Monday, June 14

Animal Inventory

Today was a day of wildlife in the yard. I saw more woodland creatures today than in many other days combined. The roll call was as follows:

A family of woodchucks in the back yard and another group across the road
A baby red squirrel (they are FAST!)
Tons of new starlings foraging around the yard for a meal and testing out their wings
A new little brown bunny eating grass
One wild turkey (shy)
One coyote that came out of the newly plowed corn field, stood in the middle of the road, looked around, then ran up the middle of the road and took a sharp turn into the pine trees. Wow was he (or she) pretty!

Add all this to the recent black bear sightings in Irondequoit and Pittsford and we are living in the wilds around here.

We also have a barn swallow nesting on our front porch which is the first time they have done that since we have lived here. They mostly stay in the barn - and multiply like crazy. Mowing the lawn is quite a show since they come out in force to swoop down around the mower looking to catch bugs jumping out of the path of the blades.

Robins are also nesting in the barn, right next to the door so every time you have to go in there you get a scolding from momma. The upper barn is full of starlings, and they have also managed to find an unsealed section of the solar panels to nest in this season. I don't mind this except that they like to come out and pass the time by pooping on the top of the panels. This looks kind of bad since our black panels are streaked with white on the top sections. I'll have to get a long-handled broom and clean the droppings off as soon as the nest is vacated.

I am very happy with the boom in our wildlife population, and with the addition of our chickens, this actually feels like a real farm. I like to think of them all as part of my day here. I am used to seeing them, not usually all in the same day, but I have developed an attachment. Especially to the woodchucks. They just seem very innocent to me and I love to see them run. They can go quite fast, I have noticed, and they just kind of shake all over like Jello with fur. I will not name them because this will lead to two things: the first, that I will be very, very sad to see one of them in the road one day after a meeting with a car, and secondly, I don't want the neighbors to think I am nuts.

I have, however, named my 6 older chicken ladies after careful deliberation with the baby during our poultry television the other day. I now have Hildred, Mildred, Gertrude, Gladys, Abigail and Spot.

Hildred is pictured below, looking quite annoyed with her new name but resigned to it none the less. I have mentioned her before. She is the meanest chicken but i think that under it all she has a good heart and good intentions. Kind of like that really crass aunt that everyone seems to have at least one of.


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