I'm sitting here in Billings and its barely 7:00 in the morning. We are at a grain elevator waiting our turn to deliver the winter wheat we brought down from Great Falls last night.
As I sat here checking email, I glanced up and noticed a bunny rabbit over by the dumpster. He's a big one! He's just checking things out this morning, hopping around the dumpster. Perhaps they discard grain into the dumpster, spilling some, and he comes every morning for breakfast. I don't know. But he's very busy exploring the area, and now he has just hopped off between two of the grain bins and I can no longer see him.
My visit with the bunny this morning reminds me of all the animals I've seen in Billings. And when I say "in" Billings, I mean in downtown among all the buildings, offices, and houses. Lets start on the wild side:
There was a groundhog that lived under a stack of wood next to Steve Nelson's parking lot. I used to watch him when we were switching trailers.
There are a number of multi-colored rabbits out by the WarBonnet Hotel. They must have been released, and stayed there. They are always out on the lawn nibbling grass.
One day driving down Grand Ave, we had to slow up for a flock of about 5 turkeys to cross the road.
And last summer there was a doe and her twin fawns that grazed on the shoulder of the interstate, which I realize isn't exactly "in" town, but it was more or less exactly that. She wasn't on the outskirts of town like most of them are, but grazing happy as you please right by the 27th street exit, which is the main downtown access from the interstate. (Sadly her fawns disappeared one by one and then she too was seen no more...I blame her for being so foolish as to graze there.)
Seems like there was something else that was odd for being downtown, but I can't think of it now.
And then of course there was the pig that went running past when we were getting our tires changed a few weeks ago, and I've seen people riding horses almost in the heart of the city.
Needless to say it's a little different here than in the Chattanooga, TN area where I grew up. Billings is the largest city in Montana, with a whopping population of around 89,900 (according to the 2000 census). I'm pretty sure they didn't count the turkey and deer that play downtown, but I think that's uncommon enough that perhaps they should be included.