We live in the country. At times it feels like the old television show “Wild Kingdom.” Since the virus hit, we don’t think we’ve ever spent so much time at home. And, except for the circumstances, that’s a good thing. It’s given us a chance to get back in touch with the nature in our own backyard.

The Days Are Fun Filled

We have a doe and her two fawns that visit us daily. They peacefully graze in the meadow for hours. The Black Phoebes that nested over the downspout on the corner of our roof now have chicks flying all over catching insects all day. The Orioles that gave us a morning song in March now have a family that sings in a chorus.

Then there’s that unmistakable chilling cry. It’s “Hawkings,” our very dignified Cooper’s Hawk who hunts the forest at high speed all day long. Suddenly, a Great Blue Heron wings over like a prehistoric Pterodactyl. He’s between eating fish in the nearby river and, unlikely as it sounds, pulling gophers out of the ground. Meanwhile, the Red Tail Hawks circle in the rising warm air to commanding altitudes!

There’s a frog that somehow made it through the hot spells and croaks into the early evening hours. And when darkness falls, hundreds of crickets join in with a whirring serenade that’s occasionally penetrated by the booming WHOO-OO! of the big Barn Owl!

And the Nights are Action Packed

But then comes another adventure! Off in the distance, the coyotes wail and whoop like partying teenagers, confusing and subduing their prey, usually a hapless Jackrabbit.

Then the bandits start to make there move. The Racoons, a family of three, pour in the cat doors looking for any scraps the humans or the cats may have left out.

Boom! There’s that loud crash when they knock the pan off the sink at 3 AM! Then there’s the comedy routine when they all scramble and pile up at the cat door at the same time. They know the humans (usually Michael) are getting up to chase them out.

Oh, and who could forget those unmistakable vapors wafting in through the open windows of the warm summer night. Yes, “Pepe” the Skunk is back in town!

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

Our Bengal Cats are hunting down and eating rodents (mostly gophers) night and day. Watch where you step! They repetitively groan out a particular low-tone cry to announce their kill and demand the newspaper they have been trained to eat it on. They usually get the Sports section. Sometimes, right in the middle of a Zoom call or video interview, they will blast in, and make the loud demand much to the confusion of our hosts.

A Natural Reprieve and a Reminder   

With all the news, the fires, the smoke, the virus, the outages, and the cloistering, it’s good to know that nature is still there to provide a reprieve, some entertainment, and a little excitement. For us it’s a reminder that the “Wild Kingdom” goes on and give us some grounding – if we notice!  We need it and we hope this snippet of life in the country has given you a brief and beneficial break in your day as well! Wishing you all the best!




Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.