Middle of the night, blood curdling screams awaken me with a jolt. I lay silent, listening to know what awakened me. Not moving, I shift my eyes to the left. The door is closed. I feel a breeze, the window is open. The scream comes again and I look out the window into the night… a night lit up by the back drop of Denver lights.
It isn’t human.
The thought crosses my mind, then slips aside as I realize the scream is a mountain lion, probably catching breakfast. I wait for the next sound. There is none. I sleep.
In the early light of dawn, I awaken again. The valley is silent. Not a sound… moments later it comes to life as birds awaken and begin the daily search for food. I remember the night screams so I look out the window and watch to see if there’s any indication of life out there beyond the birds singing. Low in the valley, near the bridge I see motion. A hunter, stalking prey is visible in the grass closer, but nothing looks out of the ordinary.
Nothing until I see a runner approaching the bridge. Dressed in red running pants a white shirt with a red stripe and a headband, he was highly visible. The cat near the bridge looked up, didn’t follow. The coyote, in the grass dropped behind a scrub and the runner disappeared up the trail. Neither followed. Both content in their place, without the interference of the runner. On the hill, near the Parkway, I watched as two deer scampered toward the traffic, only a few cars on the road this morning. A vehicle slowed, stopped, waited for the two young does to cross.
If I take a walk later, I know I’ll see the remains of a deer carcass near the bridge where the mountain lion dined last night. There may be coyote scavenging whatever is left this morning.
This is life in the city… At least where there’s a path, a trail, and wildlife nearby. Sustain this life.