We live out in the country, well as much as you can in a suburban setting close to Chicago. Our subdivision had 340 homes and is 40 miles to downtown. Our home is in the back of the development. We are lucky to have a pond view with a field beyond and a grade school in the distance.
Our “country” view provides us with an abundance of backyard visitors including many birds. We’ve also had occasional visits by deer, foxes, coyotes, raccoons and many squirrels. We’ve made or backyard an oasis for wildlife, feeding the birds, providing a heated bird bath in the winter and a fountain in the warmer months.
Our plants are generally native species. We’ve even received an award for our native landscape. With more and more space take up by homes, thinking about how to coexist with our wild neighbors is important. We enjoy their visits as do visitors to our home. There are stories from their visits throughout the years:
• A baby racoon scratching at the basement window one morning when our son and his friends had slept in the basement, waking up to the noise. (A board placed nearby allowed it to escape.)
• A garter snake that seems to be cooling itself under the fountain’s stream until it went after a large frog that was visiting our fountain. (I had my husband chase it off with a broom after our daughter search on what these small snakes eat included frogs.)
•The fox that walked on the edge of the pond and then crossed the ice as we were getting ready for dinner with guests.
• The field mouse that fell into a window well in the winter and was looking in at us as we watched a movie. (I went outside and placed a stick nearby for it to climb.)
•The deer in the backyard that revealed that deer squat when relieving themselves. (Yes, there’s a picture to back this up.)
While we enjoy watching the birds return from our windows, we are looking forward to returning to our patio and being out there with them. Yes, the days are getting longer and temperatures are inching upward.