I like to observe the ZOO that congregates on the back porch of our house where we leave food for little critters who live in the bushes and trees behind the porch and the little garden.
You can see what the backyard looks like if you click on the “About Me” button above. On nice days, we put the good stuff like bread crumbs, crushed nuts and peanut butter on a couple of feeding stands placed in the garden, but it has been snowing and raining so much during this winter, unusually cold and long for Eastern Virginia, that most of the time we just leave the food for them on the floor of the porch.
This gives me an opportunity to observe the hungry birds and other animals from a distance of no more than a few feet. And while I am observing them as I am sipping my coffee or stuffing my face with excessive quantities of unhealthy food, they too observe me with great interest while they eat the food that we shared with them. Mostly birds come there, such as wrens, sparrows, thrashers, mourning doves, warblers, blue jays, cardinals, woodpeckers, mocking birds, plus two squirrels and one tiny mouse.
Once in a while a bigger animal wanders into our backyard, rabbits in the spring, of course, and a few deer. We have too many deer in Virginia now and they often come into contact with humans because the subdivisions are slowly pushing them out of their old habitats. After a while, when we start recognizing them, we give the birds names. Our favorite cardinal with the brightest red coat is named Pete and his offspring is Little Pete, although he is just as big as Pete now.
If we start recognizing the rabbits as well, we will probably call them Mopsy, Topsy and Flopsy. If a deer starts regularly frequenting our little oasis and feeding station for animals in the backyard, the deer would be probably called Rudolf. We are not very original people.
Two falcons are often cruising the skies above, but the little birds know that they are safe while they are on our porch or on the ground of the little garden.
The birds also know exactly when they are supposed to be fed and they await the joyous event every morning around 7:30, excitedly chirping away in avian languages that I don’t understand. Most of them don’t seem to mind sharing the food with other birds, although the bigger ones sometime get a little aggressive around the little ones.
But not nearly as aggressive as very important people tend to get around less important people.
The two bushy-tailed squirrels with very sharp teeth never attack the birds and peacefully devour peanuts, peanut butter or bread crumbs next to their winged and beaked colleagues, without trying to enrich their menu with some meat.
The squirrels like to provoke my mean-looking pitbull Lucy because they know that poor Lucy has no chance of catching them as several trees are just a few yards away. Sometime I let Lucy off the leash as I think that she is grateful for a little exercise and some excitement in her life. Whenever I do that, she waits for several minutes under the tree and puts her front paws as high on the tree trunk as possible as if she could climb it, or as if she were daring the cheeky squirrel to come down.
The squirrel, we did not name him yet, as we can’t tell whether it is a he or a she, is observing Lucy from a thick branch with an amused look and a highly provocative demeanor.
One big problem is that the woods behind our house have become infested with great multitudes of ticks, which is why I don’t let Lucy off the leash anymore so that she could roam freely through the woods as she used to not long ago. She would always come back after a while.
I think that nature uses ticks, spiders and venomous snakes to fight back against humans who keep trying to destroy as much of what is left of nature as quickly as possible.
It is clear to me who will win in the end. We, humans, don’t stand a chance against the combined forces of nature and animals.
Eventually, humans will be pushed out by nature and animals to smaller and smaller habitats where they may still be able to survive, for a while. And once they are gone for good, the planet Earth will finally start recovering from an infestation by humans, which, fortunately for the Earth and the animals, will have lasted only a few thousand years.