By Chad Love
As the drought afflicting the southern part of the nation deepens, wildlife is moving out of the woods and into our yards in search of what little food and water is available.
From this story in the Houston Chronicle:
The rat looked dead. It was face down, arms splayed, in the big shallow pan of water placed near the fence as succor for the wildlife suffering in adjacent woods left blistering hot and deadly dry by Texas' ongoing drought. Every morning, we'd fill the pan with clean, cool water and then watch as a steady parade of wildlife trickled from the woods to slake their obviously considerable thirst or nibble at the mix of millet, sunflowers, shelled corn and other food we scattered for them. There were cat squirrels, swamp rabbits, possums, coons and all manner of birds. It was an all-day procession, a sure sign the deepening drought was causing wildlife that normally survived by living wary and crepuscular lives to do something they normally would not do - abandon the cover of the forest and expose themselves in a wide-open yard during the middle of the day to get a drink of water or a bite of food...The rat, it turned out, wasn't dead at all. It was simply floating in the water, trying to keep cool and hydrated.