Animals among us

Being in the news business, I often have neighbors who like to tell me when there is important news.

On Sunday, the news was actually near the homes of my neighbors.

Two young deer were roaming the neighborhood. I suspect they are the same deer we ran a photo of in the backyard of a South Street home in Marshalltown several weeks ago.

Well, this was BIG NEWS for the neighborhood kids as we tracked them down to take their picture and just soak in the awe of the animals in our area.

We were a little concerned as they kept getting closer and closer to the busy Center Street and we’re not sure where they went from there. I do know they created quite a stir in our neighborhood and had many of us trespassing on lawns all over the block to catch a glimpse.

Creatures showing up in town seems to be a running headline for me lately. Just a couple of weeks ago, I followed up with a woman who called the office because a pretty good sized turtle was spotted in her backyard. She was amazed when the furnace guy told her that the shelled wanderer was behind her home.

This one seemed a little more suspicious – he just landed in a backyard on Church Street and I suspect somebody may have plopped him down there. The good news is he was returned to a more natural habitat.

I guess we shouldn’t complain – it could be a lot worse. We could have a mountain lion showing up in town like in Des Moines last year.

Covering weird happenings in the area seems to be up my alley lately, but I don’t mind. You never know who is going to call in with something unique they found on their property.

Yes, a photo of a turtle isn’t going to win me any Pulitzer Prizes, but it is still community journalism.

Speaking of animals in town, a Wolverine was spotted in Iowa Falls. No, not a real one but actor who played Wolverine, Hugh Jackman, made a visit to the Hardin County town. From all counts Jackman loved the town. I can’t think of too many other small Iowa towns that I would rather have a Hollywood star visit. Iowa Falls is beautiful. It sounds like Jackman wants to come back too. I’ve been to Iowa Falls a few times in the past year and also rave about it, though my visits received far less fanfare.

Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or