This morning, I once again had coffee on my deck, and the number and variety of different animals amazed me. I always knew there were many of them, but this morning, I took special notice and simply watched. Here’s who came for a visit:
- Male and female cardinal
- Downy woodpeckers
- Hairy woodpeckers
- Yellow finches
- Purple finches
- Red-bellied woodpeckers
- Brown Thrasher
- House Sparrows
- Chipping Sparrows
- White-breasted nuthatch
- Red-breasted nuthatch
- A Hare
- A gray squirrel
- A red squirrel
- All manner of butterflies
All this was only during the space of a couple of hours. I’ve always said that the animals in my yard can provide hours of entertainment, and I still maintain that. However, I often find it challenging to get any productive work done while sitting outside because I’m constantly distracted by all the critters.
The reason for this diversity is that it’s always been important to me to have a yard that supports life. To achieve this, I use no weed-killers or any other poison on my lawn (this ensures a lovely melody of cricket noises and an entertaining firefly light show at night). I also have a couple of different feeders: nyjer (for the finches), a bird feeder for millet (for the smaller birds), a feeder filled with sunflowers, two hummingbird feeders, and two suet feeders (the woodpeckers, nuthatches, and all manner of different birds).
Additionally, I maintain several sources of water:
- A couple of large birdbaths
- A small heated birdbath for the winter
- A couple of small cans of water in the flower patches for the butterflies
I also dug up a good portion of my lawn and put in a large flower garden with a variety of flowers to attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.
It sounds like a lot of maintenance, but really, it’s not. Once the garden fills it, I pretty much let it go on its own. Setting up a “life-supporting” yard is not only fun but brings in a wide variety of creatures, resulting in hours of amusement.