The Suitcase Lady


March 9, 2021, 2:07 pm

I woke up the other morning and looked out the front windows to discover it had been a busy night in our yard. Multiple deer hoof prints in the snow came up the path to our front porch, and a rabbit had visited us as well. Other animal tracks crisscrossed our yard. While we were sleeping, our homestead was hopping. One of our main goals in moving to the country was the desire to coexist with nature. Our wish is most definitely being fulfilled. 

Sharing our space with our fellow creatures was not as easy at our city home of thirty years. The possum who took up residence under our deck and the raccoons who wandered up from the nearby creek at night were not welcomed by our neighbors. We were told that the bird who built a nest over our back door was “too messy” and the crows were “too noisy”. To fit into this neighborhood, every blade of grass had to be mowed down with precision and all wildlife had to be banished.

Among the biggest delights at our country home are the animal visitors, both diurnal and nocturnal. I often wonder how many living things are calling our land home in one day. The answer is probably millions. The spiders alone constitute a nation, and in a few months the gnat towers will be swirling above our meadow. These swarms of mating insects look exactly like black tornadoes. Coexistence with these creatures means turning off all unnecessary lights in the house when their sex orgies are ongoing.

I must confess that we put out the welcome mat to our animal friends by running the Tooley Café in our side yard. By purchasing trunkfuls of seeds, corn, suet and nuts, we provide dependable feasts all year round. They, in return, give us endless entertainment which is far better than any wildlife videos.

In almost 25 years of living in the country, only one visitor was unwelcome. The mink was a true terror. It raced through the neighborhood attacking everything in sight and even chasing chipmunks through drainpipes. We were not unhappy when, of its own accord, it decided to leave the vicinity.

But on most days, we can live by the maxim on this lovely piece of art from the Trick Dog Gallery:

4 Comments for this entry

  • Alyce Weiss

    I have fond memories of sitting in front of your window watching the animals and birds feeding at your Cafe.

  • Jim Smith

    I am so much in agreement with your observations of nature. In my youth I was a hunter–now I wonder “Why
    was I a hunter?” There is no hunting on our property–that I know of–except the hawk that likes to pick off the birds at the feeder. This year I was able to make friends with BC (Barn Cat) who is wild and lives in the barn. Cheers, Jim

  • Mary

    Your barn would be a lovely home for any cat! We are surprised you are not running a cat B&B there.

  • Mary

    Our outside Cafe has been operating at full capacity. We miss seeing our people friends in our in house Café. Hoping all friends can come visit soon!