Our apartment balcony overlooks a patch of urban ecosystem. It’s a bunch of trees at the edge of a neighbor’s yard that are half dead and covered with flowering vines. My desk is by the balcony door so I sometimes join our cats in the delightful critter watching. I’m not a classy birdwatcher like my mom. For some reason it’s the squirrels that really catch my fancy. I just love their fluffy tails, bold chattering and playful romps through the trees. I can’t help but have a little lighter outlook on life after an encounter. My neighbors may very well think I’m a bit nuts if they’ve seen me chattering right back to “Mr. Squirrel.” (It tends to end up closer to Mitterquirrel.) But I don’t care. If I can find an unexpected moment of amusement, I’m not going to squander it.
I also love the hummingbirds that come to feed at the brightly colored blossoms. To me they are vestiges of the magical fairy world I believed in as a child. Rare visits from the neighborhood raccoons are a treat. Although I can’t help but wonder how they manage to survive in our urban area. If I had my way, I would weave a chain of ecosystems through all the neighborhoods. I treasure our little patch of wilderness and wish I had more time to enjoy it. Our last apartment sat in a sea of pavement and there were no squirrels in sight.