I live in a home that is not quite city and not quite country. I am on a state highway and have neighbors nearby, yet we also have quite a bit of wildlife in the area. I usually enjoy these glimpses of nature in action, but this year I have had both the pleasurable and the less desirable.
There is a pair of rabbits that I have viewed on more than one occasion in my neighbor’s yard. Normally you just see a rabbit hopping across the lawn, nothing spectacular. This pair, however, is comical and unique. One rabbit will jump up considerably high into the air and the other rabbit will run beneath it. Then they will turn and repeat the steps again. I have watched them do this on more than one occasion. Even though they are annoying in the sense that the consume vegetation from the garden, they are comical and fun to watch.
I did not get the thistle and milkweed pulled from my front bushes and the thistle has gotten quite large and gone to seed. There are birds that seem to love this and frequently I look out to see them sitting on the weeds in the shrubbery. This is pleasurable, enough so that I can forgive them for coming up onto my porch, sitting on my chairs there and sometimes leaving reminders of their existence.
If you have been a reader for long you know that I have spiders on my porch every year due to my close proximity to the river. I learn to watch for webs, and as long as they don’t violate the area I need to walk into my house at night, I tolerate them because the benefit is I have a mosquito free yard. Our co-existence would be much easier if they would learn to build their webs on the end of the porch opposite the door, so a few large, persistent ones have been eliminated.
This year my limits have been tested. When I was weed whacking along my patio two small mice jumped up and ran. My daughter informed me that we have had mice outside for years, that my husband just never told me. I would prefer if critters didn’t jump up and run when I am trying to trim the vegetation.
One night I came home after dark and my lights caught an animal walking across my drive — a skunk! While Pepe Le Pew may be adorable in a cartoon, it is not something I want strolling my drive or yard when I am likely to be walking around in the area. That particular night I pulled up onto the grass near my porch steps to hopefully eliminate any possibility of a skunk encounter. As I came to a stop the skunk walked down the front sidewalk across the area near my steps and into the bushes beside the porch. Needless to say I was a titch nervous when I walked up onto the porch to enter the house…so nervous I forgot to look for spiders!
The perfume factory’s appearance was not a one-time sighting. I could smell him periodically at night and a couple days after the initial sighting I saw him walking around in my backyard at 3:30 in the afternoon. This definitely made me nervous as this is a nocturnal animal that was out and about in the middle of the day. It appeared that he may have gone under my shed, but I certainly didn’t want to run out and look. I have purchased mothballs, which I have been told if I spread in the bushes and around and underneath the shed will deter the skunk.
Before that problem had been tackled I discovered a hornet/wasp nest hanging on the upper corner of my shed. It was fairly good size and very active. I purchased two cans of spray designed to kill wasps and hornets and my daughter, Caroline, came over and doused the nest with a foaming spray the first night. The next morning I looked out and the nest was still active. Caroline’s boyfriend, Rob, is used to dealing with these pests when working, so he came over that night and re-sprayed that nest. In the process of trying to eliminate one nest, he discovered three more nests had been started under a loose board so sprayed them all for me. The next day Rob came back to check the inside of the shed where he discovered another five small hives being started. Thanks to Rob all hives have been treated and destroyed and the loose board is nailed back for me.
So, wildlife is wonderful if it is deer standing in my front yard, rabbits playing a hopping game, or birds sitting on flowering weeds. What I do not like is the perfume factory of Pepe Le Pew, mice, and wasps/hornets invading my space. If they stay in the wooded areas things will be just fine. After all, I have my limits, and my limits are not beneficial to their lifeline.