Got Wildlife??? Check.

I admit, while we were living in Beijing we suffered a bit of nature deficit. Our neighborhood was regularly sprayed with strong pesticides, so all the microscopic wildlife my girls saw were cicadas, mosquitos, spiders, and some other moth-type creatures. As far as birds, the magpies were always there, and sometimes hummingbirds. That was about it. I suppose you could count the street dogs as wildlife.

The grayish dog that lives next to DD's Market.
The grayish dog that lives next to DD’s Market.

I do not have to worry about this issue anymore. Our backyard is FULL of creatures. Yesterday, my eldest held a baby snake. (non-poisonous) We are very lucky to have a naturalist living across the street from us, so anytime we have a snake siting, I call him over. We do get our share of copperheads. Also this week, I was getting my coffee ready one morning, and there was a small red fox looking at me from my back patio. YIKES! I had been told by another neighbor that a family of them live between our houses, but I hadn’t seen the evidence yet. I think this one was attracted by the scent of the rabbit that lives under the forsythia bushes in my backyard…

Our naturalist across the street is also lending my daughter his night-vision camera for her to capture some of our wildlife on film. She wants to submit some photos to a National Geographic Kids contest. Here is a photo he took with this camera. She is hoping to catch some deer or the fox.

Steven's Deer photo
Steven’s Deer photo

She also found tadpoles in an old baby pool a few weeks ago. She gathered some up in a small tank to observe. It turned out that they were tree frog tadpoles. Now we have a complete tree frog terrarium set up. She contributed 1/3 of the cost from her allowance. We had quite a lengthy discussion about proceeding with the tree frogs as pets, and my daughter committed to caring for them and helping to pay for food and supplies. We had to try several types of insects to find what they like. It turns out that wingless fruit flies are their favorite tasty meal. We have three male and two females living in our tank in our family room now. DSCN1448

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No worries about lack of nature here…