Friday, May 25, 2007

More signs of Spring

If there were any doubts about Spring, all the signs around our house have put those to rest. It seems like every time I look outside there's some new critter in the back yard. Last week I looked out to see this female duck just laying there, all by herself. She usually comes with her "husband". Usually one of them keeps a lookout while the other eats the corn or sunflower seeds laying on the ground. The beautiful Goldfinches have turned back to summer yellow and empty out that little feeder, with the help of the Chickadees, in about a day. If the squirrels decide to help out, it's a half day. Then the other night I was out on the back deck when I heard this "chittering" noise and looked down to see three baby raccoons walking along, calling out for their mama. They walked out on a log that was in the pond, climbed over each other and walked back to land. When no mama appeared they finally walked off along the edge of the pond. I'm sure they found her, eventually, because she's been at my bird feeder too, sometimes not even waiting for nightfall, but coming in the late afternoon. I figured she must really be hungry to come so early and now I can see why, having 3 little babies to feed. They are cute at that age but I don't find their mama so cute, emptying out my feeder in just one night! She hangs onto the post with one paw and scoops out the seed, right into her mouth, with the other. When I walk outside to shoo her away, she glances back over her shoulder and begrudgingly shimmies down the pole and saunters off into the woods. Usually it takes two or three shoo sessions before she finally leaves for good.

You just never know from one day to the next what type of animal or bird will appear. Usually the ducks stay just long enough to raise a few babies and then off they go, probably flying north for the summer. One year we had a mama with 8 babies but we also had a fox in our backyard that year so in a short time those 8 babies were down to 6. I keep waiting to see baby woodchucks too because there were two of them swimming around in the early spring and even built their "house" on our small pond. I'm sure a family of little woodchucks can't be too far behind.

Ah, Nature. It's all around us, even here in suburbia!!

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