Saturday, March 10, 2007

Critter Central

Our house has become even more Critter Central here lately. As I've mentioned, we throw our food scraps out back, close beneath the window where I sit to write, and the local beggars of the animal variety are starting to set their watches by us. We have three regular racoon visitors, two of whom will come up right beneath my window, and we have at least two different, and possibly three different, possums. Each of these will come at least twice a night, and sometimes more. We have had a fox, although not in a while.

Last night we managed, with much dancing about and jumping up and down, to herd a mouse out the back French Doors, and Lana discovered after finishing a small box of raisens that they had mites in them. Oh well, it was Friday, but Lana's not Catholic so I guess eating the mites wasn't a sin for her. In my windowsill, I have a dead stink bug roughly the size of my thumb, and our backyard is so constantly visited by birds that it resembles Pearl Harbor on the day of the Japanese bombing runs.

Today there are butterflies and bees in the clover, and I've had about all I can handle of sitting in the house. Outside I go, feeling like Saint Francis among the animals. Only without the saintly qualities, of course.


Steve Malley said...

We have paddocks full of horses out the back, and a roving gang of chickens who terrorize our porr cat.

Birdwise, we get silvereye and goldfinches, yellowheads and song thrushes, and once a bellbird.

At night, the hedgehogs come...

RichardS said...

I love your back garden, Charles. It's a little like my parent's holiday home in Norfolk, England. It's in the middle of woods, well away from the bustle of everyday life.

Whilst staying there we've seen squirrels, deer and a huge variety of birds at a nearby lake.

Now if I could just earn enough to retire somewhere like that!

Erik Donald France said...

Saint Charles, that's a lot of critters. I lived in a little house "in the woods" for years in North Carolina and saw a lot of the same kind of things. My favorite arrivals were hawks and owls and the cagey responses of their potential snacks (run for cover!) -- all hell breaking loose.
In Detroit, we have occasional coyotes possums, sparrow-type birds and pigeons, plus different types of squirrels, some that are pitch black. What I miss most about the woods is hearing the occasional whip-poor-will, haunting but beautiful.

Charles Gramlich said...

Steve, I grew up on a farm, raising cattle, chickens, pigs and ducks. We also had Guinies for a while, and a couple of horses.

Richards, I've seen quite a few squirrels in the local woods but so far no deer. I have seen tracks.

Erik, I was just thinking of whipoorwills tonight. Loved them growing up but haven't heard them yet here.

Tonight we had a fire and two coons come up in the yard to within about fifteen feet of us. We also saw a couple cool looking woodpeckers today.

Danny Tagalog said...

All I can say from this concrete jungle is: YOU LUCKY CRITTER.

I'm unreservedly envious!

Sidney said...

Wow, sounds like my back yard.

Our indoor/outdoor cat Oliver nee Sad Orange Kitty keeps the mice away. I've rescued a few by bringing him back inside to preserve their species and once I saw one outside in a martial arts pose ready to take him on.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I'm the zoo keeper of my estate. Labradoodle, two rats, a turtle, two inside aquariums with fish, and an outside pond. Also, I have a sneaky suspicion there's a family of skunks under our wood deck. Hopefully, with the dog marking her territory they'll leave. I love the country life, but the misses wants to be near the shopping malls.

Michelle's Spell said...

Love the last line, Charles! I'm terrified of all animals, domestic or wild. Alas, my students laugh when I scream in fear at the squirrels on campus!

Lucas Pederson said...

We usually get a lot of deer in our backyard. Their just lucky I'm not a hunter. He-he.
Anyway, yeah we also get a lot of critters, skunks and possum mostly. Although the other noght I spoted a nice fat raccoon scampering through.
When I lived in Minnesota we'd go camping and the campground we went to was also thick with black bears and raccoons. Before you went to bed you had to make sure all your food was locked up tighter than a drum, otherwise everything you own and love to eat would be strung out all over the place and spoiled the next morning. OR the bears might decide to investigate you tent...thankgod we were cautious.
Some evenings we'd load up in my grandfather's Winnebago and park beside the camps' dumpster. At around seven o'clock we'd watch the bears feast. It was fun.

Donnetta said...

Charles, we've had about every critter you can name,including rabbits. I, too, lived on a farm for a time. We had cattle and pigs. Of course, we also had cats and dogs and birds. Now, we're confined to one cat and one dog. There is a stray black cat who comes up on the porch and thumbs her nose at the indoor pets. Seems to say, "nanannybooboo." Oh, and,on the farm, there were also the skunks! Now, that's a story! Donnetta

Drizel said...

whaahahahahah.......sounds more like Ace Ventura....hihih....and eewww for the mites, sin or no sin....gross:)

Susan Miller said...

Ahhh yes, I could name a few critters myself but my favorite must be the possum that lives under the house. More specifically it lives under and around my bathtub. And yeah, there's a story there.

I just pray we continue to live in peace, which means no busted pipes.