While waiting for winter to move on, I’ve been enjoying the wildlife in my yard! We have just under six acres here, so there’s plenty of wildlife we see daily!
Of course we have several squirrels that live in the trees outside the living room window! It’s quite entertaining to watch them race up and down the trees. Then they dart to the bird feeder for a snack and chase one another back up the tree and around in circles!
One squirrel in particular, only has about a quarter of a tail! I found the rest of it laying in the snow! No idea what happened, but it hasn’t slowed him down any! We call him, or her, Stumpy!
The squirrels share the tree with a red headed woodpecker! I think this woodpecker has lived in the tree for years, as I see it all year long and hear it all summer!
At times, raccoons make themselves a home in the tree out front. Usually we set the live trap and relocate them to the woods in the country! They are entirely adorable, but make their way into our screened in porch at night and get into things! One time, several years ago on a hot summer night, Tony and I were standing in the kitchen talking, and in wandered a large raccoon! We watched as it strolled by us and straight to the cat food dishes! It immediately tucked in and enjoyed a nice meal. Then it turned, looked at us and waddled right back out the kitchen door!
Our house has huge pine trees on the north side and many animals make a home in there! Several wild rabbits take advantage of the shade and every spring, chicken hawks build their nests high in the limbs! I worry that the hawks will attack the cats, as they are quite bold. Then again, silly Simba-Gary has been known to chase after a hawk, when it swoops by the bird feeder out front!
A few years back, we had a family of red foxes living in the fence row way in the back of the field! I’d watch them with the binoculars, as the fox pups would play with their parents, romping and pouncing on mice!
There’s also a family of turkeys that roam around the the neighborhood here! There were five, now there are three! They are very large, and enjoy the bird feeder as well! They run fast and it’s hard to get good pictures of them!
Of course, there are many deer in the fence rows. They come out around dusk to get what’s left at my bird feeder! I’ve counted as many as 12 outside my window!
One time Tony came home, to find Simba playing with a fawn in the driveway! He wasn’t quick enough to get a photo, but said Simba was rolling in the driveway and the fawn was nose to nose with him!
Not too long ago, there was an injured buck alongside the fence of our pasture. This buck was probably 150 pounds, with 9 points.
Joe and I were out playing ball when I discovered the poor thing! Joe went right up to him to check him out. The buck was only able to get on its front knees to escape, then fell back to the ground. I approached slowly, as it was obvious that he was injured. He had a bad wound on a back leg, that was swollen and looked infected as well. I called wildlife expert Kim Hoover. She said there was nothing to be done for an injured adult deer! She advised me to call DNR and the police. So I did that only to find out that the DNR guy was on vacation! Eventually a police officer came and shot it for me. It was very sad!
While I waited for the officer, I tucked a blanket all around the deer and tried to get a little water in his mouth. I sat with him, petting him, telling him it would be ok and I wasn’t going to leave him alone. I don’t know that I’ll ever get to be that close to a wild buck again! It was amazing, even though it was sad.
The birds that come to my feeder give my heart joy. Most especially the cardinals. I have several that come all year long. Their brilliant red feathers against the white snow and green of the pines is just beautiful. They seem to know when I try to take their picture, because they take off before I can get a good one most of the time!
So while this winter has kept us all inside for a very long time, in addition to the virus keeping us at home, the wildlife has been a wonderful distraction! I’m very appreciative of the time I’ve had to really watch them!
The robbins have made their way back from the south and I bet they’re regretting that at the moment, but they’re more than welcome at my feeder!