Thirteen Animals I’ve Encountered Here

My apologies to anyone who stopped by earlier, somehow my post was posted way down the page on the date I began it instead of today’s date.

There are many things I love about living in VA, not the least of which is all the various forms of wildlife we see here. Growing up in Small town suburban Rockland MA & then living in Haverhill MA- albeit on the outskirts “almost” in the country. We didn’t see too many wild animals, just the occasional squirrel, opossum & raccoon, we get plenty of those down here too. But I was here in VA for the first time in 1987 before I ever saw a live deer.

1.  Now I see way too many deer. There is seldom an evening when I drive home from work that I don’t see at least a couple, last night it was 8, some in pairs some singly, but entirely too many. They also, I discovered last Sunday evening, when I finally moseyed out to the garden, have been visiting me at home, the first row of cucumber plants are nibbled nearly to death, there are a few raggedy looking leaves on each one left but I doubt they’ll flourish now…Sigh.

2.  The second year here in this house I was enchanted to discover we had a real live fox living in the field across the road, we would see him trot across the road & through our yard, probably on the way to the creek at the bottom of the hill behind our house, nearly daily. The cry of a fox is somewhat unnerving (sounds like a woman screaming) but other than that it has been really lovely seeing that bright red scoundrel with his black socks occasionally.

3. Until last week. Nature is a cruel place, but crueler still is the internal combustion engine & it’s fast moving, lethal metal capsule, the fox got struck down in the road in the curve before my house. This did bring about a fascinating (if you like that sort of thing- I don’t) array of big, fat, ugly buzzards (they may have been turkey vultures- I’m not all that up on my birds of prey identification) picking up lunch in the road.

4. Another bird of prey we see a lot of here are Hawks, mostly red-tailed, I love to see them for the most part, watching them soar on the wind currents is definitely an enjoyable pastime, just as long as I can’t actually see the poor rodent they’re circling.

5. When I got home from picking up ms 19 at work one recent Tuesday afternoon (just before school ended for the year) I discovered a dead snake right in front of the porch. Mr 9 was ecstatic, he put it in a jar & kept it in the fridge overnight so as to bring it to school to show his science teacher, no email yet suggests she was at least accepting of this lovely uh, gift?

6. Raccoons are always amusing to see, I saw a family of them crossing the road the other night on the way home. They’re so cute, but not any fun to pet I understand.

7.  Not too long ago one of the cats caught a red headed woodpecker, they brought it as a prize & dropped it on my porch, I was saddened because that bird was beautiful, not just the bright red head but the lower brown & white feathers were just a gorgeous pattern. I wish I could have seen it live.

8. We do see quite a few live hummingbirds, they’re fun to see although the last feeder I bought for them lost it’s stopper over the winter, so they’re not able to eat at our house right now, they seem to remember from year to year & keep coming back to check.

9.  We of course, have cats, just 2 right now, but they’Ole're entertaining in their own ways in spite of being not wild, the other domestic creatures we can see from our yard are cows & a llama, why the neighbors have a llama in with the cows (& only one, it’s not an alpaca fur farm or anything like that) I will probably never know but everyone gets a big kick out of it when he deigns to walk up the hill & appear across the road from our house. Here’s a picture of one of the many cows which have broken fences & come up the road to visit us at the house through the past 4 years at our new home, we have cow pastures on all 4 sides for at least 1/4 mile in every direction so it’s not too surprising that we see roaming cows occasionally.

10. Rabbits, lots of rabbits, some years are big rabbit years, some years you hardly see any at all. This year seems to be a rabbit year, I’ve seen lots & lots of them so far. (also does not bode well for the garden)

11. Of course the cats are always leaving moles & mice at the door, they’re not exactly welcome “gifts” but at least it proves they’re stopping them from getting into the house.

12. Last night I was amazed to see the tiniest opossum I have ever seen on the side of the road, (small as a 3 week old kitten- he had no business in the road) he proved to me that opossums may be learning from past lives because he saw my headlights, turned around & jumped off the side of the road into the ditch.  I didn’t see a mom, so maybe he had an object lesson for why not to go in the road, somewhere in the weeds nearby.

13.  This wasn’t all that recent but I still haven’t gotten over the bear we saw on the way to go berry picking up in the mountains.

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2 thoughts on “Thirteen Animals I’ve Encountered Here

  1. I am still shocked every time I see a moose in my neighborhood. I’ve seen a bunch in the 7 years I’ve lived here, but they are so impressive and downright UGLY that I still catch my breath every time

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