Since Bonney and I have moved to The Cloister we have either seen, or neighbors have reported to us, sightings of Skunk, Deer, Fox, Squirrel, and Moles. This is not surprising since we are surrounded on three sides by nearly impassable hills. Two areas are effectively wildlife refuges…the Warner Parks. From the Warner Parks in the south the critters simply cross Hwy 100 and the Railroad tracks and they are into the woods and they can travel through the hills until they reach The Cloister.
Other critters come from the northern hills between Hwy 70 and Old Hickory Blvd and cross Hwy 70 into the old HG Hill property on the other side of the Jewish Community Center. The HG Hill property is also part of the Warner Parks system. According to the Warner Parks Nature Center HG Hill never lived on the property but he and his friends used it for hunting. The Hill Farm area has bobcats, coyotes and even rattlers. There are no fences enclosing any of the Warner Park properties. Creatures are completely free to roam the hills adjascent to The Cloister.
Year after year the Cloister HOA sends out Critter Hunters to trap feral cats and skunks and release them to only God knows where. Possums and raccoons and neighborhood birds add to our little zoo. I am no expert in the matters of so-called nuisance critters but it seems to me that we are surrounded by an unending source of these creatures.But I like them.
Frankly, except for the darn feral cats, I enjoy all these animals. Several weeks ago Bonney and I were leaving Barbara Bentley’s home after a wonderful dinner and companionship with Barbara and some Cloister neighbors she invited. Instead of driving directly home we turned down Sienna and spotted a deer ambling alongside the rock wall at 432 Sienna. It was a beautiful doe and an absolute treat to watch.
We have had a report of a fox trotting down Cana toward Marquette Drive. After my recent comments about our feral cat problems I have received dozens of e-mails from neighbors with enjoyable comments about our Cloister creatures .