Living in the country, you never know who, or what might be standing in your yard at any given time. I’ve come home to 23 or more deer standing there, or walked out to see a herd of elk behind the garage. We at the schmidt house call them our pets. We love watching the wildlife stroll, fly or barrel through our place. We feed the deer all year and this brings in a menagerie of other critters. Quail, doves, turkey, even a bluebird or two in the spring. I looked out the window before bed one night and there was a big ol’ porcupine sniffing around the feeder. You just never know who will show up.
Just across the state line from us, in Idaho is Lake Coeur d’Alene. It’s a huge lovely lake and in the winter every year, the bald eagles come by the hundreds to feed on the landlocked Kokanee Salmon that lay their eggs and die. It’s an amazing sight to see these eagles sitting so regally in a tree, then lift off and dive toward the water and come up with a fish in their mouth. Many a fisherman wish they could be so lucky to snag one of those fish. It is truly a sight to behold. Last year my hubby and I went around to see the Eagles. We spent the day watching and talking, it was a great outing. Then a few weeks later we looked out the window and there were a couple Eagles across the road. Unfortunately deer get hit by cars a lot out here and that’s what the Eagles feed on. So, I grabbed my camera and out the door I went. There were not just a couple, as I looked in the trees behind the carcass there were 10 Eagles. I think that was my favorite “pet” of all time. Mind you, I’m talking about the pets that aren’t quite ours here, no offense to my Jasper dog.
It’s amazing out here, I’ll take those extra few miles of driving to get to work any day.
At the Stoudt house, my “pets” sometimes are nuisances. But watching them gives me loads of pleasure. The moose was taking a leisurely stroll through our property, and Dick was yelling at me to get my camera, all this on Christmas morning. Unfortunately the moose had another agenda than standing still to pose for my untimely arrival to get the best shot. We have been plagued with cute little cottontail rabbits for several years now, but they get chased out of the yard when they decide to eat all the flowers from my plants. It doesn’t keep them away, just slows them down a bit.
This spring brought the turkeys back in greater numbers than years before. Dick and I love watching the toms strut around the hens, chasing all the young toms off and at some point, the toms really get into it with each other and do this crazy dance, twisting their necks around each other. This was something I had not witnessed before and needless to say, it looked vicious. A couple of weeks ago this mule deer buck visited the yard, and I can’t wait to see him this fall…..that is if he stays around which is doubtful.
The other “pets” that we have seen in our vicinity have been raccoons (I have a funny story about one that really happened here), porcupines, a cougar, bears, and coyotes. There were a couple of wolves here in neighborhood, we think, but couldn’t be sure enough to say so positively. Then, a few weeks later, a couple of miles down the road, a wolf had been hit by a car, and positively identified as such. Maybe Dick really did see a couple of wolves right here. We never will know for sure.
What do you see on your commute? What kind of “pets” do you have around you?