I live in a fairly settled area. People have been living on this land for hundreds of years. The space my house occupies is not on a large plot of land, and there are neighbors fairly close in all directions. The only illusion of not having neighbors is in back when the trees fill in on the city land, and I can’t see their houses.
It is a settled place.
So it surprises me at all the wildlife we have running around. Sure, we have the standard rabbits and squirrels (both regular and flying varieties). But in the last six months I have also seen:
- An oppossum snacking in my crabapple tree
- Two young racoons also cleaning out the same tree
- An older raccoon scurrying under a neighbor’s shed
- A fox that walks the streets at night
- Frogs that cling to our kitchen and front door windows
- Blue-tailed skinks that scurry all over the garden and compost bin
- Garter and rat snakes
- A baby cottonmouth (sorry, that one didn’t live to see adulthood)
- A huge snapping turtle laying eggs in my backyard
- A great horned owl flying in the dusk
- The male mallard that perched on our roof, and the trio of mallards that were investigating the droppings from the bird feeder
- An indigo bunting at the bird feeder
- The trumpeter swan in our inlet
- The egrets, cormorants, osprey and bald eagles that live around us
I guess that says something about the health of our ecosystem, and the natural cover we choose to provide. (OK, we don’t have the time to keep the vegetation at bay)
It always amazes me, because I don’t remember this much diversity when I lived in Wisconsin. Or perhaps it is just because I pay more attention now.