I have been a bit skeptical about whether our new residence would allow me to experience that closeness with nature that I have grown accustomed to over the years.

I absolutely love the rural life in Kansas and have been quite blessed to have had the opportunity to live in areas with abundant wildlife in the past. Our current home, a rental, located in the western part of Ellis County has been a bit of a surprise in comparison to our previous location where we were nestled among a truly wild part of Kansas.

I must say this place meets all of my expectations.

For the outdoor enthusiast, the requirements for happiness and joy are simply seeing and hearing wildlife on a regular basis.

This spring has been particularly satisfying as my need for nature has been answered.

My typical spring morning begins by seeking out a few essentials to get the day going -- a healthy mug of hot, freshly-brewed coffee and a trek out the back door to gaze at the wooded area on the other side of the winter wheat field near our home. At first light, I often am standing outside in my pajamas, gazing and listening, while keeping my hands warm around a warm mug of Folgers.

There are regulars that inhabit our little piece of heaven -- four rooster pheasants, three discernible pairs of bobwhite quail, eight mule deer, two white-tailed deer, a hen turkey and most recently two tom turkeys that duel with their morning gobbles from different trees.

Some of them make regular visits and announcements while others, like the mule deer, are irregular visitors.

During the last several weeks amidst the gobbling turkeys, crowing pheasants, and gathering quail, I have been hearing a deep, quaking sound I have had difficulty identifying.

But this week, on a rare and perfectly calm morning, I recognized what the rumbling was all about -- booming prairie chickens.

That unique sound finally was clearly distinguishable. I am quite familiar with the sounds of these booming birds, but the terrain must have been doing something quite unique to their morning musical performances. It sounded more like the rumbling of a distant earthquake.

Now they are a part of my morning wake-up call.

I always try to stay hidden from the traffic that drives by on the paved road by our home, so as not to embarrass those who might catch a glimpse of me in my odd-colored PJ's.

Occasionally I draw a honk from a passing neighbor, which is a little embarrassing for me. But helpful, too, as their car horn always helps me locate our gobbling turkeys.

Sorry for the show, nobody really wants to see that in the morning, but thanks for the help, those gobblers are still around.