Autumn has finally arrived here in The Sooner State. Night temperatures have dropped into the high thirties and during the day we're not quite reaching the seventies. I am in heaven. This is perfect weather for me, and we get it all too rarely.
The back yard is full of rabbits, squirrels, blue jays, cardinals, all manner of finches and a pair of red bellied woodpeckers. I love feeding the birds. Every few days we see deer walking through the field behind our yard. There are five of them, and three are small, probably born this past spring. As soon as the weather cooled, I put out suet and seed in feeders in our blackjack oak tree. The blackjack oak is native to Oklahoma and Texas in an area called Cross Timbers. It is a scruffy looking tree, especially when it's young. We have a large one in front, about 30 feet tall, and a small one in back, just about 10 feet tall, with a cedar tree next to it. The oaks can grow as high as 65 feet and live up to 400 years. Our trees are just babies.
On Sunday my husband and I were watching birds and squirrels in the back yard. I wanted him to look at a squirrel and a bluejay playing a game of chase. It was so funny to see the squirrel run for the bluejay, the bluejay take to the air, and the squirrel retreat back to the fence away from the tree. The bluejay would then swoop over the squirrel back onto the ground and they'd start all over again. They were fighting over seed that had fallen on the ground from my feeder. I was delighted. As I was watching and pointing this out, my husband started laughing. I wanted to know what was so funny. He said that he thinks it's hilarious that I am so interested in all the animals in our backyard. When I asked why, he told me it's pretty funny for a farm girl like me to be so easily amused. Hmph.
For those of you who were worried about it (or offered me alibis), I have not killed any of my children. It was touch and go there for a while, but I have managed to control myself. Just.
We have three children, two cats, one dog, one betta, one frog, one snail, and a back yard full of squirrels, rabbits, birds, and the occasional deer. No wonder my husband calls our new home Wild Kingdom.