Things are never dull at Critter Creek. Living in Waterville, Iowa, bluff country, Big River, Driftless area, who could possibly ask for more? Because of this, it is no wonder so many are flocking to this area to live. One family comes to mind.
A few years back I began a DIY project on my house, mostly because I wanted to make it into the kind of retreat I had always dreamed of, but if it helped to increase the property value too, so much the better. Anyway, partly due to my property renovation, I found that new neighbors had moved into the cottage next door. Being a considerate individual, I gave them a bit of privacy, not wanting to overwhelm them or give the wrong impression. Nevertheless, I kept track of the young couple, noticing right off that they were expecting. A couple of weeks later they became the proud parents of twins!
It was quite obvious that they were both very industrious, as they were constantly working to support their little family. Shortly after the big event, I caught sight of the twins and they were growing like weeds. Very shortly they would be ready to venture out and see the world for themselves. Nothing like leaving the nest for the first time. I expect these young ones will be very talented if their parents are any indication, as both were quite vocal. I actually enjoyed their music, but then, my neighborhood was and still is, filled with music all day long, and the songs are unique to each and every singer, so Mr. and Mrs. Wren were certainly no exception.
Living on the fringes of the outdoors, I have the best of both worlds. Technically, I dwell within the city limits of this little Northeast Iowa hamlet, yet a stone's throw from my backdoor there exists a rural community whose population would rival the ethnic blend of any metropolitan area in the country. Although an occasional deer or small mammal may make an unannounced visit, the vast array of winged citizenry have been more noticeable the past few years. While the Cardinals, Sparrows, Robins, Jays and Hummingbirds are fairly common visitors, there are many more uncommon guests whose presence have been duly noted. I've seen Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, Titmice, Baltimore Orioles, Cedar Waxwings and Bluebirds. Gold and Purple Finches drop by frequently. There is no end to the colors and musical notes carried on the breezes around Critter Creek Lodge on any given day.
How we perceive the world around us not only affects how we live, but also defines who we are. Imagine seeing a Hummingbird hovering over a flower. How you viewed your very first, and how you viewed your last, likely varies greatly. After awhile, we tend to go blind to what is staring us in the face and no longer live, but rather only exist. Maybe, like me, you have begun to notice these things more than you did before. I can't imagine a world without birds or squirrels or even possums, and hope I never take them for granted. Our world is full of God's handiwork and surrounds us each and every day. The trick is in seeing it when it appears, then recognizing it for what it really is...little miracles. May your life be full of them.
Rick Larson-Critter Creek