Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

When my wife and I purchased our first, and only home about thirty years ago, the adjacent property included irregular strips, pieces, an access road and a very old overgrown field. Over the years we cleared some of the vacant land next to our house. We built fire pits further and further out in the ‘wilderness’. It was mostly brush , grapevine and honeysuckle.

We didn’t use any equipment other than hand tools more sophisticated than pick ax and shovel. Each year we cleared more land to the side of our house of the brush and undergrowth. We had been doing this for a couple of years and noticed a huge tree we had not even seen before. It had towered over everything but through past decades the brush and small trees had provided a path for the insidious grapevine. As it does to anything above ground, the grapevine climbs anything it can and then covers it with a blanket of leaves. Each year the plants and trees try to grow new sprouts and shoots but are caught in a strangle-hold by the vines. Eventually the trees can’t bend down enough and break into pieces and soon die looking like a rounded skeleton. The smaller trees were already dead or damaged beyond hope. We managed to save more than we thought possible and we were determined to save the huge cotton-wood tree that was already entangled in vines spreading through the lower branches.

The neighbors thought we were nuts. Then a company came and bought the land we had cleared of debris and undergrowth and the rest of the surrounding wooded area. Years and years went by and they did nothing with the land. We spoke with the owners and told them that if they ever sell the land we would like to be the first offer. We also mentioned our clearing and using of the property and they were fine with that. We continued.

Over the course of our time here we have purchased all the pieces of what used to be abandoned property. Not much total, but a jig-saw of ‘odds and ends’ surrounding the neighborhood we made it our home! My posts often refer to feeding wildlife animals and birds in our tiny sanctuary. A number of neighbors share in the maintenance and care of this land now.

We have owned all the property pieces for a few years and have been trying to get it surveyed. It took them two years after signing the contract but finally the surveyors came out and tagged all the properties including our original house and land. When I came home from work there were orange flags everywhere along our side of the street and throughout the woods. We even discovered one neighbor’s fence was actually in our yard.

I was so thrilled and for the first time I walked every inch of land knowing what was our property. With that lengthy introduction I want to share a poem I wrote after that walk. Thanks again for your visits, and I hope this will be a great New Year for all!

The Border” (C) MSK 1-22-2020

Orange flags everywhere but only where
We are
They disappear through the ages and few
Return

Moving, shifting, season upon season upon
Buried
No concerns no doubting they never change
Waiting

I’ve just walked every inch of our border
Cut or cured, with muscle and bone
We laughed loud and worked harder
But we didn’t have to do it alone

Standing for generations before we embraced it
Mighty
Ruins become playgrounds, wilderness a haven
Our home

I’ve just walked every inch of our border
Cut or cured, with muscle and bone
We laughed loud and worked harder
But we didn’t have to do it alone

What’s yours is yours thanks for giving back what
Is mine
Fires burned, pumpkins were carved by many
Good night

Moving, shifting, season upon season upon
Buried
No concerns no doubting they never change
Waiting

I live in the center of a medium sized city. I do not live on a farm or out in the wilderness. That is why it is so cool to see so much wild-life coming through our yard.

I wanted to share some pictures of our visitors over the weekend with you. This has been a great year for rabbits…. bunnies are jumpin’ all over the yard this year. I think the hawk was eating mulberries off the ground and munching on a few flying insects.

These visitors are in addition to the regulars; ground hogs, chipmunks, squirrels everywhere, raccoons, possums, owls, wood peckers and other birds.

We also get appearances from coyotes, wild turkeys, and red foxes among others. It is becoming a regular zoo!

Unfortunately, we also had another surprise visit. The building next door has a couple trees that have been dead for a long time. Piece-by-piece the rotten branches have been falling. Last Saturday we had another ‘piece’ fall. This time into our garage.

WE are still alive and did not get hurt. Fortunately, there are only 10 days or so when the Jeep is not in the garage and the tree fell on one of those days!

As many of you know I am not a professional photographer. I describe myself as a guy who likes to take pictures. Yesterday my wife and I were walking in our yard as it was getting close to sun-set. We heard some birds just chattering away and saw a pair of woodpeckers and very close by but much further up in the trees there was a hawk perched on a limb. He just sat there watching us and everything around him.

I am not good with names so I do not know what specific birds these are, but for the last few years the hawks have made this their home. Before then I don’t remember seeing or hearing them around where we live. I have always had a love for birds and I have a special fascination with larger birds of prey. Amazed we did not scare him/her away, I went into the house to get my Nikon camera and 70-300 mm lens. My wife stayed watching the birds because it is highly unlikely I would make it back with the camera before they flew away.

Here are a few shots I managed to get when I returned. I hope you enjoy starting the day in flight.