Before you jump to my husband’s and children’s defense…
Let me tell you about the animals I see on a regular basis…no elephants YET, but you just never know.
First of all, why is it not turkies? Drat that English language again.
The other day we had three turkeys, larger than my children, roaming our yard. I think they would have stayed a bit longer if I hadn’t pushed the button to grind the coffee beans. Yes, they were that close.
One Sunday morning, we saw a congregation of 17 large turkeys down by the barn. They were just beginning their morning worship.
There was the time when Nate tried to chase a turkey out of our yard and it began chasing him. I have never seen him run so fast in all my life…well, except the one other time when he poured gasoline on the fire pit and it didn’t light, so he poured some more…and POOF! Fire poured out and chased Nate’s heels where the gasoline had dripped…he might have run faster then. Both the fire chasing and turkey chasing are indelibly printed on my brain…Greyley’s too…and you can be sure, Nate’s.
They like it down by the swamp and close to what used to be Greyley’s Secret Hideout.
We’ve had several ‘possum sightings. The most memorable was when we heard something crash into the patio door. Thank God for a locked door. We turned the patio light on and there was a ‘possum looking up, blinded by the light, trying to get into the dog food storage container.
They are hilarious in the summer. Tiny ones leap onto our front door~ it has glass from top to bottom, so they are able to stick quite well.
Look at this cute itty-bitty one in Indie’s hand…
Herds of deer frequently run through here. We’ve come face to face with them on many occasions. Greyley already has lots of fun stories to tell about her encounters with deer and other wild animals. Indigo too. One time a deer got too close to Greyley. I was cleaning the barn and the kids had been playing by me and right outside the barn. All of a sudden, I heard Greyley yelling. When I went to look, I realized Indigo was crawling towards Greyley and a deer. It was one of those slow motion moments that I saw the deer face to face with my kids. I ran and shooed the deer away and we took a break from outside for a while.
Our neighbor called to inform us that they had captured a doe close to our barn. We assured them we would stay out of the way until they could “take care of it.” The next day a buck began coming up by the house. He did this for several days in a row. The last day, he made eye contact with me through the patio door. We were about 10 feet apart. I went to the kitchen window and he moved and looked at me through that window. I went around to the front door and he followed me there. We stared at each other through the window for what felt like forever.
Where is she? Will you help me?
If I had opened the door, he would have come in the house. I know he would have. With a sad heart, I turned and walked away. He never came back. I still feel like I should have comforted him somehow.
My daughter came running, looking TERRIFIED, one day, saying she’d seen a wolf. She was studying wolves in school at that time, so I thought she might be mistaken. Was it just a really big dog? No, she assured me it was NOT.
A year later, two coyotes ran past our kitchen door. Turns out they were the “wolves.” We’ve seen them on several occasions now and hear them even more often. They’re scraggly looking. They kinda scare me a little. I’ve heard them at night when they catch something. If they dream of coming after my Alex, I will go all kinds of crazy on them. Are you reading that, Coyotes? Are you??? You stay away from my dog.
Oh, do I have the mice stories. There are almost too many to even share here. Fortunately my mother-in-law has the most run-ins with them. Isn’t that awful for me to even say out loud? She lives in our lower level and every year when it begins to get cold, we know now to put out the “stuff” to get rid of them…otherwise, there is scampering, sightings and screaming.
Did you know they play dead?
The first assault was around 2 AM. We were sound asleep, when we heard something on our roof. It sounded like someone was banging the roof with a hard object. Someone’s breaking in, we thought. It was too loud to be a robber, but sounded like a large person. Our Pastor had loaned Nate a gun~more on that in a moment~so he put his snow boots on (it was winter) and went out to hunt down this critter.
To make a long story short, he didn’t get anything that night. But the next night when we heard banging, he went out again and saw the culprit. A raccoon. He stayed up all night, trying to get that thing. He has never hunted~ this is one of the reasons I married him~ and learned a few key things that night on what to do and what NOT to do. Needless to say, the raccoon was still on the loose.
I came down the next morning to find this:
Our friend, Ryan, came over and set up a trap with Nate. I think they put in a peanut butter sandwich with a chocolate on top. They were confident this would do the trick. The next morning, when Nate went to check on the trap, there was nothing there. No raccoon. No peanut butter sandwich with chocolate on top either.
Night after night after long night, the raccoon tormented us. We ended up going to a friend’s house to spend the night. Nate set up a failproof trap one more time. We’d heard that if you catch them, they will make a huge racket, so we wanted to avoid that. Its favorite spot seemed to be above Greyley’s room.
We came back the next day and NOTHING.
The raccoon wreaked havoc on our roof and attic. Nate patched the places up. We never heard from it again. Every time we pass a dead raccoon on the side of the road, Nate says, “There’s our raccoon.”
Who knows, maybe it’s still up there just waiting until
we’re sleeping soundly to make a reappearance.
The Mystery Barn Critter~
Is it a gopher? A woodchuck? A beaver? A muskrat?
These are the questions that have plagued us since moving into this house.
There have been many sightings. The first sign of Uh-Oh, was the gnawings on the barn posts inside. A couple of them have been chewed away until there’s a big “C” shaped out of what should be an “I”…
We’ve seen the tail end many times. It’s big.
It was after a couple of sightings that our Pastor loaned Nate a gun…just in case…we could not have that thing gnawing our whole barn down!
And one time, it bumped into my patio door, trying to get in. Once again, thank God for a locked door. I hollered at it and it ran off. This is the only time I’ve seen its face. Still couldn’t tell you for sure what it is.
Fast forward a couple of years. That critter has gotten the best of us again and again.
In the thick of getting ready for The Funky Barn, the boutique in a barn event Tosha and I did for a few years, we had a sad experience. Part of the barn has a cement floor. Upstairs is a wood floor. But the back of the barn, downstairs, is still a dirt floor. We kept filling holes and more kept reappearing. It was one such day, Lisa was at the barn with me. There is not a thing that woman cannot do. She was filling a hole AGAIN, when a little head popped up through the hole…and several other little hairless heads.
Fortunately Nate and Josh were also around. I ran to get them and told them the mystery critter must have had babies. They bombed the hole. After years of wanting to get rid of that pest, I cried. She was a mother. She had babies. It’s a barn, where else could she go? Well, I didn’t go that far, there were a lot of other places she could go…the swamp being just one of them…
I was drying my tears…I do have a soft spot for animals…when I looked over into the trees and Mystery Barn Critter was BOOKING it…running as fast as her fat tail would carry her, AWAY from the barn.
Well, that did it. No more mercy for her. She didn’t even stay to die with her babies. She just left them there, so she could torture us longer.
Yep, and that’s just what she’s done.
Apparently, I could write a book on this…looks like that’s what I’ve done and I just keep thinking of more stories. I didn’t cover bats, moles, rabbits, or squirrels.