By Mary Lynn Bruny

Something strange is going on here this summer. Perhaps it’s due to all the spring rains we had. Besides our foliage initially growing like it was on steroids, there are more critters in our neighborhood. Perhaps this is playing out all along the Front Range.

My husband and I live not far from the Boulder foothills, so we are used to bears and sometimes foxes in our neck of the woods. Matter of fact, on an early morning alley run I’m more likely to run into a bear than an unleashed dog. If I see an animal form way ahead without a human nearby I turn and skedaddle the heck away.

And we always have tons of scampering, psychotic-acting squirrels performing zany hijinks. Definitely entertaining little dudes.

But lately we’ve experienced one odd critter after another. First my husband got ambushed by a flock of crows. He had the audacity to walk on a sidewalk one evening that was close to a baby crow or an injured one on the ground. He didn’t stop, he didn’t touch it, but he did exist in space and time, and this was untenable to this murder of crows. They began dive bombing him, squawking their brains out and followed him for blocks. Luckily they didn’t pluck at his face or his lucrative modeling career would be over. (That’s a little joke.)

After the crow harassment came the duck parade. Waddling down our sidewalk came a mother duck and her seven ducklings. This is about the cutest thing on the planet, but nothing you ever see in our happening neighborhood. The locals were gobsmacked. Passersby were taking pictures while my neighbor called animal patrol. The parade waddled up our alley while neighbors encircled them as a barrier from dog walkers and cars. We last saw them as they scooted under a neighbor’s back fence.

Then came the bunnies. In the last couple of years we have had one bunny on our block that mainly stayed in a neighbor’s backyard. But since a local roaming cat is no longer allowed outside, this bunny has become more emboldened. I know they are very common in new developments, but I don’t even get how a bunny survives on a busy block like ours.

Perhaps one reason is it knows we humans are not going to do a dang nasty thing to it. I was weeding in our backyard and quietly singing to myself. I looked over and a few feet away this fluffster with its twitchy nose was casually sitting there watching me with what I took to be a look of disdain on its teeny face. (I’m not a good singer.)

One bunny is fine but now I’m a bit concerned. Recently we discovered a wee baby bunny is living in our front gutter downspout extender. (Obviously there are at least two bunnies around here.) It is cute as the dickens, but how many bunnies does one block need? Don’t these things multiple faster than supercomputers?

But the things that are really creeping me out this year are the cicadas. They like a few of our trees and have set up shop. I know they don’t cause damage but I hate the eerie group chomping noise they make, like a pack of evil little herbivores with sharp teeth. A few have gotten into our house. For some reason I keep imagining they will start chewing on my toes when I sleep. Then what will happen to my lucrative career as a sandal model? It will be over before it even begins.

By Mary Lynn Bruny. Mary Lynn writes about local real estate and home-related topics. Contact her at [email protected]. To read previous The Lighter Side articles, go to