The designation we received from the National Wildlife Federation as a Wildlife Habitat can mean many different things. It can mean you just have a sign posted on your front fence, it can mean you have good thoughts toward wildlife, or it can mean you have honorable intentions toward creating a habitat that is actually beneficial for wildlife. But none of that matters unless you actually have wildlife taking advantage of this new habitat.
Learning how to make an area beneficial and attractive to wildlife is a process. It involves such things as planting trees and flowers that are enticing, but it also involves leaving the environment as natural and untouched as possible.
The area just in front of our house is a good example. We purposely left it “messy.” It was a great temptation to get the weedeater and mower out there to clean that area, but we resisted the need for tidiness that we have been taught all our lives. It was not what we would have done in the past, but things are changing.
Yesterday, we bought two plum trees to plant in that area. It was necessary to clean off the spots where the trees were to planted, so out came the weedeater. While I was digging the holes and planting the new trees, Regina took advantage of the fine weather, and decided to prune the two peach trees. They produce better with some careful pruning.
Since the grass was thick around the base of the peach trees, Regina got into a bed of fire ants. These little guys can inflict a lot of pain very quickly. In order for her to be able to see and avoid the ants, I used the weedeater to clear away some of the grass. Lo and behold, I uncovered a burrow under one of the trees. I regret that I exposed that burrow, but in my defense, I just didn’t know it was there.
For some time we have had another burrow under the driveway behind our garage. We are fairly certain it belongs to a skunk. Now skunks are not our first choice of wildlife, but one can’t dictate who does and doesn’t pick our habitat. We just have to be careful, and devise creative ways to keep it out of the chicken yard, and keep our dog from discovering it.
I don’t know whose burrow I uncovered yesterday, but it just proves that we are on the right track. Someone else has decided that our habitat can offer safety and comfort. I hope I didn’t scare it away.
Welcome little one.