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My wild kingdom

July 25th, 2017 at 12:57 pm

I saw a bobcat in my yard! This was yesterday early evening. It had been a rainy, cool and overcast day. I was making dinner in the kitchen around 5:45 pm. I looked out the window and there it was.

It was just 20 feet from my front door and where I often sit outside, near the apple tree, which is a wildlife magnet. It looked to be very healthy with a thick coat of fur. I watched it from behind and could see its little bob tail wagging from one side to the other...almost dog-like, but slower, more measured.

An apple fell from the tree and the bobcat stretched one paw toward it, the way cats will do. It remained in that position for several seconds and then confidently sauntered into the brushy undergrowth, exactly where the woodchuck is raising 2 little ones I see daily.

I wonder if it will lie in wait for them. Until recently, I had 2 rabbits in the backyard but have not seen them for a while now. I noticed them missing at some point after I'd heard coyotes fairly close to the house one night.

Coyotes, bobcat, rabbits, woodchucks, skunks, raccoons, does with their fawns (never an antlered buck), red and gray fox, red and gray squirrels, chipmunks, garter snakes and many bird species have all crossed this way. This is the second bobcat sighting here, and the first one was in almost the same exact spot. About the only thing I haven't seen here is a bear.

It really pays to be always looking out a window here, a habit I got into years ago. PS I didn't pick wineberries last night.

6:45 pm Update: The 2 baby woodchucks emerged from the undergrowth to forage fallen apples. The coast seems clear.

This morning the doe came down from the woods and after grazing apples in the same area, walked into the undergrowth exactly where the bobcat went. It's practically an animal highway there.

This is not my photo, but the one I saw looked similar to this:

The other day I bought some perennials (daisies and butterfly weed) from a woman who has a nice side business selling a bunch of perennials through Facebook. They were super cheap at $2.50 and $3 each for the plants, which is less than half what you'd expect to pay at Lowes.

I have actually gotten good responses the few times I sold perennials divided and dug up from my own garden, but I didn't like digging up and potting plants until the customer got here since I don't have extra containers laying around and then I'd have to keep watering things until they sold. And half the time people cancelled. Just dealing with people was the biggest pain. In this woman's case, she had grown everything from seed, so no digging required, and she had so much inventory I guess she didn't mind the daily watering routine.

Dad expressed interest so I brought him along for the ride, and he bought some irises.

Now I want to go back and get some more as I am really interested in attracting pollinators and we still have half the summer left.

I feel that I have pretty much mastered Instagram. Smile Too bad that particular job is no longer an option. If you'd like to follow me on Instagram, my name there is NewtownNaturalist. Smile

I saw a pretty yummy recipe I want to try (vegan) called Cowboy Caviar. It has tomatoes, black beans, black eyed peas, corn, bell pepper, red onion and cilantro with an oil/vinegar/lime dressing. How long does chopped avocado last in a cold salad before turning brown?

I have a dinner/lecture to attend tonight.

I've given up on an idea I had to create a kind of living room divider using elephant ear plants outside on my courtyard.

Here's the "courtyard," which is really just the area to left of my garage.

I wanted to delineate the courtyard space from the driveway and i thought a row of potted elephant ears would be cool, but I've found after 2 years of trying that the elephant ears seem to come up really late, like July (!). I thought by planting the bulbs not as deep this spring I would fix that, but that didn't work.

Then I got excited about using clumping bamboo since it would grow much faster and taller and can possibly be overwintered. The only drawback is that bamboo offers no particular wildlife benefit, unless you happen to be a panda.

So at least for this season, I think I'd like to buy more inexpensive, tall flowering perennials known to attract bees and butterflies. I guess I became more motivated after going to a vegan festival. I parked on a side street in an urban area and had to walk down another street where 2 of the residents had postage stamp-sized front lawns but really lovely wildflower gardens.

I liked that the owner of this garden even planted the grass strip closest to the road, which technically is town property. But it makes for a much more lush effect when you're walking down that sidewalk.

The local woman I mentioned above was selling bee balm and other stuff I can't remember that I know is good for pollinators. It gets a ton of sun in the area where I want to put them.

7 Responses to “My wild kingdom”

  1. fs Says:

    Oh wow, I love that court yard. Among the things I would get if I have all the money in the world, a beautiful court yard is almost at the top, just below a patch of land Smile

  2. patientsaver Says:

    Thanks, fs. I have always loved any kind of outdoor space, whether it's a screened porch, patio, courtyard, you name it. This used to be just a very ugly asphalt driveway which was in rough shape. When I finally said I need to repave this, I was very happy to find it wasn't as expensive as I thought. I also thought I might do the top half of the drive in gravel since it's completely level and surrounded on 2 sides by stone walls as you see in the photo and by the garage on the right.

    Then I had another brainstorm about using pavers and while that WAS pretty expensive, I have no regrets. I get more compliments on my paver driveway/courtyard than any other home improvement I've done here.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    How exciting to see so much wildlife!

  4. CB in the City Says:

    Wow, that's a lot of wildlife! The courtyard and the wildflower garden (which I realize is not yours!) are both lovely.

  5. My English Castle Says:

    So beautiful! We don't have bears or bobcats, but we seem to have a bumper crop of possums (Ugh), bunnies, and raccoons, and deer this year. We do have antlered bucks and lots of wild turkeys along with the occasional fox. All of this within 15 minutes of downtown. I love your courtyard.

  6. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    This is a delightful post. Love that retaining wall, the stairwell, the cozy seating area...and the bobcat visitor -wow!

  7. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    We have several people around here that have wildflower yards. I love walking by them. Smile None are quite as lush as the one in your picture though.

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