Learning from my wild neighbors

I have come to the conclusion that there is plenty we can learn from the wildlife we have around us to live a better life.   Avoiding a car I have had an opportunity to stop and appreciate how they live versus how we live.

This may be June, and the first day of summer, but the 88 degree day would have us believing it’s the middle of August.  While many people are sitting inside with their air conditioners, this little  guy found a spot under a grouping of trees to simply relax, I thought it was called the “dog days of summer”.

Be stressed about the heat? Not me

I know I am fortunate to have found a way to live my life without a full-time job.  It gives me time to enjoy the natural world, away from the stresses of modern daily life.  Recently, the neighbors and I have been watching 4 baby raccoons who lost their mother (who was hit by a car).  These baby raccoons took up residence in a spot previously claimed by a mother groundhog and her baby.  We worried what would happen to the raccoons when she came back.

Well mama groundhog chased them off, but didn’t harm them.  It was after all her home first.

Look closely behind the tree trunk and you can see one of our raccoons.

This morning at 6 am a neighbor spotted a turtle in the parking lot, at noon I asked her to join me under the sumac trees and found him sitting there seeking some shade from the heat.  Worried about his safety in the 88 degree day I located a bucket to put him and gave him some water.  Then I headed half a mile to the swamp to relocate him.  I was unable to get down close enough into the swamp, but luckily for me a couple of guys trimming trees along the power lines stopped and carried him the rest of the way.

Large painted turtle

I have been enjoying watching the wildlife around here and many times get so caught up in watching them I forget to snap a picture.  They can frustrate us, like the chipmunk that found my strawberries and ate every single berry that was ripe while putting on a show for us in between his snacks I couldn’t believe I had sat there laughing at his antics only to learn when he ran out of my sight he was eating from my garden,  but what could I do but laugh some more?

Our field is filled with a variety of wildlife which includes groundhogs, snakes, deer, chipmunks, fox, wide variety of birds, rabbits and more.  They co-exist so wonderfully out here.  I can only recall one evening that two groundhogs decided to argue with each other.  In the end, neither was hurt and mama protected her baby from the intruder.

Our field has become a wonderful spot to sit and watch the antics of the various animals who have taken up residence there.  What surprises me the most is how the animals are just as curious about us as we are about them.  They will stop to watch what we are doing, none of them fear us or have been aggressive toward us.

With such a diverse mix of animals species they appear to view us humans as just another neighbor who found their field, happy to share the space with us.  The field contains wild varieties of vegetation which include wild celery, strawberries, and even carrots.  The animals take what they  need and leave the rest for another, or for us.

Why can’t humans act more like the wild animals?  Try to imagine, like Janet does here,  just for a minute, what it would be like to live like they do:

  • Relax or play when we feel like it
  • Eat only what we need from what is available right under our noses
  • Do little to no harm to the ecosystem
  • Accept  sharing our space with any others who wander in
  • Accept others, even their differences without judgement

What a world this could be if we followed the instincts we can see daily in the natural world, or the animals we choose to have as companions.  Click here for a list of what you can learn from the unconditional love our pets give to us.  We could live in a society free from prejudice, free from bullying, free from pettiness, if only we could learn to accept the differences we see in one another.

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