On June 18, 2009, we posted the question above on our Facebook Angel Animals Fan Club page (www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Angel-Animals/84755854844?ref=ts) and our Linda-Allen Anderson profile page (www.facebook.com/angelanimals?ref=profile). These are some of the answers we received. We thought you would find them fascinating. They have been edited for brevity.
***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 wildlife sanctuary for the wildlife to visit.
We have a lot of land and grow various plants, fruit trees, etc. We also have a brook and the river. All of our plants and vegetables are grown organically, and we use no pesticides. We do our best to protect the land, wildlife, and all animals.
***We have a squirrel’s nest right outside our upstairs window. All winter when the wind was blowing, I wondered how he/she was doing. We were happy to see him/her out running around again in the spring. And the squirrel had another squirrel visitor. No signs of little ones yet.
We think of him/her as our very near neighbor. I fed the squirrel an apple once, but she/he ate all of it, got too full, and had to rest on the tree branch. Since then, I just let him/her eat natural food, of which there is plenty. It makes my son and I so happy to watch the squirrel’s goings-on.
***We have all kinds of animals. We live by the river, and they feel safe here and do not run from us. We have the only trees in the neighborhood for them to hide in for cover and make nests. We have a bald eagle, robins, deer, raccoons, skunks, fish, snakes, and birds of all kinds. We have many feeders out for them so they stay year round. We have a fishpond with 100 fish in it too. They love it here and have been with us over 20 years.
A robin or eagle builds a house from nothing and it can withstand the high wind and storms. Man has tried many times to do what birds and animals do. Look at beavers build a place to hold water back so they can fish. Smart man can’t. Look at Mother Nature at work. Man tries to change the course of a river, and Mother Nature comes in and takes it back in one day. If all the animals die, so will man.
We feed year-round because we are here all year. And if we go on vacation, we have people come in and feed the animals for us. If we see one hurt, we go to a place that will fix wildlife, so that the animals can get back to the world. The wildlife place does a great job and they charge nothing.
–William E. Wasylk
***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. I don’t feed the birds because I don’t want to make them dependent on free food since we are not here in the winter.
I’d love to see deer, but the dogs must scare them away. We also have several wrens in nests. They 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 in observation of nature around us.
***The neighbor thinks I’m either St. Francis or Dr. Doolittle!
–Joseph J. O’Donnell
***My backyard is 26 acres, and we have deer, turkey, raccoons, groundhogs, owl, whippoorwills, turtles, hummingbirds, snakes, lizards, coyote, many songbirds, frogs, dragonflies, field mice, butterflies, and probably some other things I’m not aware of. Also, I use to feed Wow Koi at the Botanic Garden.
***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.
***On our three-and-a-half acres I have planted over 300 trees since moving here 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, frogs, and poodles. Too many dogs in the neighborhood for deer to come, though.
–Becky McClure Federico
***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 I 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. Most of them seem to avoid our two dogs with no difficulty
–Paula Reynolds Nees
What are your experiences with sharing your corner of the world with wildlife?
Allen and Linda Anderson
ANGEL ANIMALS NETWORK