Sunday, March 15, 2009

Latest arrival

Some people might look at our overgrown pastures and unkempt pond as the product of negligence and incompetence.

Well, technically, they'd be right. If I could keep our tractor running and teach the kids to occupy themselves more, I'd probably be a little better at keeping the brush under control. But I'm never going to be one of those land owners who's land looks like the Wrigley Field outfield.

The advantage though, is that we get a fair amount of wildlife, all things considered. I mean, there are no woodlands, nature preserves, or significant bodies of water for miles around. In fact, there's really just mostly big swaths of conventional farmland - not exactly wildlife friendly.

It's always cool to spot a new critter hanging around though. And it's even more fun when it's something showy and unusual. Our latest addition is the ring-necked pheasant. Maybe some local conservation / hunting club released them into the area, but these guys seem to be hanging around our pond quite a bit. At first I thought it was just our Buckeye chickens foraging, but they don't have ringed necks or long tails.

If you're interested in more wildlife and biodiversity in your own back yard, I encourage you to check out the National Wildlife Federation's Backyard Habitat program. I dropped my membership after a year or two because of all the mail they liked to send, but their web site has a lot of tips for increasing biodiversity even in a small suburban back yard. It worked for us when we were in suburbia...



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