Who lives here?

Where do I live? In a lovely home, in a neighborhood that still stuns me I live in it everytime I walk Zoe, surrounded by lakes (some manmade), wetlands part of my property and encroaching further onto the yard–err, football field,  soccer field, dog  training area, volleyball court, artist studio, calming edifice, bonfire home–whatever it happens to be at the moment.

Nature reclaiming its own.  I often wonder if we left for 10 years and no one touched my mostly native gardens or yard, what would my property look like?  What critters would make my house their own, first creeping in through crevices and someday open door, swinging in the elements?  I can take a guess, based on some of the animals have seen this winter.

The young buck, sauntering through our yard, pawing at the now-fallen apples in the yard, who acts as if he owns the place.  After several week’s disappearance, he will reappear, majestic and sure.  And if we don’t see him, his tracks are the first in the morning snow, looking like an early-morning skiier left them.

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There is the tiny, dark grey field mouse that hunkers down under the bird feeder,gnawing and shivering, hiding under nearby evergreen branches as we approach.  We send the dogs to chase the fattened squirrels, who fight with the many birds for the seed and bread we daily leave.  Cardinals, robins (even in winter), finches, singing wrens abound, a woodpecker hammering at the eaves.

And in the darkness, the coyotes have made their plaintive nightly calls, sometimes a lonesome howl, sometimes the eerie party noises when they have made some kill in our yard.  Haunting, but beautiful, it runs chills through me everytime. 

I may own my home, but the animals own the area– though they change with the seasons. I hope it stays that way. C

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