Saturday, September 17, 2011

Take a Walk on the Wild Side!

"Art may imitate wild nature; less often does it dare to place itself in the midst of it, and when it does, it may come out second best." -John Hart

One of my pals

When we moved from the city to the country, I had one condition - the next place we would live must be just like camping. The scenery looked just right and I was pleased to see wild bunnies upon moving in. I got more than I bargained for, but I couldn't be happier. Here is a look at the crazy critters that live in our trees, shrubs, bushes, and even underground in the neighborhood. I call them my friends.

Chipmunk. I see this little one and his/ or her mama all the time.

Squirrel eating some food.

I call this squirrel Donut. I know I'm not supposed to have favorites, but I do. We have a bond.

Can you spot the little birdy?

Please, please National Geographic, stop calling me for this picture. Just kidding.

I thought it was funny that this bird likes to sit on St. Francis's head. And ironic too.

"We don't communicate through words, but yet the time I spend observing wildlife, is the best conversation."
-the Dirty Vegan (that's me)

Another shot of this gorgeous bird sitting atop St. Francis. Look at the pretty coloring, feathers, and tail. Again, NatGeo, I'm all booked up! Gosh!

Bird scoping out the seed situation.

Two birds singing.

Uh oh, they caught me! I'm like the Critterazzi!

Two squirrels foraging.

We think this handsome darling is a woodchuck!

One of the resident bunnies. There are a few of them that live in the neighborhood. One was abandoned because its mother was killed by probably a cat, so I introduced the baby bunny to a mother bunny who gave birth and made an underground nest in our yard. Luckily, the mother accepted the abandoned baby, and now it is alive and healthy (and pretty big now - juvenile size). That very same bunny can be seen laying in patches of grass in various yards and also hanging out with another bunny of similar age.

It was funny when we accidentally discovered the nest, my husband was mowing the lawn, went over a patch of overgrown grass, and saw a bunch of bunnies pop their heads up out of a hole. It was funny to see a bunch of babies that looked the same and then this different looking wild bunny that Mama Bunny decided to care for. I'm grateful she did.

Funny, Mama was always so large, I thought sheesh this bunny looks more like a giant cat! Then she didn't come around for a bit. Next time I saw her, she was noticeably smaller. It finally dawned on me that this large rabbit was not overweight, just very pregnant!

Note: Its best to just observe wildlife; you should not feed wild animals. I never do while hiking, and during camping animals will only get what we happen to drop and not end up picking up. We don't want to mess with their natural ability to forage and survive. These animals live in the yards in our neighborhood. They reside here and procreate here. So our little community is all that they've ever known. If you've ever been to Boston or NYC and have seen the squirrels in the parks there, you will know exactly what I mean. You know when your strolling along and these squirrels just come right up to you? It is kind of like the Enchanted Forrest where I live. Or Disney World, except here we have to clean up after ourselves, no magical brooms. But I still do not get too friendly with my wild animal pals. I do not want them to trust people, because there are people out there that might be mean to them. Also, I put out bird seed, bird baths, fountains, and Apple Feeders only) especially now since Shirley got sprayed by one of the resident skunks, which I am told by neighbors is old and has been around many years carrying on his evening ritual of visiting yards at 8:00 pm. We have rescheduled Shirley's bathroom visits and no leaving out trash or sweets; skunks are known to have a sweet tooth. In addition to skunks, we have been visited by raccoon, possum, so many wonderful birds (ducks too and even an owl!), and bats too! I also love to observe the insects; I love to watch the dragonflies dance. Dragonflies do not fly their entire life. They fly for only a period of their life, usually brief. That is why when you see a dragonfly, they normally do not take breaks - they fly, fly, fly with not a care in the world. If only everyone could see that life is too short, so the time you do have to fly, go for it, fun and breezy, and don't sweat the small stuff. And for now, the Dirty Vegan is signing off. 

"Want to know a secret? Promise not to tell? We are standing by a wishing well. Make a wish into the well, that's all you have to do. And if you hear it echoing, your wish will soon come true." -Snow White

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