What wildlife do you enjoy where you live? How do you share your space with them?

Animals in the Wild

Those of us who love animals don’t limit our attention to pets. Our caring extends to animals in nature. As the United States grapples with the disaster on the Gulf of Mexico, images of damaged and dying wildlife devastate us. We encourage you to donate to and volunteer with the organizations that are trying to save animal lives.

Also, please consider helping groups such as Animal Rescue New Orleans www.animalrescueneworleans.org and Humane Society of Louisiana www.humanela.org. Because so many people have lost their livelihood due to the oil spill, these groups are experiencing a deluge of abandoned pets who are being left at the shelters.

About a year ago, we posted the following question on Facebook: How are you sharing your space with animals in the wild? Below are some of the answers we received.

Katherine: I live in Western Maine along the Androscoggin River in Canton. We have deer, moose, eagles, some fox, beaver, woodchucks, ground hogs, and the list goes on. I have worked really hard to create somewhat of a sanctuary for the wildlife to visit. We have a lot of land and we grow various plants, fruit trees, etc. We also have a manmade pond, a brook, and of course, the river. All of our plants, vegetables, etc. are grown organically, and we use no pesticides. We do our best to protect the land, wildlife, and all animals.

William: We have a bald eagle, deer, raccoons, skunks, fish, snakes, robins, and birds of all kinds. We have many feeders for them, and they stay year round. They all are so much fun to watch. We have a fishpond with 100 fish. They love it here and have been with us over twenty years.

Donna: We have “domesticated” hummingbirds, meaning we feed them, and they take over our deck. We also enjoy many waterfowl and see beautiful Baltimore orioles everyday in our yard and several wrens’ nests. The wrens peep and squawk at us when we get too close. We love nature and respect it all as God’s gift to us in this physical world. There are so many lessons to learn by observing nature.

William: We feed animals year-round because we are here all year. And if we go on vacation, we have people come in and feed them for us. If we see one hurt, we have a place that will fix wildlife so they can get back to their world. They do a great job and charge nothing.

Joy: My backyard is 26 acres, and we have deer, turkey, raccoons, groundhogs, owls, whippoorwills, turtles, hummingbirds, snakes, lizards, coyote, many songbirds, frogs, dragonflies, field mice, butterflies, and probably some other things I’m not aware of.

Kathy: We live in the desert and constantly are lucky enough to see jackrabbits, desert ravens, lizards and occasionally coyotes. I wish their living space was not shrinking so quickly, though.

Becky: We have 3-1/2 acres and have planted over 300 trees in ten years ago. We’ve let the greenery grow wild around the big pond, and the koi pond looks lush. So far this year we have more wildlife than before. Behind us is a small wildlife area with eagles, herons, geese, ducks, woodpeckers, owls, coyotes, garden snakes, songbirds, and frogs.

Paula: We are surrounded on three sides by DNR property and therefore have the good fortune to see a variety of wildlife — chipmunks, squirrels, numerous wild songbirds, hawks, herons, egrets, deer, coyotes, rabbits, skunks, frogs, salamanders, insect life, toads, too numerous to mention. When I sometimes get irritated with the bats, it is mainly that I don’t like them in the house but appreciate their contribution outside. The absolute worst time is hunting season. All I can do is hope the animals figure out that we’re the good guys.

What wildlife do you enjoy where you live? How do you share your space with them?

Allen and Linda Anderson

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