I live on ten country acres less than two miles from the West Plains City Hall. My property sits at the intersection of two paved roads. Because of the proximity to town and the speeding traffic that tends to roar past my house, I did not anticipate much in the way of wildlife sharing my country living.
I had been told to expect an abundance of deer, but until two days ago I had not seen any. Then, this past Thursday, a doe came almost to the house where she snacked on pears from my backyard pear tree. The doe remained calm as I left the house, closed the back door, and got into the car and drove off. The pears were more important to her than the proximity of the farmer.
The only other wildlife that I had seen on the property (in addition to all of the birds and squirrels that I feed) were a rabbit who took a leisurely hop across the front yard a few weeks back, a wild turkey several months ago who roamed the backyard, and the ground hog who has a burrow under the barn. I see him several times a week.
This week after the Good Neighbor finished bush-hogging, he told me that while mowing he had encountered a "big angry" armadillo, several ground hogs, and lots of rabbits - my wildlife neighbors. Oddly, neither the Good Neighbor nor I have seen any snakes on the place. Maybe that angry armadillo serves a purpose.
The domestic critters, turkeys and chickens, have been spending their days out of the pen since Monday. Except for one ugly incident with a neighborhood dog, they have been doing well. They now range over most of the yard during the day, eating insect pests and fresh clover. The birds enter their confined area voluntarily every evening just as night arrives. The young guineas are very jealous of their freed neighbors. They are flying now, so I will probably release them next week.
The little farm is starting to feel like home - for a lot of us.