Two recent roadrunner sightings could mean good luck, or at least good inspiration.

I am a fan of roadrunners, the birds. In fact, since I saw one on our back deck the very first day of January, the first time I looked out on 2018, I am going to personally dub this the “year of the roadrunner” for my family. I don’t know what that exactly means except that, if it has to do with road- runners, I’m thinking it’s a sign of good luck coming, or something like that.

We can all use a little good luck this time of year, especially now that the good vibes of Christmas have worn off, the lights and decorations are put away, someone else won the lottery and it’s time for a reality check in this stressful world we live in.

Low pay, high prices, lack of rain and turmoil in the world is enough to bring down anyone, but seeing a roadrunner in the yard, now that’s cool.

Maybe those who have lived around Pratt all their lives are used to seeing roadrunners, the birds. But until we moved here last year, I thought they were just a cartoon character. I did not think they really existed in real life! At least not in Kansas.

According to this cool website I found (, the Greater Roadrunner is a bird born to run. It runs faster than a human, kills rattlesnakes and thrives in harsh landscapes like the desert Southwest, and evidently the wilderness of my backyard.

We have a lot of yucca lily plants and spiny sand- plum bushes (which didn’t have sand plums this year), and prickly-pear cactus in our back 20-acres. They grow in our dry, sandy soil. Since roadrunners eat lizards and other small animals, I’m guessing we have a good supply of those out there too.

The roadrunner I’ve seen twice now doesn’t really look like a fast runner. He or she seems rather big- bodied and has a long, fat beak that would seem to make it head-heavy when racing down the sandy trails. Just the shear size of the bird is amazing. This thing looks like it could be bigger than the average pheasant.

I read that roadrunners reach two feet from sturdy bill to white tail tip, with a bushy blue-black crest and mottled plumage that blends well with dusty shrubs. As they run, they hold their lean frames nearly parallel to the ground and rudder with their long tails.

I haven’t seen our road-runner actually run yet. Every time I have see it so far, the surprise has been mutual. The first time it was sitting on our back deck rail and it just disappeared over the edge when our eyes met through the sliding glass window.

The second time I saw that odd bird, it was on our front drive, sauntering around in the sun as I watched, sipping my coffee in the front room. For a minute he was there, and then the next time I looked up, he was gone. I felt lucky to have seen him (or her) at all.

The reason I think seeing a roadrunner might lead to more good luck? Well, I’m not really sure yet, but we do have two dogs that love to chase lizards and small things that squeak or squawk, and so far they haven’t even seen the roadrunner, to my knowledge. That bird is sneaky and smart, and I like that.

I’m not interested in eating lizards and small mammals this year, but if I could be smart and quick and fast like a roadrunner, that would be cool.

It’s real easy to get bogged down this time of year in the turmoil of the day, whether it be about wind farms, or loan payments, or political persuasions, but the roadrunner is not associated with any of those things. That bird is an oddity in my book, and that makes him cool. I hope I get to see more of the lucky bird. It’s an inspiring experience.