Wildlife in theHamptons
By Sandra Ramistella
Wildlife in theHamptonscould refer to the masses who inundate our small part of theIslandduring the warmer months of the year. Not that I don’t appreciate our economical boost during this time, but the animals and small creatures who live with us all year long fascinate me more. Besides, I get an education every time I observe them.
One day last year, while sitting at my kitchen table, I heard a racket outside. Looking out the window, I was amazed to witness an entire flock of turkeys had navigated their way into our backyard. There were seventeen of them. Yes, seventeen. I counted each and every one of them. There were two who had flown high up into the pine tree branches in front of me. The other brown ones, beige ones, and bigger ones strutted around the yard as if this wasn’t the first time they had been here. I should tell you that I grew up on a surfboard inSouthern Californiaso finding out turkeys can fly is new to me. I guess it’s something that I never thought about. My ideas about turkeys were seeing them standing next to big silver buckled shoes worn by stoic pilgrims on Thanksgiving.
We also have a woodchuck in our yard. At first I thought he was a beaver, but he didn’t have a big flat dam building tail. Therefore, I named him “Woody”. Very original on my part it seemed. He might be a female, but we’ll never know unless a baby follows him to my door someday. He comes out to eat grass by our fence around5:30. We eat at6:00.
The deer in theHamptonsare really something. When they are not eating my flowers down to the stems they are fun to watch. We see babies every year. They are brown and have white spots just like Bambi. A family of four usually stops by in the afternoon every few days. They zip through our backyard and jump the white fence dividing us from our neighbors. The smaller ones can’t quite navigate the top rail, so we have opted to take that section of the fence apart hoping that the babies can continue to follow their mothers. We used to go outside and put the fence rails back into place each time they came through. Taking the fence apart seems like a better solution. Now, they can run and not get hurt…..not to mention we have a lot more energy.
Did I tell you that we live in a beautiful retirement condo? Oh, well, that’s another story.
We’ve met two pretty horses who reside in a corral near our home. They might be rescue horses, but we’re not quite sure. One is white and one is brown. Our granddaughters named them Cloud and Thunder. Occasionally, they come by the fence and let us pet them. The female, Thunder, usually decides when they will come near us for attention and which part of the grass they will graze on during the day. Doesn’t there seem to be a fine line between humans and the four legged animals? Anyway, Thunder recognizes me every time we park our car next to where they are grazing. I jump out and she greets me. I get to pet her and look into those big brown eyes and just melt. It is so easy to develop a warm connection with a horse. We haven’t seen Cloud in a long while. I like to think he is just resting in the barn, but my heart tells me he was old and probably won’t be back.
We also have ducks and a lot of guinea hens which seem to cross the road when the traffic is cruising at a comfortable speed. The ducks travel in a long line from one side to the other almost oblivious to the fact that two ton vehicles are approaching. The guinea hens are just all over the place on the road like they are gathering for an important meeting, but not knowing where it is being held. Traffic slows down in theHamptonson these days.