Friday, August 6, 2021

A Garden Paradise for Wildlife

I love coexisting with the wildlife in my area, and I have made a concerted effort to include lots of bee, butterfly, hummingbird, bird and squirrel-friendly trees, bushes and plants to help them thrive. I also have numerous birdseed feeders and hummingbird feeders that provide them with a bounty of food, and fresh water. There is a clean fountain where they bathe and drink, and our backyard has developed its own unique ecosystem. Our yard offers a wonderful sanctuary to so many creatures, and it is a visual delight to behold. Above you will note the large Band-tailed Pigeon sitting on the fountain where it had a sip of water.
Doves flock to my yard in droves, and since they are too big for the hanging bird feeders, I strategically placed larger flat feeders upon which they stand while eating. They also forage on the ground since so much birdseed falls from the hanging feeders.
My flowering plum tree failed to thrive, and then when it died I decided to fashion it into a bird feeder.
I discovered that the doves loved to drink from the water bowls for our dogs, when they play outside, and therefore adding extra bowls of water, and keeping the water fresh became essential.
I have loved squirrels my entire life, and they spend a tremendous amount of time gathering in the yard. They eat, drink and nap regularly, and they are such incredible characters. They also know us, and they actually have developed a particular way of communicating with us directly. For instance, they have a shrill squawk that can be heard far and wide, and it only means one thing: the feeders are empty, please refill them now!
Both the dove in the feeder (below) and the squirrel near the feeder in the tree (above) are taking a break, and are just resting.
While the Gold Medallion Tree (Cassia leptophylla) has its own hanging bird feeder, it also generates hanging pods that are filled with seeds, and the squirrels love to eat them.
I often see the squirrels eating the pods, and then napping on high branches in the dense foliage.
This particular branch has the perfect slope for the squirrels who love to stretch and lounge while letting their food digest.
If you perceive that this squirrel is looking at me looking at him (yes, it has been confirmed that he is, indeed, male), then you are quite right.
Stretching with closed eyes, does it get any better than this?!
The grey blur above the squirrel is a dove in flight who is en route to the feeder below (where another dove rests between feedings).

This hilarious upside-down hanging squirrel is actually eating in this position! Obscured behind the foliage is the bird feeder, and his position means that with his hind feet firmly planted in the branch that he can swirl over to the feeder and grab some food and then pivot back to his hanging position to eat. It is a delight to watch his nimble, ingenious and pragmatic method of procuring and eating his meal.


  1. Love love your yard! Would be great to sit out their at dawn and watch all the action.

    1. Thank you!!! I often do just that. It is wonderful to see them all thrive in the yard, but it is incredible for us to experience as well! During the height of the pandemic, and lockdown, it was one of the few sources of pleasure and it definitely brought us serenity!

  2. What an enjoyable post! And your photos are fantastic! I can't believe you captured the animals in flight and just doing their thing. The upside down squirrel at the bird feeder is the best! I admire you for allowing the squirrels to be the little thieves that they are. You have more patience than I. I gave up on bird feeders because the squirrels got to them before the birds ever did, even though the feeders were supposed to be squirrel-proof. The squirrels routinely eat my cherry tomatoes off of my patio plant and they manage to get to the tomatoes through the bird netting I put around it to discourage them. But like you, I enjoy watching the critters in my yard. When the naughty rabbit doesn't show up in the afternoons, I get worried about him even though he has decimated so many plants in my garden, lol.

    1. I am so happy that you enjoyed this post! I had a wonderful time taking these pictures and writing the post. My study room is at the back of the house, and this is my view when I work.I usually just take the pictures on my phone sitting at my desk while I work so that I don't disturb any of the animals outside. I see that space as one that we share, and I like to respect their space!

      It really doesn't bother me that the squirrels eat the birdseed because I enjoy them immensely! The only think that I was that they would share are the figs on our two fig trees. The birds and squirrels take bites from the trees and them toss them on the ground. When I go to pick them, they ripe ones are most often half eaten already! Your bunny visitor warms my heart, though it is frustrating that he/she helps themselves to your garden!


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