Letter to the Editor - May 16, 2019
The Gift of Mother Nature
As I pulled down my driveway, feverishly tinkering with the wipers and defrost in an effort to be able to see the road, I was confronted by a completely motionless fox squirrel. His gaze met mine as I slowly approached, wiper fluid spraying madly from the rear window. I assume that he was testing my mettle in what seemed to be Mother Nature’s game of chicken. Ultimately, prior to running into the fox squirrel, I stopped the car. He stood on his hind legs and our eyes locked. I squinted through the morning dew covered windshield and attempted to anticipate his next move. He stood motionless for a beat and then, after a final posturing as if to say ‘take that punk,’ he self-assuredly scampered into the underbrush.
Later that day, during a scavenger hunt at my son’s birthday gathering, the group of party-goers happened upon the skeletal remains of a recently-deceased deer. Several of the attendees chose to collect the bones and bring them back to the house. Although we hadn’t planned for gift bags, imagine our delight as we packaged the bones into birthday party favors to send home to unsuspecting parents. Odd that we haven’t yet received any thank you cards. I’m sure the gratitude was so overwhelming that it will take some time to condense the emotions down to a heartfelt note.
It is these memorable encounters with the natural world that sets Daniel Island apart. Whether witnessing a bald eagle fishing in the creek, or hearing the playful gobble of wild turkeys or the unmistakable yipping of baby coyotes, I daresay that our little corner of the world is more connected to the outdoors than almost any other ‘inside the beltway’ community in the United States. I’m hopeful that we continue to balance this magical habitat with the continued growth and development that we’re experiencing. If not, I fear that the fox squirrel may find me again and this time he may not be so tolerant.