Monday, May 5, 2008

More Wildlife Photos

Hey Y’all! As promised, here are some more of my backyard wildlife photos. But first let me give you a background story on these shots. When I lived in Virginia, my backyard was a “creature sanctuary” that I created because of my love for animals. I had the yard fenced in to keep out dogs and to deter curious neighborhood cats from seeing what was going on in my protected space. I had brush piles for chipmunks, hedge lines for the birds, and water and food on several different levels for all. My backyard was very popular for the wounded or elderly birds, squirrels, and other small animal life that came through; their families would leave them there to live out their days. I watched all the comings and goings from my kitchen window, just fascinated at the everyday drama that happened right outside. One day I noticed a chipmunk that was hobbling on three legs. I got out my binoculars to check closer to see what was wrong. I discovered that the little fellow had been caught in a butterfly or fish net and had chewed his way out except for one circle that was left around his neck and he had one paw caught up in it too. I could see where the net was cutting into his neck and the paw was swollen. I decided that I had to do something to help out the little guy. I got one of my lawn chairs, a butterfly net, a pair of cuticle scissors, leather gloves, and raw peanuts in the shell, then settled down by the area I had seen him frequent to wait on his return. I did this for two days, 3 hours at a time, hoping to lure him close enough to catch him and help out before he died from strangulation or injury. The end of the second day rewarded me with the little guy coming very close to the chair I sat in and whap! I got him! I was praying out loud that I wasn’t giving him a heart attach and that he would cooperate with me while I tried to free him from his man made prison. I discovered that I couldn’t hold the little cuticle scissors with the leather gloves on so I had to do this barehanded. As I held his soft little body, I managed to grip him tight enough that he couldn’t move while I gently clipped away at the netting. When it was cut through, I pulled it away from the raw skin and put Vaseline on the area (it was the only thing I could think of that would be safe to use). While I was doing this, he wasn’t making a single sound nor was he really struggling to get away; I think he was resigned to his inevitable demise because what else could he think after being caught twice in a net! I kept telling him over and over, ‘Little One you will be alright if you let me fix this for you. Just let me fix this for you.” Finally it was over and I removed him from my net and sat him down on the ground so he could run off and lick his wounds and recover his sanity. I was pretty positive that I would never see him again because why in the world would he trust my yard anymore! Two days later, I was sitting on the deck having my morning coffee and tossing peanuts to the birds and squirrels as I always did. When miracle of miracles there came Little One, looking much better than the last time I had seen him, and he jumped up on the deck seat beside me! He gazed up at me like he'd been doing that all his life! The little guy made me cry for happy as I gave him peanuts to take back to his little den. This became a morning ritual for us that went on into the spring of that year. Little One didn’t show up two mornings in a row and I was so worried about him and my family was so put out with me because I was obsessing over the little guy. The third morning, I called him, and he popped his little head out of a brush pile and barked as if to tell me that he could hear me and that he was all right. A week or so after that, I discovered that Little One wasn’t a ‘he’; ‘she’ had six little babies that she led up to the top of the brush pile for me to see! My Aunt Myrtle took these photos of me and Little One the fall of that year. I took the photo of Little One’s babies playing on the brush pile.

There is more to this story but this post has been long enough! Hope y'all enjoy the photos and have a great evening!


PS: Haven’t caught anymore squirrels. I don’t know if I should be happy or sad about this.


Kari & Kijsa said...

Amazing!! Have a blessed day!!

kari & kijsa

Donna Lynn said...

OK Liv!!!
SO! You are the one who is feeding the squirrels, is that why they moved into your attic! LOL! I won't tell my hubby, he would just do a huge eye roll, I sure don't want to be the cause of him getting his eyes stuck in the top of his head...
You were wondering where I have been...well, I have been outside every minute the last two days! It has finally been sunny here and around 68' at it's warmest~
I am in heaven, I adore gardening and just being in nature! I did slip in some painting too...check my blog for my latest spray paint adventure!
XXOO, Donna Lynn

Deb S. said...

Oh Liv aren't you so kind hearted and sweet! I love your story...You are a very brave lady,this chicken little would have been scared that I would have gotten bit! Good for you, wish we had more people like you in the world! :)

A Romantic Porch said...

What an adorable story about "Little One". I love the way we can interact with wildlife when we slow down long enough. xoRachel

Charmingdesigns said...

You write so well!! I do print out my photos of my creations and put them in a book with all the "sold" info. I would love to do more
"scrapbooking" paper stuff. Thanks for coming by, I love hearing from you. Laurie

Vicki C said... sweet Liv! I love that story. Being an animal lover myself... I would so love to do something like that.