In the last copy of the Missouri Conservationist there was an article about what was happening in nature during the first part of August. One of the examples was that half-grown skunks would begin to appear.

In the last copy of the Missouri Conservationist there was an article about what was happening in nature during the first part of August. One of the examples was that half-grown skunks would begin to appear.
 The next morning I spotted two young skunks in the neighbor’s yard when I headed out for my walk along Wildcat Boulevard. When they spotted me, they dove into a culvert the neighbor has under his driveway. At first, I thought I might be imagining the skunks as I had just read about them. But I have seen them several times since.  
I also saw a pair of young skunks with their mother in Western Hills one morning. They are so cute and cuddly looking. Still, I never get near, especially when they have their tails raised.
The foxes have been in our neighborhood again. One morning I saw two. The first dashed across Hickory Street and south down the alley between Valley and Veda Streets.
The second fox was seen a couple minutes later on Harmony Street eating some leftover pizza. The second one did not run off like the first, but then he was eating at the time.
I recently read where Atlantic salmon are being stocked in Lake Oahe in North and South Dakota. Lake Oahe is a 231 mile long lake made by a dam on the Missouri River. I was surprised at this stocking, but then I read that a few other lakes like Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota also had some Atlantic salmon. I understand that chinook salmon, a Pacific Ocean fish, have also been stocked.
Atlantic salmon have been overfished in the United States (They also inhabitant northern parts of Europe) and efforts to save them have met with only okay results. Perhaps having them inland in the United States will save the species for future generations.
I was thinking about a prayer my mother taught me as a little boy the other day. She even bought a reflective poster to hang above my bed, so I could read it in the night.

''Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take."

As I thought of this prayer, I thought of my mother and how she tried to teach me all the right things in life. Still, the prayer reads as if it should be for an older person. The poem dates back to the 1700s when young children did die more frequently than they do now.
Whatever, it is a simple prayer that anyone can learn and perhaps we all need to say it more often.
Take a walk, watch for wild creatures in your neighborhood, say a bedtime prayer, use your signal lights, watch for pedestrians, and see what you notice while passing along Wildcat Boulevard.

Russell Hively writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.