Wildlife Among Us

Living out here in the country makes me think a lot about the vibrancy of life, how many living things are around us all the time-so many more critters than when I lived in the city. Out on our property it feels like we having living things (in particular insects!) coming out of our ears! I don’t even have to look for them. They are under my feet, on my deck, in my yard, looking me in the face and wondering if they can have a bit of my sandwich (that’s the bugs speaking!).

Here are some pictures of critters that I came across this week.

This lovely praying mantis is climbing alongside the wall of our house.

Here’s another mantis, this time on our deck. The number of HUGE (I mean as tall as the width of my palm people!) praying mantises is kind of freaking me out. Not because I don’t like mantises. In fact I love mantises and think they are one of the coolest bugs in the world, certainly North America! But perhaps I am a bit biased thanks to the Next Karate Kid 4 which I saw at the tender age of six and made a deep impression (I had not in fact seen The Karate Kid 1, 2, or 3 which lead to great confusion when people kept implying that the Karate Kid was in fact a boy and I felt quite certain that she was a girl.). In it Hillary Swank (playing the Next Karate Kid) ends up at a Buddhist monastery to be trained in the ways of Karate. One day she tries to smash a cockroach on the dining room table of the monastery using her shoe which angers the monks who have taken an oath to respect all life. To atone, Hillary spends a lot of time running around in the meadow outside the monastery trying to catch a praying mantis. When she succeeds, she brings it to the monks and all is forgiven.

What I am trying to say here is that the Next Karate Kid taught my impressionable little mind that praying mantises are precious and special. Which is why my brain keeps having trouble with the concept that we have so many in our yard that I have to be careful not to step on them. Still, they are pretty darn cool.

These next pictures have been shot from inside my sun room so please excuse the glare and window edgings. The deer were so close to the house that if I tried to open the sliding glass door, the deer would have been gone before I could get out onto the deck to take pictures.

There are two more deer outside of the frame of the photo.

Here you can see a fawn nursing from mama.

The deer decided I was unnerving, staring at them and taking pictures and thus they decided to leave. This is our local herd. There are about 6-8 does with fawns and occasionally a buck or two.

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