After four and a half months at my new home, I’m still seeing new things that I’ve never in my life experienced before. I’ve seen all types of flora and fauna I’d never seen before, some of it still unidentified to me and others that I could gladly live without (Poison ivy, anyone? No? How about ticks?).
At first glance, it’s just another state covered in trees. But between those trees are more trees, and between them are flowers, vines, bushes, shrubs, and all manners of vegetation that would make it painful if not impossible to walk into the forest. Okay, not all of the forests are like that, but it is the type that’s around my workplace. It still dumbfounds me that the woods are that dense just outside of the state’s capital.
Then you look closer, past (or into) the branches. With so much vegetation there’s prime conditions for all kinds of critters. I routinely see dozens of deer at work, almost on a daily basis. I’ve also seen a possum, a beaver, a crane, a snapping turtle, redwing blackbirds, osprey, a peacock, a mama turkey with about a dozen little turklettes…the list of wildlife goes on and on. It makes me wonder what I’d see if I was actually away from the city.
A couple weeks ago I burst into giggles of awe upon seeing a field full of fireflies while we were driving out to the lake for a night fishing trip. I had never seen them before, and tonight I spent time chatting with my boyfriend’s mom while catching these tiny magical bugs in the back yard. I can’t think of a better word than that to describe them.
And the longer I’m here, the more otherworldly my surroundings seem to me. The more I feel I’ve landed in a mystical faerie land. I know, I know… “It’s just Pennsylvania,” you say. But it’s not. This state seems to be so entirely different from any that I’ve ever visited before. Not that I’m well-travelled. If I had to estimate, I’d guess that I’ve only been to about half the states in the country…if that.
I’ll be here, though. Every day I fall more in love with my new state. I feel like a small child with wide eyes and a light heart as new wonders are uncovered and revealed to me. And this is just the beginning.