*Just a Note: I know some people do not like the idea of feeding wildlife but, if we see an animal in need of food — it can count on my family to provide a healthy meal. We always feed what the animal would normally be accustomed to finding in their regular hunt for food, no table scraps. Also, my family and I have never, nor will ever try to tame any of the outdoor animals that come to our property, I would never do anything that would jeopardize the health or safety of an animal, wild or domestic. Unfortunately, I cannot control an animal’s natural curiosity. Thanks for understanding and thanks for reading.
Needless to say our home is a busy one; Hubs works long hours, I homeschool the Kid and care for the cats, the dog, the house… you get the picture. So sometimes the job of filling bird-feeders, squirrel-feeders, deer “tables” and such may not get completed until afternoon and that sometimes does not set well with hungry critters. After consistently feeding any animal, in or outside of the home, they tend to get a little spoiled.
One afternoon while having lunch, I heard a small tap on the glass of our back door. After hearing this confusing sound a few more times I investigated. What I found was a big red cardinal sitting on the back of a chair on our patio, looking back at me through the glass door. Quietly waiting, I discovered the source of the strange sound; every few seconds the bird would flutter his wings to raise himself in the air just a bit and lean forward to peck our glass door with his hard beak. When he did not receive the desired result of those bizarre actions, he repeated the routine but this time he seemed a bit irritated with me. After a few seconds of glaring bird stares I looked at the bird-feeders and discovered that every last one was completely empty. Whoops. “OH! OK! I get it now, sorry!” I say to Mr. Cardinal. He gave me a look that read, “dumb human”. I quickly ran outside and filled every container to overflowing, apologizing to the chirping trees for my oversight.
Apparently word got around the critter community that if your particular buffet station had not been refilled by meal time, just hop onto the chair by the back door and peck, knock or flutter — a human will soon answer your call in the order received. The cardinal was the usual spokes-bird, except for the hummingbirds, I’m gonna guess they talk way too fast for any other bird to understand what they’re saying.
Soon the squirrels were at our back door requesting refills; they didn’t have to knock, the cats’ sputtering and hyperventilation at the extreme proximity of the furry guys would always alert us of a squirrel or chipmunk enquiry of food.While the majority of our furry friends still run or fly away when we step outside, some of the more curious will take timid but quite interested peeks into the human world. Two summers ago, when she first brought them to our yard, we discovered one of “our” mama deer had been blessed with twins. Two of the most adorable little things you’ve ever seen, we were so honored that she introduced them to us at such a young age!
After eating, the siblings would often play and examine every tree and bush but one day the braver of the two caught sight of our cats watching their actions from our big, glass, back doors. The baby deer (I always figured he was a rambunctious boy!) was intrigued, he walked away from nervous sissy, onto our patio and right up to our back door! I thought I would need to resuscitate at least four cats because they all came unglued. The cats’ ridiculous antics didn’t bother the little guy in the slightest because after that first bold march to the back door, every return for a meal included a visit to the kitties and a peek of their world inside the big glass box.
Every summer we see babies arrive with their mamas; birds, chipmunks, squirrels, deer and so many others, I often wonder (and hope) if any of those mothers are telling their babies, “my mommy brought me to this very place to eat when I was your age”. I like to think I’m seeing my new “grand-critters” each spring.
Recently, a woman on Instagram asked me, after seeing a photo of “my” deer, “Are you living in paradise?” Hmm… it’s pretty close.