Monday, November 26, 2012

Wildlife Offerings in the Middle of Nowhere

My grandma lives in the middle of nowhere!

Well, ok.  Not quite.

She does, however, live very far outside of town in Northern Minnesota, surrounded by woods on three sides, and the great Lake Superior on the other.  It takes around 30 minutes to get to the closest (small) town.  In my mind, that is the middle of nowhere.

It's actually pretty nice.

One of the more exciting aspects of living off in "the boonies" is the large amount of wildlife.  Aside from the smaller critters that I'm now used to, such as rabbits and squirrels, larger animals may frequent your yard.

Like deer, bears, and wolves.

I told you it was exciting!!!

After picking oodles and oodles of apples from the trees back in September, many of them were left outside "for the critters."

Granted, this was probably just a really nice way of saying, "There's no room in the fridge for all of this, so I'm just going to leave it outside and let nature take care of it."

But it worked!

There was plenty of evidence that animals came by to eat from the baskets.

Basket of apples, nibbled on by wildlife.

Bite marks like crazy!

Indeed, on Thanksgiving morning there was an apple on the front steps of the house.  I discovered it mere moments before putting my foot down, which was very fortunate, since it was directly in line with where my foot was going to come down!

Half eaten apple sitting in the center of the cement porch step.

Living in harmony with nature, respecting nature, is important. 

This was a perfect example, to me, of giving back to the environment.  When there is an excess of food, it only makes sense to give it to someone that will make use of it.  In this case, "someone" was the wildlife within the area.

Winter months are frigid, and while bears are perfectly content to spend these months in hibernation, deer are left to fend for themselves, chewing bark from the trees and searching for bush that still has some nutrition within it.

It's truly survival of the fittest.

So setting aside some excess digestible plant material doesn't hurt at all.  Especially when the great outdoors looks like this:

Lake view through the trees, obscured by a cloud of snow blowing through the air.

I should point out, however, that while this is a good thing when you live in the middle of nowhere, it's not the greatest idea if you live within a city or town's boundaries.  Doing this within city limits can attract a large amount of unwanted visitors into your neighbor's yard... and not everyone loves wildlife on this scale.

So, well... I wouldn't be able to do this at the house I'm renting.  The neighbors may not be particularly happy about it. At all.

Oh, well... you win some, and you lose some. 

At least I have the joy of knowing that wildlife is looked after and respected within my grandmother's small section of the earth.  It's like a small-scale nature preserve... with side benefits!

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