Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where the Wild Things Are

Though we have yet to make it to the zoo, we have been able to enjoy our own wildlife exhibit right in our own yard. We weren't aware of it at the time of purchasing the house, but Ada seems to be much more of a rural town than North Olmsted. The kids are having fun discovering all of the new creatures that seem to call our yard home. They enjoy watching a Mommy Rabbit and her bunnies (cotton-tailed at that!) hop around the yard each night after dinnertime. We have come across a very large toad on a couple of occasions, as well. Last we saw him he was hanging out in our garage -- somehow the picture of him didn't turn out, so we don't have any to share with you all. A couple of weeks ago a groundhog moved in and has dug a couple of burrows in our yard. The kids were interested enough to want to go to the library to get books on groundhogs, so we decided to indulge them for about a week before trapping him and setting him loose outside the fence before he caused some real damage. Thankfully, we think he has moved on to our neighbor's yard so our flowerbeds should be safe. Most of these animals I can handle as they appear harmless and we are usually watching them from the safety of our sun porch. The other day, however, I had a much closer encounter with an animal I would much rather never see again. As I was removing the shutters from the side of the house so I could repaint them I found myself face to face with a bat that had decided to curl up(side down) behind the shutter for his daylight snooze. Thankfully the kids were all inside sleeping, but I about had a heart attack. We have wonderful neighbors who were happy to help remove the bat from our property.
Later that same day, Addie was admiring a bird flying in the sky and was informed that it wasn't actually a bird-bird -- it was a turkey vulture. I'm not sure that I've ever heard of such a thing, but we've added it to our list. I'm hoping that these outside animals will hold the kids' interest for some time because Caleb and Addie surprised me last week by informing me that, (as Caleb put it) "We decided that we want a pet." I'm not sure where they came up with this as a good idea, but one of them will bring it up at least once a day. I told them that they didn't need a pet because they have a baby sister. I'm holding strong on this one.