Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Montana Wildlife - Unusual Sightings

Living in a rural neighborhood in Montana, we see a variety of wildlife on and near our property. We share our land (and our plants!) with many types of birds, lots and lots of deer, migrating elk, an occasional fox, and even a shy moose calf was spotted once nearby. We have found bear scat on our front lawn, and I've chased free-range cattle off our driveway. One summer, while driving my daughter to her early morning swim practices, I crossed paths several times with a porcupine and had to wait for it to waddle across the road.  

This summer our wildlife sightings have been a little different from years past, however.  

My dog and I walked right past this deer this week - and the dog had no idea the deer was there.

Diminished senses

A huge population of deer roam this area, and often sleep in the shade of our house. They have been
a source of fascination for our dog. She has always kept tabs on them, and alerts us when they are near.  At least - she used to.  Sadly, our dog is now 12 and is beginning to show signs of aging.  Her eyesight has become a little cloudy, and her hearing has diminished greatly.  Unless the wind is right, a deer can be quite close and she may be quite unaware.

Her senses may be aging and she's gone a little grey - but while hiking our dog certainly doesn't look like she is 12!

A rare visitor

The other difference in our wildlife sightings this summer is that I have been seeing an animal I never used to see. While watering a flower bed this week, I looked through the plants and saw a little bunny!

I noticed this little guy when he scooted out from under the plants to avoid getting a shower from my garden hose!
It would seem that rabbits should be plentiful in this area, but in more than a dozen years I have only ever seen three or four.  I assume it is the combination of the numerous predators nearby and our sparsely-wooded landscape that has kept the population down.  

Perhaps though, this little rabbit is savvy enough to survive. This morning I watched him dart in a crisscross pattern, ducking from cover-to-cover to cross the lawn. He seems to like strawberries and lettuce too - as I have found bites out of both in my garden!

Do you see wildlife where you live?

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  1. Even though where we live is much more urban than your house, we have deer in our yard all the time. They drive my husband crazy because they eat all our apples off the tree! We also have tons of rabbits, and Abby loves to chase after them - but luckily she's never caught one.

    1. I have just decided the deer were here first, and assume a portion of all the plants I put in will go to them, Lana! I have fenced off all my shrubs however - when we first planted some on our hill, ALL of the leaves were eaten overnight! Sounds like Abby gets a lot of exercise:)

  2. We do see wildlife. Which I relish.
    Bunnies are not welcome in our garden though. And it has been quite a while since I have seen any.

    1. I love the photos you post of birds! More half eaten strawberries here - I may have to try to use some mesh to fence off my garden!

  3. Our Aldo is 12 too! I can finally vacuum without him hiding in the basement!
    The one thing I miss is the wildlife. When we get a jack rabbit running through the neighbourhood, I'm the most excited of all. And squirrels. Don't get me started on squirrels . . .

    1. We had a gazillion squirrels in Ohio - but strangely enough, I have never seen one anywhere near my house here. I did see a chipmunk yesterday though.

  4. I miss the deer although we have seen some here in SC we used to see them everywhere in KY even through the windshield of my car. I still love them. We have rabbits all the time and I love to sit and watch them. I'm still waiting to see a bear. I've seen a few turkeys but again not as many as in KY. The deers here are about the size of dogs not like the huge ones we used to have. I did see an albino deer once and it was an amazing sight!


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