My family and I have moved to the upper Hudson Valley, New Baltimore, NY, to be exact. We live in a house built in 1820. It sits on a lovely dead end street that is surrounded by woods. These woods are teeming with all sorts of critters.
I remember one early morning in May looking out of the window in the living room and seeing a large doe gently grazing. I was so excited I ran and grabbed the camera and snapped a picture. It was too early to wake the rest of the house, so I just left a note and wrote in large letters, "LOOK AT PICTURE!"
With the exception of my daughter's boyfriend, everyone else was all a twitter. Ever since that day we anxiously look out of our windows to see if we could spy our deer.
We moved into our quaint little house in mid-May of this year. So far, we have had many deer; a wild turkey; Turkey Buzzards feeding on grubs; one little chipmunk who lives in a hollow log; loads of bunnies; a murder of crows; several Cooper's Hawks; and, we suspect a fox, nearby. We can smell a slight "skunky" smell every now and then. My grand-daughter keeps telling me that she saw something short with a long orangey tail. We have this poor pine tree with a bald bark, all due to the Pileated Woodpecker scavenging for grubs. Every morning we hear the call of the Blue Jay among the trees.
This past summer I had about ten different hummingbirds. I suspect we would have had more had the little male not been so proprietary about his nectar. I only had four feeders for them this year...next year, a lot more!
So, now, with Fall here in upstate NY, I have put cracked corn out for the deer and whatever else feeds on corn. Suet feeders are going up next in various limbs of trees around the yard. And I will be filling bird feeders with wild bird seed.
By Spring, the garden beds will all be finished and there will be different types of herbs and flowers that will attract butterflies and, yes, more hummingbirds! There will be a nice little fence around the garden so that I can harvest my hard work. I will be sure to share with the wild creatures that surround us.
My grand-daughter, who is five, at the moment is absolutely enthralled with our little menagerie. She and I try and talk to the deer so that they get used to our voices and, perhaps next year we can actually hand feed them.
My daughter and I have gone outside during the evening with a flashlight just to catch a glimpse of our little deer herd. One night we were surprised to see a deer bedded down right in our neighbor's yard. We shone the light on her and she must have been very comfortable, for she did not move.
We have one doe who comes around on a weekly basis, with her twins. When they first showed up in our yard the twins were very small and their spots still quite vibrant. Now, they are about half the size of mom and their color is a beautiful tawny brown. It will be interesting to see them "grow" up this fall and winter.
There is also a very young buck that we see once in a while. He is all by himself and extremely skittish. He is almost a medium taupe and has two very small antlers. I've only seen him once or twice, but perhaps he will come around a little more now that there is corn to be had.
Every day here in this little hamlet, that, we now call home is a reminder of how beautiful nature can be. I find myself sitting on the back porch at all hours just admiring and getting inspired.