Wildlife Update: We Have New Mammals!

Ok, well, they’re not new, but they are new to me. And the first time I saw them, I thought they were a completely different animal.

Allow me to explain myself.

This morning, while I was doing my daily trash pick up on the property. (Yes, I have one of those old people grabby things. It works surprisingly well. I only need a trash satchel and safari hat to complete the lewk, I think)

I was having a nice quiet little walk about the property, picking up all the trash that shows up on our lawn when I round the corner from the front to the left side and our neighbor is out there!

So I (awkwardly) say hello and (immediately) feel embarrassed for using a trash picker upper instead of just leaning over repeatedly like a REAL MAN. 

The neighbor explains to me that we get so much trash in our yard (as does he and his other neighbor) because of the curvature of the road and the closeness to the traffic and the way the wind blows. 

He said it almost apologetically, like I should be disappointed that I have to pick up trash. 

I kind of am, because RUDE. But I am mostly not disappointed because it gives me a chance to walk around the yard every morning and see how our nature changes. 

This is what it looks like when I step outta the back door:

 

The first thing I do, of course, is go down to the river to see what is in there that day. 

Most of the time it is so many ducks. I may have mentioned this before, but at the closing table, the old owners told us, “No matter what do not feed the ducks”. 

Why did they tell us? Welp, it is because they did indeed feed the ducks and at one point they had upwards of 300 ducks that would come a-quackin’ at meal times. 

300 ducks! What a racket that must have been. 

So for now, I just observe the ducks paddling along the river. 

But then one day, I musta creeped down to the river a little quieter than normal and saw some furry creatures scurry away into an unnoticed shelter of sorts in the river. 

Beavers, I’d assumed. 

They were not there today, otherwise they would be in this photo. 

However, when I was out there talking to our neighbor about yard trash, he asked me if I’d seen the groundhogs. 

I had not, but I told him the other day a squirrel came up onto the porch for a snack. He crawled up the stairs, I squealed, he crawled back down the stairs and then tentatively came back up and started nibbling on a nut. 

It was pretty cute. 

He said, “Oh yeah, there are lots of squirrels up here. You’ll see some holes in your yard – that’s just the squirrels hiding nuts for later. They are vicious. It’s squirrel warfare out there!”

That last sentence is not an exaggeration, he really said “squirrel warfare”. I was delighted. 

Then he got back to the groundhogs. 

I told him I had seen some beavers one day in the river. 

Before I could even finish my sentence, he stopped me –

“We don’t have beavers here! Those were the groundhogs! One big mama and a whole litter of babies”

He gestured to some plants he had recently planted in his front bed. 

“See that plant right there?!”

I nodded. 

“Welp, the mama groundhog came up in there and just snatched the center out of it! It looks like a donut, don’t it?”

This guy has a way with words, clearly. 

So, we have groundhogs, y’all! I will try to sneak a pic of ’em next time they show their cute faces. 

For those keeping track we have:

  • Lightening bugs (illumination insects)
  • So many birbs!
  • Bunnies!
  • Duckos
  • BATS BATS BATS
  • and now groundhogs!

I haven’t seen any river creatures in the river and that makes me kind of happy. I do not like fish, so a fish free river is fine for me. 

Since I didn’t get pics of the mammals, I wanted to share some other pics with you. 

This flower is in a tree! There are more like it, but the blooms are kind of sporadic, so this is the best pic I could get. 

I swear every time I walk outside something new is blooming. 

I really hope I don’t kill it all. 

Especially the next thing I’m gonna show you because my brain already has a plan for these:

Now, I don’t know if you can see them as well as I can (since I already know where to look), those are wild dang grapes!

Here is a closer look at one of them:

Now, I wouldn’t not have even known to look for these had it not been for our realtor at the walkthrough. She saw this plant and plucked a leaf offa it and shoved it right in her mouth. 

With such confidence!

Then she explained it was a wild grape plant. 

Immediately a jam business formed in my head. 

You’d buy jam’s jam, right?

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