultimately had to
nail the cat door shut. That turned out to be a good thing,
for it stopped the cats from bringing in voles, mice, lizards
and the occasional bird as gifts of love. Deer are daily visitors
and still please me, though they eat the hubby's plants so he's
none too fond of them. I've had turkey vultures perched on our
deck railing, woodpeckers drumming away on the house, and all
sorts of birds taking umbrage at their reflections in our windows.
Yesterday, however, we had a first - hearing the clippity clop
of hooves on the back deck, I slipped to the window expecting
to see a fine buck nibbling at the geraniums. (Yes, they eat
those, too, even though they're not supposed to like them.)
What looked right into my face instead was a steer. Yup, a black,
shaggy headed, young steer.
Our property line is marked by a weary barbed wire fence, through
which the deer slip in and out as if it were a lace curtain.
Imagine my surprise when the less than graceful steer found
his way to the fence, and with no more than a ping here and
snap there, was through the fence and clomping back up the hill
to his pals. Hubby's going to work on the fence this weekend.
SCOUTING NEWS: Sunol Boy Scout Troop 912 is having a busy,
fun and productive year, according to the February issue of
their newsletter. The scouts spent a recent weekend at Lake
Don Pedro building fish habitats to help the Black Bass Action
Committee with its conservation efforts. With rain threatening,
the boys and their adult leaders built 68 steel-framed cages
wrapped in plastic fence material and filled with recycled Christmas
trees. Once under water, they will provide a protective environment
for the fish.
In other scouting news, Kilkare Woods resident Eli Hrabe has
the honor of being the third scout from Troop 912 to become
an Eagle. His special Eagle Court of Honor will be held at St.
Claire's Episcopal Church, 3350 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton at
2 p.m. on February 23. This is a rare and special event, and
worthy of major congratulations.
Scouting could not exist without trained adult volunteers.
This year, Troop 912 is asking that each of the troop's parents
be the Event Coordinator - also known as the EC or Champion
- for one scout outing. This requires being a registered scouter,
and training is helpful and highly recommended.
Being the adult leader for a scouting adventure is challenging
and fun - just ask these folks who give so much of their time
and energy to Sunol Troop 912: Jerry Tomaszak, Scoutmaster and
Fundraising; Dean Hall, Carmen Sarracco and John Gilchrest,
Assistant Scout Masters; Forrest Sass, Committee Chairman; Cindy
Pellissier, Committee Vice Chair, Advancement and Equipment;
Denise Foster, Training; Mary Jane Bedegi, Treasurer; Marilyn
Hall, Outdoor; and Joan Hall, Charter Representative.