I live in the suburbs in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I don't live in the woods, the mountains or the swamps. Manicured lawns and maple trees; garden gnomes and rosebushes are de riguer. Many of the homes in my neighborhood look very much alike and are relatively close together. For the most part, squirrels (I HATE squirrels), bunnies and feral cats are the wildest animals with which one might usually come into contact here.
Recently, that has changed, and I am not sure why.
Last week, I came home from rehearsal for A Christmas Carol and pulled into my driveway to find an animal lurking beneath my bird feeder. As I turned off my engine, the animal moved and I saw that it was a skunk. Yikes!
I waited a moment and then slowly opened my car door, hoping the noise wouldn't startle it. The skunk rose and looked at the car, then slowly waddled off under the fence into my back yard, much to my relief. Then, not ten minutes ago, I went out to put something in the recycling bin, only to be greeted by a hissing opossum, it's red eyes glaring at me with undoubtedly evil intent. I dumped my empty and well-rinsed peanut butter jar into the bin and slowly backed away as the hideous marsupial slunk away into the night.
Yes, I know that bird feeders often attract animals other than birds. And until recently, those have included aforementioned squirrels, bunnies and feral cats. So why the addition of more 'exotic' wildlife? Is there some sort of animal pipeline that announces the presence of free food? What's next, a bobcat? Or maybe a coyote?
While I love most animals and appreciate their necessity in the whole "circle of life" thing, I just wish they would stay out my yard. Is that so much to ask?
If only all wildlife were so polite.