The woods between the houses in our neighborhood attract all manner of forest “critters” for us to enjoy. Add to that the protected wetlands (fens) on some properties, and you’ve got a Michigan menagerie of watchable wildlife.
Gentle deer, silly turkeys, chattering squirrels, and even the Evil Chipmunk who burrows under the Lanai turf, put on an Emmy worthy nature channel show.
But it’s a daytime TV show.
When the sun goes down the channel changes, and so do I. Snow White singing to those cute forest critters, hoping they’ll actually pick up a broom and mop and make themselves useful, becomes a full fledged scream queen starring in, “Nightmare on Hulett Road”!
Do you know what a lovely wooded area becomes when it gets dark? Yup, the “deep, dark woods” of EVERY scary fairy tale and horror movie. And the wetlands? You’re on location for the upcoming thriller, “The Fen Thing”.
The animal cast also sheds their Disney image. The hoots, howls, and screeches of uncredited extras echo through the hollow, as I stare through the bedroom windows into the darkness. Barking dogs attempt to warn of silent predators, but when the sound of squawking and flapping is suddenly cut short, am I an aural witness to the balance of nature, or the cold blooded murder of an entire Canadian goose family?
Hunkering under my comforter, I hear the rooftop ballet of scurrying and thumping, trying to envision adorable, cavorting raccoons and possum, but fearing all the while that it’s a house-h(a)unting family of mice looking for a cozy Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian to call home!
How does my fear of forest creatures relate to architecture? Well, when FLW spoke of bringing the outside in, I thought he meant the views, not the four legged “tourists” waiting for a chance to sneak inside to see what we’ve done with the place!
This brings us to the new Lanai lights, the year-round Jack O’Lanterns illuminating the space outside my bedroom window whenever I hear a “bump in the night” and delivering me from my irrational fear of the monsters lurking in the Michigan woods.*
And the “baa-aa”? Either a neighborhood kid’s 4H project, or the call of The Fen Thing!
*Editor’s Note: The Goetsch-Winckler House is actually in a semi-suburban neighborhood a mile away from a mall and Meijer. The author is gullible enough to believe the squeaking, flying creatures flitting from tree to tree on a summer evening are birds up past their bedtime!