Old friends and new

Some of the treasured friends who came to enrich my life in Washington. Mama and Papa Possum and their babies; a particularly lovely clematis I managed, to my surprise, to rescue; Mr Quail; “Little Red” and one of the raccoon families.

Many people don’t like possums but they delighted me, especially when I looked out one day and saw Mama with all her babies aboard. This was one of the last times I saw them, so she may well have been transporting them to a less crowded bit of green across the street. My patio did get quite busy at times.

I only ever saw one quail and he always arrived along with the doves, except the last time I saw him. I read once that you can get animals to show up by holding them in your thoughts. I wasn’t too sure about that, but as the days were winding down to my departure, I was thinking how much I would love to see Mr Quail one last time and as the thought crossed my mind I happened to look out a front window. I was astounded to see Mr Q. marching boldly down the middle of the road. I had never seen him anywhere but on the back patio before.

“Little Red” suddenly showed up two summers ago. As far as I was able to find out he was a Douglas squirrel, a native of the Pacific Northwest, also known as a “squirrel with an attitude”, I could see why. He was half the size of a grey squirrel but he used to chase them off and was not even concerned when raccoons showed up. He spent the summer around my place calling for a girlfriend and maybe he finally found one. I hope so. He was very cute.

No need to identify the family of five. While most of the other wild creatures came and went, there were always raccoons, but as common as they may be, I never tired of watching those babies.

I arrived in New York last Fall, in time to wave goodbye to formations of ducks and geese that came swooping over my new house to my delight, although nervous Willow always dove under the nearest chair. One day, early on, as I was washing dishes, I had the definite feeling that I was being watched. As I looked through the window I noticed a small pair of beady eyes contemplating me. They belonged to a very shy little guy that was totally unfamiliar and I only saw him one other time before he took himself off to do his winter “thing”, whatever that is. He returned recently and I believe him to be a woodchuck. He has become fascinated by my garage, though why that is I can’t imagine. No photograph yet of Chuck.

I don’t remember, when I lived on Long Island, that squirrels had red ears, as this pair at least do. Like squirrels everywhere, however, they have insatiable appetites.

There are more and more birds every day. These are the easily identified ones; mourning doves; titmouse; brown-headed cowbird and red-winged blackbird. There are plenty more and my bird book is getting dogeared.

I am always pleased to see bunnies. This one is much larger than the little grey jobs I used to see in my Washington garden. He’s rather handsome. I think he’s called Bounce, but he hasn’t confirmed that yet.

Now, the black and white chap is hardly wild, but he is not one of mine. Pancho belongs to my neighbor down the road. I think he must have been a frequent visitor to the cats that used to live here. He comes frequently to stare through the window and he always wants to come in, although when he spotted the size of my crew he did raise his eyebrows a bit. Well, the cat equivalent.

Nice new friends, don’t you think?

2 thoughts on “Old friends and new

  1. I love the pictures of your old and new friends. My heart just melted at the sight of the mama possum with the babies on her back and the little raccoon family. I have several raccoons and an occasional possum that come to dine on my porch. I was surprised to see you calling them possums. That is what I call them, too, but I thought it was a southern or Texas “thing”. I have multitudes of squirrels in my yard also because there are all kinds of nut trees there. I have a pecan, two English walnuts and one black walnut, so they have no reason to forage for food elsewhere. They have a birdbath to drink from, too. I hope to see a picture of Chuck when you can manage that.

  2. I may have a pic of Chuck, but it won’t b great as it was taken through a window screen. He seems to know when he’s being watched, never mind that he can stare at me when he feels like it! I got the feeling then that he was just checking out the new owner. The couple who were here were obviously animal lovers and the place has a feeling of peace. It does make a difference.

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