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Archive for the ‘Other creatures’ Category

Last week when I finally decided to get myself out of bed, I walked sleepy-eyed toward the stairs and looked out the window, as is typical of every morning. To my surprise, there were two large deer just hanging out in our neighbor’s yard. It’s not that we haven’t seen deer in our neighborhood — we actually see them fairly often, sometimes just walking down the middle of the street.

They bolted not even a minute after I woke up and jumped over the fence to go … well, wherever they went. It actually made me think of Tripod/Bruce who used to come around a lot. We haven’t seen him in a while, so I hope he’s OK.

After grabbing my cup of coffee, I walked into our office to check my email and on the way to my desk I noticed a big, fat rabbit hanging out in our backyard. He (or she) was happily chewing away at our grass.

Luckily though, it didn’t get to any of our vegetables and everything looked fine when I went outside to check later. All of our plants are doing really well, especially the broccoli, which last year got chewed by slugs and cabbage butterfly larvae. I was a bit surprised there weren’t more than a couple holes in the leaves and it makes me think the garlic we have planted next to it and in two other beds are doing a fantastic job keeping our garden safe.

The rabbit eventually hopped back into our woods (really, just a patch of honeysuckle) and disappeared. It stayed for a while and provided a great morning show for these two. You know something big is happening outside when they’re this close together (they get along fine, but aren’t the best of friends).

 

Meera, left, and Rajah watching the rabbit.

Meera, left, and Rajah watching the rabbit.

We are getting used to seeing (and hearing) all sorts of wildlife, but it is still strange sometimes, especially living in city limits.

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It really seems like once we “control” one garden pest, another one comes along that we have to battle. Don’t get me wrong, they’re adorable. But those tiny rabbit jaws have done a number on our plants.

RabbitWhile I’m not 100 percent positive they’re what ate (and more or less destroyed) our blackberry plant and two coral bells, rabbits are the likely suspect. Especially when I saw one sitting in the backyard next to the blackberry bush.

In our three years living here we saw maybe one or two rabbits. Now, it seems like they’re everywhere, and we see them running around our street all the time.

Like deer, rabbits are supposedly deterred by really strong smells and that’s how we plan to defend against these fluffy beasts.

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One of the few snakes hanging out in our yard.

One of the few snakes hanging out in our yard.

So it’s not as exciting as the movie title, but that’s where we found a small family of garter snakes this afternoon. Matt came home from a business trip and said there were a bunch of snakes hanging out on the tree stump between our yard and our neighbors’ yard.

I walked over and sure enough, there were four snakes slithering around the dried leaves, emerging flower plants and the tree stump. We watched them for a little bit and saw them disappear and re-emerge from a small hole.

It makes sense why we saw so many. Apparently April is near their peak breeding season.

While I’m not a fan of snakes (and consistently think they’re slimy even though I know they’re not), these garter snakes don’t bother me.

We don’t plan on getting rid of them because they can be beneficial to our garden and eat some insects (hoping they stick to the bad ones that destroy our plants).

Check out a few of the photos of our snake family below.

This is their home.

This is their home.

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Not too happy with the photo shoot.

Three of the four "family members."

Three of the four “family members.”

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