Until four years ago, my family lived out in the country, in a small house in the middle of five acres that was hell to keep mowed in the summer. It was mostly open land with some old apple trees to one side and a two hundred foot driveway that was hell to keep plowed in the winter. Even though we lived out in the country, we rarely saw any birds besides robins and crows. Rabbits occasionally dashed around in the bushes at the end of our property, but rarely came near the house. A frog or two showed up now and then. And the only deer we saw were on the roads when they ran out in front of our cars.
Two years ago we bought a little house in a village near a lake. Our entire property is only fifty feet by seventy-five feet. Mowing takes fifteen minutes. Our parking area takes not much more than that to keep plowed. Both giant pluses in my book. One unexpected side benefit of our new home is the incredible amount of wildlife we see in our tiny backyard.
This duck couple waddled around our neighborhood last year. They'd take a walk down our street every evening, stopping now and then to rest under a tree in someone's front yard, or take a break in our bushes. Here they've finished their break and are off to visit one of the neighbors. I haven't seen them this year. I miss seeing them take their walks together.
One type of wildlife we have plenty of is the woodchuck. There is a family living in a burrow under the three yards that meet behind our house. They have a number of holes to get in an out and while we've tried live traps, the critters are pretty darn smart. They love the crab apples that fall from our tree. You can see one of them enjoying dinner in our back yard. We've pretty much resigned ourselves to sharing the space with them.
Some of the wildlife I sit and watch from my back porch I haven't been able to get pictures of. This spring I laughed for a good half hour watching two rabbits playing together, running through our yard, into the neighbors', around the trees, back into our yard, hiding behind the bushes, and dashing out again. We have squirrels and chipmunks and we get colorful birds like cardinals and bluejays and finches. Last spring we had the most surprising wildlife visitor of all.
My husband and I were having breakfast on our back porch one morning when this fawn suddenly appeared in our yard. We silently sipped our coffee as the baby deer walked around our yard and then settled down in some long grass in the yard behind ours. My husband quietly got his camera and walked over and took several pictures. The fawn didn't seem to be afraid. He rested there for a little while and then took off.
I'm enjoying the view from my back porch. I never know what's going to appear. I'll have to remember to keep my camera handy and if those seven dwarfs ever show up, I'll be sure to share the pictures.