Twenty years we’ve lived in our home and, though we would like to downsize, we’re reluctant to leave the wildlife corridor our lot borders. When we initially purchased this house, it was located on the outer limits of suburbia, so much so that the neighborhood was just newly able to have pizza delivered and only by one, locally-owned restaurant with the unfortunate name of Fat Daddy’s.
Over the years, we’ve been blessed to see many, many squirrels (who will eat hard-boiled Easter eggs and peanutbutter birdseed pinecones meant for birds), quail, turkeys, bucks, doe, and fawn as well as moose. We hear coyotes and owls. Osprey made a large nest near here, but eventually the power company had to remove it from atop a powerline pole. Hawks circle over the field, hopefully culling the number of mice making it home. One summer, our dog barked every evening at a possum in a tree on the other side of our chain link fence. My son has seen a porcupine lumbering across a neighborhood street. A woodpecker just reminded me to include it. All manner of bird are neighbors of ours, from hummingbirds to magpies. And my husband will never forget watching me high step through the field of tall grasses after seeing a snake underfoot, back in the very early days.
Each fall and spring, I love hearing the Canadian geese flying directly overhead. Ten years ago, a flock of geese flying low and making a really loud racket sent our blue heeler puppy hiding under a low deck. About six months later, we walked in the field, my dog and I, when she spotted a huge gaggle resting in the grasses. Our young blue heeler put her ears back and ran at them fast, circling wide. The birds laughed at her and moved just a bit, not unlike a stadium crowd doing the wave. They scared her more than she scared them!
Deer travel through regularly, sometimes in the field we border and many times walking down streets and across lawns, snacking on flowers and more. When I worked in a local garden center, shoppers frequently asked which plants the deer would leave alone. I would share the disheartening information that they’re less likely to eat more fragrant choices, such as lavendar, but individual animals may not realize this until they try. Personally, we had deer pull up all of my onions; they didn’t eat them, just left them all lying on the ground. It’s a trade off for enjoying the beauty of where we live and the joy of watching wildlife.
A park in our area is officially named after our housing development but everyone calls it “Moose Park.” It was an Eagle Scout project completed in the late 1990’s. Originally there was a zip line swing, bathroom, walking trail, a large grassy area, and a life-sized statue of a moose lying down. With two boys, 19 months apart, we made frequent trips to play there. Since, swings and a slide have been added. When new home and apartment complex construction picked up around us, there were rare actual sightings of moose for several years. Now that the surrounding community has been built up for the most part, they’re using this corridor again.
Twinning seems to be not unusual.
Just three weeks later, in my own backyard…
After eating, mama moose walked all around our yard, checking out even the side of the house, and then rested in the grass for a short while before heading back to the field. The twins only stopped eating to check that mom was close.
She seemed completely unconcerned with their movements and activities, and just two weeks later she’d left them on their own. We know this because they lived in a backyard two miles away from us for their first two weeks without her (communicated to me via our cul-de-sac chat group). The cow recently came back through our neighborhood by herself, but I didn’t get any pictures. Apparently, it’s time for her to mate now and she’ll be up in the mountains… until next year, hopefully.
It will be very difficult to leave here someday.
p.s. When I put out the call for photos of deer (rather than charge my old phone), my neighbor across the street, Dawn Donahoo, provided this security cam pic of a deer caught eating her roses at 1:23 a.m. I told her it’s a little dark and that we shouldn’t reward bad deer behavior with press. On the other hand, be on the lookout for this thieving deer…..
Love my neighbors!