13 March 2009

Dancing Deer & Other Olympia Wildlife

I miss the deer. More precisely, I miss seeing the deer. It is entirely possible they visit us every day, waltz around the barn, and do cartwheels on the trails. With no windows we will never know. Of course once they start eating our flowers, I will a) know they are still here, and b) wish they would go away. We have plans to plant some vegetables again this year, meaning we will have to build a fence around the patch. If we don't, we will not eat anything we grow.

I miss the birds too. With spring almost here, the birds are coming back to Washington. Last year I had to refill the bird feeders almost every single day. In Holland they tell you to feed the birds only in the winter, and only when there is snow and ice. Here the birds are mostly fed in the summer. From the living room window we would watch the steller's jays argue loudly with the squirrels over who gets to hang out in the feeder the longest. These fights were usually settled by the arrival of Sandman. The squirrels would stuff their cheeks with sunflower seeds and bury them around the yard, resulting in sprouting sunflowers EVERYWHERE.

Wildlife in Olympia is very different from wildlife in Amsterdam. Not just the birds and the squirrels. We have coyotes in our backyard, raccoons, possums (I have yet to see a live one, every possum I encountered so far was roadkill), snakes, mice, and chipmunks. And of course, last year's BIG pussycat, the cougar. Also known as a mountain lion, panther or puma. A VERY BIG pussycat indeed.

She was in our backyard at least once, on a Saturday night. Ryan and a friend were sitting on the back deck when they heard her bone chilling growl. She has since moved on to the forest around the Evergreen State College a little north of us, but not before treeing two students in the woods behind our house. On of them, Paul, is now our renter. While climbing a tree to escape from a cougar isn't exactly a smart move, we thought it fitting he should live on the property he could see from way up high.

Next weekend Lola will be at a slumber/birthday party, and with Ryan at work, I will have the whole Saturday to myself. In honor of the arrival of spring, I am going to spend that day in the garden, rain or shine. No matter how high the pile of dirty laundry or how large the amount of dirty dishes. Nothing is going to deter me.

When Ryan gets home, he can break out the chainsaw and cut down fallen branches and trees. The December snow wrecked quite a bit of havoc in our yard. The plum tree broke into three pieces. It didn't like us pruning it even a little bit last year, so I am sure it will never give us fruit again after this mutilation. And I am going to clean out the lighter debris from the winter storms, tend to the flowerbeds, and lure the birds away from the house and to the barn.

I am SO ready for spring!

1 comment:

Judy said...

Have a great Saturday communing with Mother Nature. You deserve it!


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