When you move to the countryside, I suppose you should expect to see some wildlife. We live fairly close to the town, so we weren’t expecting life to get too wild. Reading the newspaper, though, we found that there are quite a lot of cougar in the area, but surely they would be up in the hills. Our neighbors came over to visit one day and told us there was a bear in the area. We’ve looked for signs but haven’t seen anything. They also later told us they saw a cougar entering our farm. Well, what to do? We bought a night vision camera and set it up between us and the cow pasture because there was evidence that something was traveling under the fence. We got shots of deer and raccoons, nothing too worrying. Then we set the camera up along the vegetable garden fence to find out what has been going under that fence into the garden. One year all our plums were eaten off of one tree and this year there are huge piles of thrown-up fruit–inside and outside of the garden. What could be eating all that fruit?
This is what we saw on the camera:
This is proof that there is a bear and that he somehow got under the fence and into the garden–at least twice that night. Here’s the space he squeezed into:
We are mystified; the hole is not that big.
We have since found two other places, one at the garden fence and another abutting our property that he uses as entry points. Bruce piled a load of logs at the one on the far end of the farm, but he pushed them aside. So, I guess he is here to stay. We’ll have to be more careful about cleaning up the old fruits and vegetables during the growing season.
We haven’t seen the cougar yet, but here are some of the other more friendly critters who have found their way onto our farm:
Tree frog; Gopher snake
Lizard; Swallowtail; Painted Lady
Tree Swallow; Red-shafted Flicker (he eats our house); Red-breasted Sapsucker
Quail; Oregon Junco; Hummingbird
Barn Swallow (they love the barn); Bald Eagle; Geese
American Goldfinch; huge flock of American Goldfinches that flew in one day; Bluebirds
Red-shouldered Hawk; Skunk; Squirrel
Turkey- Tom, Hen and Chicks; Hare
Beaver-we named him Justin; White Tail deer-Bucks and Doe
Coyote-okay, he’s not so friendly, but we love hearing them at howl at night
Neighbor’s bull/steer that wandered onto our farm on Christmas Day. He enjoyed the grass and water. Occasionally they come through the fence to visit us.
Elk–we had at least eight sightings this year. The last photo, from the night vision camera, caught an elk calf. Now that’s rare sight for us!
It’s a real treat for us to have so much wildlife on our farm. While we would like to encourage some to not return, we welcome them all and hope their sojourn is a beneficial relationship for us both.