One of the special things about living in the country is getting to see wildlife in their habitat. Yes, I know. I live in the “burbs and I have seen wildlife around my subdivision. There is actually a pasture full of cattle just about 100 feet from my house, though. I actually saw a roadrunner a few years ago. That was the one and only time I have ever seen one and it was running down the street a few blocks from my house! (Right next to that pasture.) Seeing that roadrunner was great but that is not the same type of experience I am referring to.
I’m talking about seeing a wild critter in his own home habitat. Think of it this way. Do you act differently at home than you do when you are out grocery shopping? Most people do. Are you more guarded ? Do you relax? Do you talk as freely? Do you eat the same things?
This is a picture of Big Willie. He is the little brown dot in the middle of the picture.
That is a groundhog that lives in that pasture next to my house. I can usually only see him in the spring before the grass gets too high and sometimes in the fall before it frosts. I look for him every time I drive past and I drive past that corner at least twice a day. When I see him, it is a highlight of my day! It is like seeing an old friend. I get on my phone and text my immediate family, “Hey, I just saw Big Willie out sunbathing on his front lawn!”. It turns into an event. I have been seeing him for around four or five years now.
Wildlife can be destructive to crops. They can be dangerous to run into with a vehicle. Skunks can really smell the place up. (Skunk odor is very different when it is up close and personal. It can really burn the eyes.) They can even be a hazard to other farm animals. They can also be a huge highlight of your day if you get to see a big tom turkey strutting around with his tail all fanned out or run across where a beaver has chewed down saplings along a creek when you didn’t think there was a beaver within at least 200 miles!
I have seen deer, turkey, many different snakes and birds, muskrats, snapping turtles, frogs of various types, foxes, coyotes, skunks, ‘possums, rabbits, and many other wild denizens of Southwest Missouri. They were here before I was and will hopefully still be here long after I am gone. Seeing, hearing, smelling,and sometimes touching and tasting them enriches my life. There is a huge difference in seeing a flock of turkeys or a doe with two fawns in your front yard versus on Youtube. I can only wish it is an experience you get to have someday.