Animal Drama in Siouxland, Sioux City

5 Dec

Growing up on a farm there was plenty of yard space to run and around and be a kid. Playing soldier or hide and seek and running and chasing the family dog.  But as you got older and supposedly matured, so did the chores expected of you. Like mowing the yard. Which was okay, but sometimes you would rather be running around or playing ball. Now I have my own yard though not as large as my parents’ at their farm. I have tried cutting down on the maintenance aspect by adding more shrubs and other plants. And these have proved beneficial for bird watching. For myself and my cats. Now my cats are like any cats, curious, and no friend to a small creature. I have found many a live garter snake, baby rabbit, bird, and even a vole inside my house upon returning home. Most times still alive, but alas, sometimes not.

I find it fun and challenging to photograph the small critters in my backyard. I use a Canon 20-200 lens with a 2x converter most times when photographing. And I will set out a camp stool and just sit quietly for an hour or more waiting for the birds or squirrels to feed. Late afternoon generally has very nice late if it is a sunny or partially sunny day. And with the shrubbery getting more mature, there are more places for the birds to hang out. And my cats, as well as they are fed by me these days, they tend to lie about and watch, and I suppose dream, about catching one of these little guys. The cats have a sort of truce with the local squirrels who feed in my yard. They watch the squirrels eat and then sometimes “chase” them, as the squirrels run away fast, but no so fast that the cats think they can catch them. And the cats run “fast” but not so fast as to actually catch them. I always warn my cats not to play with the squirrels because they may catch fleas as well. And the cats generally behave.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux CIty, Iowa


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