We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Often, as my Mom taught me, the best way to observe nature is just to sit in the woods or meadows silently and inconspicuously for an hour or two. Things will happen. A Box Turtle will wobble past. An upwind fawn will walk ten feet from you. A Redtail will dive on a mouse. A Blacksnake will slither over your warm Wellies. Dragonflies and butterflies will perch on your hat. A Marsh Hawk will pass just over your head, startling you.
A lot of quiet outdoor sitting takes place on deer stands, in duck blinds, etc.
Yesterday, I watched from my office window, a Sharpie attacking sparrows 5 or 10 feet from my window. That's not unusual. What I had never seen before was the frustrated Sharpie just settle on the ground and to begin stalking the sparrows on foot through the hollies where they had fled for safety. He walked with a long slow stride, very alert, just like a Velociraptor.
Have you ever seen that?
After a few minutes of stalking, he somehow flushed a flock of about ten sparrows from a holly and tore off after one. I couldn't see whether he was successful. Wish I had taken a photo.
I live in Washington State and have house wrens nesting under a deck that's two feet above the ground. Last week a merlin landed on the deck and then hopped to the ground and strode under the deck. I didn't see whether it caught anything. First time I've seen a falcon stalking on foot.
Once, while looking out the window above the kitchen sink, I saw a wasp land in the garden spider's web that filled the entire view. The spider wrapped the wasp in her silk astonishingly quickly, and I thought it was all over. But the wasp rallied and escaped the silky bond just enough to sting the spider right in the middle of the spider's belly.
In a previous job, my boss had her office on the second floor of a two-story building on the edge of town. Her wall was mainly huge windows overlooking the woods, and A pair of red tailed hawks had a (very messy) nest in an oak tree just a couple of feet from the window.
We would be sitting around her table, discussing things, and the hawks would zoom toward the window full speed ahead, coming to a complete stop just inches from the glass, and plop into the nest. It was astounding, and not very good for productivity.
Once while working quietly in a wooded section of our yard a Kestrel knocked a small bird out of the air and they both landed on the ground within five feet of me. The Kestrel had one claw on the prey and was eyeing me. I didn't move but after 10-15 seconds the kestrel just took off and flew away. The small bird looked confused for another 15 seconds then it flew away.