In 2005, Colleen Paige founded National Wildlife Day in honor of Steve Irwin. It is celebrated twice a year, on September 4 and February 22. It is a day to spend in nature because in observing nature we are improved. When we see the relaxing effect it has on us, we will want to preserve and enhance it, such as in the case of endangered animals and their habitats. So, as you get buried in school this September, remember to take a break and enjoy nature, whether by simply petting your dog or cat or looking out your window as you do school.
The ballad of Randy the Road Runner
Randy wasn't the likeliest of pets. I can't even call him a pet, and I don't even know if he was a 'he' because he was a roadrunner.
Male and female roadrunners are difficult to tell apart.
He arrived one morning as my daughter was doing her schoolwork in front of the large living room window. He jumped up on a bench and was, by all appearances, offering my daughter a large juicy centipede. He held his head low, fanned his dark tale, and twinkled his toes up and down the bench outside. He was enamored with his reflection.
For the next year, he lived a lonely bachelor's life, stealing baby birds from nests, snatching lizards, or chasing the cats. He built a very large nest in the old chicken shed, but he must not have liked the location because he started to build another in front of the window my daughter sat at every day, and every day he would bring gifts, waving his tale in anticipation of reciprocated love, but none was ever given. I felt bad for the guy.
One day my family and I stood in front of the door observing him. The dogs lay on the porch next to the road runner as he begged his reflection to go on a date with him. This time, he had no gifts to offer, so I opened the door and invited him in. He entered the house, moving with confident but unrushed steps, as the dogs walked in after him as if this was a normal occurrence. We didn't touch him as he inspected first the entryway, then the kitchen. He decided he didn't need to see any more of the house and jumped to the top of the cabinets and settled there. His lady love, my youngest, stood on the counter and picked him up. He settled into her hands as she walked out of the house. We never did that again.
After he spent a year at our place, we decided to catch him, which was very easy, and take him to a lake about 10 miles away as the bird flies. The family was very disappointed, but we all thought he could find some lady roadrunner far from all our cats and dogs, but I said, "If by some miracle Randy makes it back here, he can stay."
So, we dropped him off.
Three days later, a very tired and injured roadrunner danced in front of my daughter's window (how romantic) and clutched in his beak a prized blue-bellied lizard. Happily and sadly, he ran the grounds of our home without a mate till the day he died.
Carper, Theresa. “National Wildlife Day - September 4.” National Today, 24 Mar.