autumn and the animals

Our backyard has the lowest fences on the block, ie none at front, and only old frail 4 foot chain link out back, with a delicate divider of open wire work that keeps Nessie in the back 40, though she has rarely ever gone walkabout on her own if the gates are accidentally blown open. We’re bounded on either side by 6 foot fences because the infills want privacy for their tiny yards. Being near the river and across from the park berm and path, all parts of the wildlife corridor, means a constant funneling therefore through ours, as they pass from water to habitat.

And hollyhocks, raspberries, bird feeder, crabapple and apple trees 🙂 Admittedly though, they are kind enough to wait until the raspberries are picked (deer LOVE the leaves), and most of the apples gathered, though i did miss a few blooms on my favoured black Chater hollyhock this summer. We’ve had rabbits and i mean Rabbits, the Alberta Jack Rabbit, not cute little abandoned bunnies that were turfed out after Easter and let to breed and live as they could, coyotes singing and hunting, a family of skunks that Nessie was unfortunate enough to check one out of one fine dark morning this summer, tons of squirrels, bajillions of birds, numerous deer, and a suspicion we had that there was a local porcupine.

Thursday morning i had been woken by the DogFaced Girl in a frenzy at 430AM, and in my winter boots and nightgown at -2C temps in the dark and a crisp frost on the ground, managed to ascertain with the stupidly useless flashlight on my phone, that yes, there was Something on the strut under the picnic table. Under those circumstances, that was good enough to bring Nessie back in. Skunk, cat, porcupine, whatever it was, welcome to our backyard, fill your boots then please leave. This autumn i have taken to leaving something outside by the back door to either kick over, or a shovel i can bang on the patio to warn whatever’s out there, because even after peering through the curtains, you can’t see the whole yard, and if the motion sensor lights haven’t come on, you can’t see anything anyways. Dog has a routine that can’t be interrupted for obvious reasons.

Nessie’s last ablutions of the day are around 9PM.  Last night i did the nosy neighbour check and saw deer resting and eating in the backyard, so opened the door gently and shooed them to safety. What leaps a young one can make! Let Miss PeePee Pants out and realized she was doing a warning circle with the low gruffs around the apple tree, saw a lump passing down the fence by it and thought AGH, grab the camera, be brave and let’s see what the lump really is. (If the lump had been larger, i’d have pulled DFG in, not chancing any encounter with bear, lynx or cougar, also known to visit Calgary backyards, though fortunately not (yet) in our neighbourhood.)

Lump saw me coming and proceeded to climb the apple tree.

Meet “Billy Idol”, our latest AirBnB guest.

Doesn’t he look all soft and cuddly? 🙂

5 responses to “autumn and the animals

  1. Lucky you for getting shots of Billy Idol !! He does look soft & cuddly !
    In Sudbury, years ago at ‘Science North’, they had a porcupine that had been found in Guelph … George ? cant remember his name … that was tame and you could ‘pet’ him (I did), not soft. He loved the touch and attention from the visitors.
    Loved reading about your wildlife corridor … good for you !
    Hope you get a pic (from a safe distance) of a cougar one day !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: animal house | albedo too

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