Mother Nature and Friends

I was raise in the country surrounded by wildlife. I have always had 4 legged friends growing up...mostly dogs, one old semi anti-child tomcat calf who I thought was a pet... and later found out not to be true. A runt piglet from my grandpa's many hogs...raised her until she was big enough to rejoin her kinfolk...four pet chickens I brought home after a high school experiment..raised them until they started trying to fly around the house... they became part of my grandma's chicken coop. Lots of rescue indoor cats and numerous feral cats that I eventually turned their care over to my brother and SIL who live within walking distance. (They have all been trapped, fixed and released back to us. Thanks to some wonderful folks in our community)

I appreciate, respect and sometimes fear that amazing wildlife...i once unknowingly witnessed as much as you could when it's pitch dark..a large cat stalking a small deer...not a sound only silhouettes of two figures. The next day upon investigation I found deer tracts and a HUGE cat paw print that was not made by a domesticated cat. Now, that shook me up a little...because my bold self had been outside in my yard while this was taking place on the dirt road in front of my house...and folks that very incident is the reason you will rarely ever see or hear about me venturing out after dark.

Unfortunately we do have predators too, like coyotes, foxes, puma, wildcats, bears (thankfully in all my 63 years I have not seen a bear but my brother has), raccoons (and they are not always the cutesy animals you see on TV), can be very aggressive and destructive. There are also Possums...hawks, owls, buzzards, squirrels, birds, turtles, fish...snakes (most definitely not my favorite) and all the other creatures sharing our woods.

Animals are smart, they live off the land, they raise their young and suffer losses..not an easy way of life but one necessary to keep the balances in nature.

That being said, we have a responsibility to the current and future generations of wildlife to preserve their natural habitats as much as possible...there will never be any new land made to accommodate humans or animals...we will keep infringing on wildlife homes until the poor animals have no where else to go but into residential areas..which may already be taking place in some areas.

I am surrounded by wetlands and thank goodness they have rules about owning and preserving can't just go in and take over wetlands and do as you please. Wetlands are protected and therefore it's wildlife have a fighting chance if allowed to exist peacefully. There are humane ways to maintain balance.

I am now 63 years old and still love to watch wildlife in their natural environment. One of my favorites are our white tailed deer...beautiful majestic beings...we also have some wild turkeys..i can hear them ever once in awhile in the distance...i was blessed to see a parade of them pass right in front of my house...i lost count at 25...and i saw one white one...i had to call my uncle about that one...he told me that was a female..(i am surrounded by woods on three sides).

One time during the day I walked outside and heard an unusual noise at the edge of my yard which happens to blend into the woods. I could tell it was a large animal but which one was a mystery...i had learned my lesson about being curious that night of the big cat...i kept listening and it never went deeper into the woods always staying near the edge...i finally broke down and called my brother at work...gave him a description of what I was hearing and asked him what he thought....trying to keep laughter out of his voice...but i could hear his co worker in the background laughing...i said ok what's so funny...he said I am almost 100% sure you are hearing a deer rutting (mating season)...i kind of laughed and long as it's not the bears or the big cats we share the woods with....and by the way...glad I could entertain y'all today and hung

I guess that is one reason why I enjoy Dana's videos of her hikes and foraging for plants. I can no longer do this myself so watching Dana's footage is the next best thing. Thank you Dana for allowing me to tag along in your woodsy adventures...and by the way where you are

I am always amazed by animals ingenuity...their ability to work thru a much of this is instinct and how much is problem solving or both? Another mystery of nature.

Be sure to keep checking back on our FORAGING BLOG found under NATURE NOOK in the Menu.~Brenda

p.s. Just as I was getting ready to share this, my Facebook feed contained a post for Bear Alert in my wild is sightings in residential areas for years but two sightings in the last several weeks....OK we can add that to my "reason for not going out after dark" list.