The Way I See It, the "swamp" has provided a treasure of fond memories and sightings. If you're a frequent reader of this column, you'll recall I've referred to the woodlot behind our home as the "swamp". As a young boy, my dad, grandfather, uncle and grandfather's cousin made this wild land a small-game opening day hunt a must. We usually had one or two beagles and dad was the guy who oft times crawled on his hands and knees through the thickest part of the swamp to urge the dogs to roust a bunny out of its squat. During the years we flushed quail, woodcock and pheasant on our way to or inside the swamp. Many a rabbit or squirrel found a resting place in our game bag during the small game season some 40 years ago. The swamp has changed somewhat, but it continues to be a haven for skunk, possum, coon, fox, rabbit, squirrel, deer and feathered friends too numerous to identify. However recently my wife and I have been privileged to witness two rare sightings. After arriving home from church one Sunday morning, a neighbor stopped by to ask if we had noticed an eagle perched high atop one of the larger trees in the swamp. We viewed the majestic bird through the binoculars for some time. It may be making more stops in the towering poplar, but the only time I've seen it reappear was the Tuesday following the Sunday it was first spotted. There are however two red tail hawks who perch themselves high above the wildlife habitat. This past Wednesday Kathy, who was home fighting a bout of bronchitis, and I were treated to another first. As I was preparing lunch for the two of us, I gazed out the kitchen window and did a double-take. There in the field several yards away from the swamp edge was a large bird I was certain was a turkey. After viewing it through the binoculars I was assured that the bird was indeed a small hen turkey. What a thrill to see a turkey in the wild in southern Lancaster County. The Pennsylvania Game Commission, in cooperation with the National Wild Turkey Federation, released some wild turkeys near our residence in years past, but this was the first occasion we were able to view one from the comforts of our home. The fate of the swamp is unknown as we understand a new owner has taken possession of the nearby farm on which the swamp is part. Our hope is that it remains a wilderness haven, but in the interim it has provided a treasure of memories deeply embedded in our hearts and minds.

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