October 18, 2008


Most of you know Aaron and know that he would be happy to live his life in a tent under God's big sky next to a river surrounded by deer, birds, bugs, critters and fish (provided that tent had a cable connection so he could watch COPS and a microwave for burritos). He would spend his days exploring, turning over rocks, poking a fire, fishing, building contraptions to lure animals near or just sitting and watching.

Our yard is one of the top reasons we bought the house we live in. When we first looked at this house, I saw rockets shooting off the top of Aaron's head at the prospect of a deer wandering to his doorstep. And this location has proved to provide an abundance of God's creatures.

Aaron keeps the deer feeder full of corn and even after three years, we still get excited every time we see a deer. Aaron built a bird house and keeps two other bird feeders and a hummingbird feeder for our little winged friends, paying close attention to hang them out of reach of deer and coyotes. Yes, I said coyotes. We have frequent coyotes and an occasional fox - which Aaron loves to see. Most of the neighbors complain about the coyotes, and maybe if we had small pets we would too, but Aaron keeps a sharp eye out for the mangy four-legged menace and instead appreciates its prowess.

Aaron traps and inspects tarantulas, he plays with a praying mantis, he feeds spiders. Feeds spiders! I mean, he actually catches moths and other little bugs and puts them in spider webs on the porch to help out our friendly arachnids!

He fills water containers for frogs and keeps the geckos out of harm's way (i.e. the dogs).

Speaking of the dogs, and harm's way, let's talk about the rabbits. Aaron's love for animals gives him the strength to put injured baby rabbits out of their misery.

Or maybe it's just that he understands nature. He is so in tune with how nature works, that even when I figured out that by providing a bounty of seed for the finches and blue birds, we were actually providing a buffet for the resident Hawk, and I got a little upset about that - Aaron responded with his usual calm, reasonable, logical tone "Yeah, a Hawk will eat anything smaller than itself. Wouldn't you rather have the Hawk around because he also eats the snakes and mice?"

Ummm, sure, but can't we tell him that birds are off limits in this yard?

I love that my husband is a nature encyclopedia. I love that he has Eagle eyes and can spot wildlife fifty yards off the road behind some trees while driving 60 miles an hour in the dark. I love that he is gentle and contemplative, which I believe comes from his observation and awareness of his surroundings. I love that he appreciates the circle of life and the role each one of God's creations plays on Earth; that he sees the benefit and purpose where I might only see pretty, cute, icky, creepy, crawly, mangy, scary, dangerous. He is a lover of all things. And I love him.

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