I grew up in the city, where wildlife was pretty much restricted to pigeons and crows and squirrels. And these creatures kept a distance, and certainly never ventured near or in our home.
It’s been four and a half years since we’ve moved to the suburbs, and to date we’ve had a raccoon make a home in our back porch, a squirrel nibbled a hole in our kitchen screen and help himself repeatedly to snacks in our pantry, a skunk decided to make nightly visits to our back porch as well for one whole summer, a bat cuddled up with my daughter on the couch to watch The Wizard of Oz with her when she was four, the trees and shrubs in our yard has been filled with birds nests, and on one occasion we pulled into our driveway to find a grey fox sitting by the garage door. Infiltration!
It’s been quite amazing, although I admit I would prefer if the animals stay outside.
The summer before last a duck got lazy and didn’t make it to the lakeshore–she had to travel all of about five more blocks to get there–and made a nest under our holly bush at the base of our front steps.
Every morning we left the house, and there she was sitting on her nest. Once in a while she would leave, and we would get all stressed, but she always came back. When she was gone we counted fourteen eggs!
After many days–we don’t remember how many, but those ducklings were about ready to hatch–she must have wandered too long. We stepped out in the morning and found a haze of bugs swirling in the air. There was debris all over the place, shells, blood, feathers. My husband is certain the raccoons got to them. The mommy duck was nowhere to be found.
After I dropped the littles ones of at preschool and elementary school, I returned home. Not long after the mommy duck returned. She waddled around our front lawn (which is quite high up on a hill) for what felt like hours, squawking and calling–I just stood in the window and watched her.
So far there have been more ground nests–thankfully!
A few days ago we found a nest in a dead potted plant on a table on our front porch–we were about to toss it in the garbage. It’s a chickadee nest, and hopefully this time the eggs will hatch. It will be fun to have baby birds calling right outside our front door.
How about you: Any backyard tales to share?