Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Who's Been Walking in My Yard?

Advantage of all that snow-I have a record of who has been walking in my Back Forty. Throughout this last winter there were squirrel & deer tracks, many sizes of bird "shoes" and one morning a solitary track from a coyote traipsing across the front drive! (You can just make out the tracks coming up the slope from the Green Belt and through to the drive).
Since this last winter was colder than any during the last three or four decades, and the snow fall (4 feet by mid-March) three times what we usually get, I was surprised to see that many animals out and about.
Our bird feeder was busy with tiny chickadees, finches and other birds that we hadn't seen in previous winters. Snow shoveling was a twice daily chore, so it was easy to sympathize with all those visitors. Watching them reinforced the need to design this back garden to welcome the resident animals, not attempt fence them out. Tiny chickadees are easy to welcome, but black squirrels and deer not so easy. Fences will not slow them down either.
The bears- a mother and her three cubs- that we enjoyed watching as they strolled along the back of our lot, and climbed over the neighbours fence will not be a feature this year. That is a sad tale for another post, but bears must be part of this plan.
I can see that I will need to plan for winter food for these creatures, along with plants that will provide snacks through all the seasons.
A challenge!

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