Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wildlife in our yard...

If I had that digital camera I'm jonesing for, it would be a lot easier to share pictures of our little world. For now, I'm stuck with scanning pics with my crappy printer/scanner. Bear with me on the photo quality, but I wanted to share our outdoor pets with you.

A few months ago, we spent every morning cleaning garbage up in our front yard because neighborhood animals got into our trash can. Since we couldn't get out right away to buy a garbage can with a lid, we decided to bribe them away from the can with readily available food. We placed a large plastic bowl outside the back door and started filling it with food items we'd normally throw away. Pizza crusts, melon rinds, egg shells, stale bread and crackers, etc. Not only were we helping out some animals that would normally be hard-up for food this time of year, but there was no longer food in our garbage can to tempt them into ripping into the bags. It's all in the bowl.

It took only two nights before the animals found it, and started making a nightly trek to our back door. It's a sliding glass double-door, so we get a fantastic view of the animals when they visit. Vic started putting a bowl of water out for them too. Within a week, we had a pair of opossums and a pair of raccoons visiting nightly. As is traditional for children, mine named our new "pets." The opossums are Hammer and Bob. We have no pictures of either, and they've recently stopped visiting since it's been so cold.

This is the larger raccoon, Scruff (with a nice reflection from the back door glass):

This is the smaller raccoon, Skittish:

Scruff posing for the camera:

This morning we had a new visitor, a squirrel that's missing a large amount of fur on his back. He will henceforth be known as Baldy the Squirrel. Baldy has altered many of my beliefs on squirrel diets by happily munching on rice and french fries. I'm looking forward to this summer and what new animals might find their way into my back yard.


Geary said...

Enjoyed your posting. Check out my site, it has information about city / urban wildlife humane removal and protecting you home. I have photos too, even a picture of an albino Raccoon >> Wildlife in the City, hope you enjoy it.

Heather said...

Interesting website. The way I see it, we're invading their space, and mesh over gutters and attic vents is a way of protecting the animals from dangers they don't understand, not the other way around. However, I do see a need for humane relocation in situations where humans in their arrogance believe they have more right to the land than the animals do. Animal rescue organizations are a great thing, I just think it's sad that there's a need for such services.