"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wildlife in my yard.

Living out in the suburbs, we don't see a whole lot of wildlife.  Of course, like everyone we see birds and squirrels.  I also see the evidence of raccoons that have been tearing up my pond on a regular basis.  Seeing the Great Blue Heron in our pond the other day was pretty neat, even though I feared for our fish (and my daughter's tears if any were missing).  Two summers ago a pair of mallards stayed for a day in our pond, I kept hoping they'd come back, but they moved on.  There were nights last summer that a small bat flew across our backyard.  Even though some of this wildlife interferes with my plantings I still have a bit of excitement every time I see wet raccoon footprints around my pond.  I love seeing the birds forage through the yard looking for berries and insects.  I have to admit I even love seeing those pesky squirrels  sunbathing on a fence post.  I often wonder who stops through that I haven't seen.  I'm still waiting for a frog to move into the pond, maybe one has been here and I missed it!
Many years ago I went through the steps of having our yard certified as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat.  It was fun looking through the checklist of all the things we had done to make it habitable to our local wildlife.  Most of the things necessary are so easy to do; water sources, trees and shrubs for birds to hide or nest in, plants that attract pollinators.   It encourages me to continue to add these and other elements to our yard. 
This year my older daughter and I have decided we are going to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count.   I've thought about it so many times, but this year we have gone to the website to print out our list of birds to watch for.  As much as I enjoyed seeing the heron the other day, I'm hoping to put a big 0 next to that species.
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  1. I love this photo. Such a NW background! We had more bats when we lived in a more formal subdivision. The lights & bugs I think. THere is wildlife everywhere if you look. You'll know you have a frog in the spring when they start their singing! However, our neighbor has one by her porch about year around. You give the critters the elements they like and they'll find it!

  2. I visited the Backyard Wildlife Habitat site. I think I need to do a little more looking around. I participate in Project Feederwatch. It's fun, too. :-) (Anything that keeps you looking out the window when you can't be out as much, these days!) Keep Warm!

  3. Happy bird counting! Sounds like a fun thing to do and you'll be looking out the windows even when you aren't on a bird hunt. Having a mission brings out the competition in our family. I can see us keeping a list on the fridge and offering bird rewards to the winners each week. I'll look forward to your reports.


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