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When You’ve Got a Case of the Blues…See a Specialist…a Prairie Dog!

2010 October 5

By Wendy Dew

This past weekend I was feeling a bit blue. So what would any red-blooded American, 30-something female do? I decided to go shopping! On the way to my favorite shopping area there is a super busy intersection where right nearby, believe it or not – a prairie dog colony lives (I know – only in Colorado!). At the intersection there is a large “park and ride” parking lot and a hilly field with tons of prairie dog mounds all over it. I have passed by the area hundreds of times and always try and get a peek at the prairie dogs.

As I headed to the shopping area, I decided to go to the “park and ride” and watch the prairie dogs for a while. The prairie dogs were running, eating, playing and making the funniest little squeaks and peeps. The sun was low in the sky and the field was lit up with golds, oranges and yellows. It was breathtaking! All in the middle of a busy urban area.

Prarie-DogsSitting there watching nature at its best put a really big smile on my face. The antics of the funny little prairie dogs made me laugh and chased my blues away. I think so many of us have forgotten the healing power of our own environment. I think it is so important that kids get exposure to nature, even in little ways, so they can learn to turn to nature when they need a little pick me up.

Well, of course I did go shopping and had a great time! But, when I look back on this day I will remember the nutty little prairie dogs and how they made me smile. I doubt I will remember anything I purchased that day.

About the author: Wendy Dew has been with EPA for 14 years and is the Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator for Region 8.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

6 Responses leave one →
  1. Carol Murphy permalink
    October 5, 2010

    Hi Wendy what you say is so true, i used to live in a country town and i loved to walk in the conservation area, there was a river running through it, and a beaver lived on it and it had a lodge, i have watched it swim and lay down on a fallen tree, its so good to watch for wood peckers and finaly see where they are and hear that distinctive knock knock,to watch the river rush by after a rain fall,to see this place change with the seasons,your comment brought back lovely personal memories. Carol M.

  2. Richard Kanak permalink
    October 5, 2010

    For me that calming moment comes as the Sandhill cranes pass overhead.

  3. Heidi Maschmann permalink
    October 6, 2010

    We do love our ground hog sightings here and the sight of cranes flying over always makes us smile. Every fall we are always awestruck by the 30-40 deer we see in the cut down corn fields along route 31 in Kane County, IL. It makes our drive home so enjoyable and takes away the stress of the work day.

  4. carl_can permalink
    October 8, 2010

    I appreciate your work, the post is really helpful. It’s some pretty great info, I appreciate the information you provided is excellent post. Thank you.

  5. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    October 10, 2010

    What you said in the article is so true. Nature does have calming and healing powers that can benefit everyone. Here we have lots of Mallards and Snowy Egretsas well as Kingfishers. All are great to see in flight. And in the mornings of ducks come all the way up to the patio fense when they are out collecting worms and pillbugs. So many people are too busy to notice nature and that maybe one of the things that acts to hinder environmental protection. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  6. Virginia permalink
    January 24, 2014

    Loved your story Wendy! Sometimes we just need to “quiet our cleverness” (as they say in Biomimicry) and BE for a while. Thanks for the reminder…

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