"Carol! Look out in the horse pasture!" my husband yelled one morning last month. "I think that's a coyote." I scrambled to the window just in time to catch a clear glimpse of what was certainly a coyote. Before I could get the binoculars, the neighbor's dogs ran out barking, scaring our uncommon visitor back into the trees.
We talked about it for days. I had never seen a coyote 'in the wild' before. Let alone in our back yard.
Then a week ago, I looked up from my computer screen to see a wild turkey running across our front yard. Just one, running full tilt. No doubt escaping the neighbor's dogs.
Granted, wild turkeys are fairly common in the Iowa countryside these days. I see them from time to time as I drive.
But still, coyotes and turkeys are not the animals that graced the Iowa fields as I grew up here. They're quite a sight to see. What is ironic about seeing them just now is that I recently wrote an article for The Iowan about the status of threatened and endangered species in Iowa.
I learned in writing on the wild side that the 21st Century landscape of Iowa has changed more than any other state. Our agricultural bent makes that logical, but I admit I hadn't thought of that before. The folks at the DNR say we should be excited - thrilled even - to see these wild species. I know I sure was!