Have you noticed the shift happening in the relationship between humans and wildlife? No? There is and I suspect COVID-19 had a lot to do with it.
Take, for example, this little turtle resting on a log that washed up when the river burst it’s banks. It’s not a sighting I see very often around here. It allowed me to photograph it and watch it for some time without moving away for protection. This too is unusual.
Further along the path was this crane. Unmoved by the fact that I was just feet away from it. They usually fly away before you can get anywhere close to them. Not only was it fully aware I was holding something in my hands aimed at it, it just continued observing me and fishing for breakfast, unbothered by my proximity.
This one wasn’t bothered either. Which leads me to suspect that these guys are the recently born cranes I was watching near the grocery store in the spring.
Yesterday, while I was walking along the property near the river, three deer were walking across the road to cross over to our side. They do this every evening and nest here for the night, moving away quickly when they hear us stirring in the house. This herd looked at me, stared for a while and while in the past they would normally find their path away from me and hide, yesterday they did the exact opposite and kept coming towards me. All three walked a mere four feet in front of me.
Also yesterday, while on my way to the store, I notice a crow in the middle of the road next to what appeared to be a crow that was hit by a car. The living crow didn’t fly out of the way as the car approached. It just stood next to the dead crow and looked at me. Luckily we live in farm county where car traffic is minimal and so I was able to get out of the car and bury his friend by the side of the road. He crowed the whole time I spent burying his buddy and when I was driving away he followed my car for some time, as if thanking me.
A shift is happening and I believe it is because human beings were locked up for so long during COVID-19 lockdowns. Maybe it sent wildlife a message about us…?