The past few days (and nights) have been bustling with activity around here! Oh, where to begin!!!
Baby animals abound! The raccoon has brought four little darlings to the feeder the past few nights. They are absolutely adorable with their miniature striped tails and tiny masked faces. It's such fun to watch them as they roil all over mom and everything in sight while forever whimpering and yelping.
But that also means four more mouths to feed!!! I wonder if I can take them off as dependents on my income tax (only kidding IRS, no need for an audit!)
Interestingly, the baby raccoons are highly nervous and appear to prefer to go back home. But good old mom is taking their training very seriously and insists, "this is where we eat, children", and so they do. The sounds of their crunching on goose feed, (times five hungry raccoons), is positively deafening!! Not to mention hysterical!
We also have attracted two delightful fox kits who chase each other around and wrestle off and on all night long. Boy are they ever fast, too!! I've seen them quite a bit by day as well, as they are slow to hunt for and catch enough food to fill their little tummies. One early morning, just after daybreak, I headed out to put up the suet feeder (if left there overnight the adult raccoons eat the entire cake). I saw one of the foxes lying down amidst the geese like a little puppy. When he saw me, he just looked and languidly stretched out his front paws. I guess I am considered part of the pack also! Now how cool is that!
As a matter of fact, all the wild animals here have come to trust both my husband and I to a degree that brings tears to my eyes. Deer, bunnies, birds, even the raccoons allow us to within a few feet of them as we each go about our own agendas. It is very heartwarming to be trusted like that by wild ones!!
Last evening, two mommy deer brought their fawns with them for the first time! One has twins. They frolicked and jumped and ran about with the abandon found only in the very young of any species (including our own). What fun they had as mom had her evening meal between the cracked corn and the goose food. Curious about every little thing that came along, I thought they would have a heart attack when they finally saw the geese who were beginning to gather around the feeders at dusk. Deciding they looked far too dangerous to approach, the fawns moved further off out back.
The other doe had just one fawn, but boy was he ever a handful!! He streaked back and forth and back and forth with such speed that he was mostly just a blur. And he never tired of his game, either! This went on the entire time his exhausted looking mom had a nosh. The fawn twins just looked at him as if he had gone nuts, their little heads jerking back and forth as if they were watching a tennis match. I think he intimidated them! After what seemed like an eternity, he seemed to calm down just a bit, but boy, what exuberance!!! I don't envy his poor mother!!
Everywhere I look there are babies!! The baby bunnies win the most adorable award though. Somehow rabbits in miniature are just too cute!! Then there are all the baby birds harassing their poor parents at the feeders! Even though they might be standing on the suet cake right next to either mom or dad, they feel the need to beg for food. Such patience the adult birds have!! You would think they would show them once and then make them get it themselves, but no, they dutifully feed those overstuffed babies (twice the bulk of their folks), grabbing a couple of quick bites for themselves in between. What dedication!!!!
There is a little chipmunk who has taken a fancy to the porch just off the kitchen. Every morning it goes over the entire thing with a fine-toothed comb. I wonder what he is so interested in!! Even though I am watching from the door window, he makes his entire inspection of the porch before heading off. The only concern I have with that is the wistful looks he gives my six hanging planters. But I think they are safe from his scrutiny hanging from the awning with metal supports that he should not be able to navigate.
But I have saved the very best for last! Late last night, just as I was thinking about calling it quits (about midnight) and heading inside to bed, I saw a shadow of something flying about out there. Since our resident bats haven't been seen in the past two seasons, I rushed to see if we had attracted more of those wonderful and very beneficial little fellows with our strong floodlight. But no, it was an enormous luna moth, fluttering and flying about the light looking like a beautiful manta ray in a sea of air. She put on quite a show for me for many minutes. So fairy-like and graceful! It was the largest one I have ever seen and given the hour, I have to wonder if I didn't maybe catch a glimpse of a delicate fairy. What a perfect way to end the evening!!! I headed off to bed contentedly to dream of the land of the fey.