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When we moved to our home in the city, it was a relatively new neighbourhood with no mature trees.  There weren’t even squirrels around.  Twelve years later, our backyard looks almost forest-like and an assortment of wildlife has made itself at home in our yard, for better or for worse.

I love all animals, I really do.  I want them to have food to eat, so I don’t mind sharing some of what we grow with them.  But in the last year, a groundhog and a family of rabbits have done significant damage and we’ve had to implement some measures to keep them from taking everything.

First, the groundhog moved in.  He is so audacious, he comes up to our back door.  We’ve named him Gus because he is so aggravating that we figured we would either have to name him –like a pet we pretend we want– or want to kill him.  And since I try not to even step on spiders……Gus it is.  He moved in just over a year ago so I guess he’s renewed his lease.

Here he is at our door, and one of his holes he’s built for himself in our garden.  If you fill in his holes, he will just re-dig it, bigger the next day.  We would like to serve him an eviction notice, but there are no removal options that are particularly humane, so I think we have to live with him.

Second, the rabbits are destroying our plants.  We named the one we see regularly Brad Pitt, so it will feel exciting when we spot him the garden, like Oh look! Brad Pitt is here! Then we saw another bunny with him (Angelina of course), and we think they live under our pine tree with a family of rabbits (the Jolie-Pitt bunnies).  Brad Pitt’s favourite food appears to be our Saskatoon berry bush, so earlier this spring I wrapped a tarp around the bush to impede its destruction.  I hope the bush recovers enough to give us berries this summer.  Unlike the human Jolie-Pitts, the rabbits are camera shy and I haven’t gotten a photo of them yet.

Others who have taken up residence…..

There’s a robin’s nest in our rose arbour for the third year. Those turquoise eggs are a beautiful sight.

My daughter is obsessed with snails this year, and there seems to be thousands of them, they are everywhere, to her delight.  Big snail and baby snail, pretty cute, right?

Lots of bees doing their pollinating thing.

And squirrels.  Always squirrels!