there’s a small park one minute away from my place: it has everything one may expect from a park including a tiny stretch of pine forest and a lake with an arched bridge.

the park is inhabited, to what extent i was only to find out after years of living nearby. for one, the lake has some huge carps (the administration brought them) and a fair population of turtles. also, a group of temporary guests: ducks and seagulls.

there’s an endless selection of insects: snails, spiders, etc. the most unexpected find was a praying mantis: it was in the middle of an alley so i decided to carry her on my flip flop to the grass. i don’t know if there’s a population of them or it was just a fluke, the only other i found was crushed to 2d.

of course we have swallows,  sparrows and pigeons. two families of the latter decided it was a good idea to nest in the garbage dispensing balconies. the first family managed to bring up almost fully grown pigeons who get really whiny when the parents come back to the nest bearing food. the second family made their nest kinda late so they still have their eggs and they hatch them in turns. the three human families on that floor are kind enough to protect the little expecting family and they even provide food and water. i can see the nest from my kitchen window: i get worried if they leave the nest for too long and the eggs are unprotected. i hope the hatchlings will come soon!

there’s also a vast population of bats. they are cute and tiny and i can see them in the evening doing their zig zag flying.  i once saw a hawk, sitting on a balcony. it was pretty cool!

and, my personal favourites, the owls! there are at least a couple and i suspect they live in the little pine forest i mentioned. they fly seamlessly and they seem to be headless. you can hear them all the time but they’re harder to spot.

the park is also some sort of a sheltered area for cats and dogs. they do no harm and nobody harms them. each building has its own set but they travel around the park freely. my building has a happy trio: the old arthritic guy, the love-starved depressive and their queen, a very smart irish setter half-breed who, i swear, is able to communicate with people. people love them and most participate in feeding them. also, two men chipped it for the queen to get a haircut. 🙂 until then, i was in charge of grooming the trio (brushing and cutting the tangles) and they waited for their turn patiently.

next door, there are two dogs with a special story: he is deaf and blind and she is leading and protecting him. because of his inabilities, he prefers to hide in an area full of bushes. they come out only for the ladies who take care of them. one evening, i was sitting on a bench when i saw them go across the park like they had some place to go. half an hour later, they came back, just like a regular couple who went to visit relatives or friends. 🙂

so, between croaking frogs and crickets singing, relaxed cats walking among flowers and dogs having complex social lives, i love my animal friends and having them close makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

do you have animals friends/neighbours?