Creatures surround us


The 20-ft tree against the house and resting on the grill at the corner of the deck.

Most of us enjoy creature comforts whether we live in urban, suburban, or even in rural settings. We have ring doorbells to alert us, furnaces when it’s cold, air conditioning when it’s hot, hot and cold running water, humidifiers, dehumidifier’s, pest control services, and many more. Does that mean we live in a safe and comfortable cocoon? I think the answer must be at least a qualified yes. Why qualified?

On our own property we are surrounded by creatures, invited and otherwise. They vary in kind and compatibility depending on where and how we reside. Something these creatures may have in common is their innate behavior when we encroach on their territory. Other intrusions can be from the weather, noise and anything other people can do that might affect us. Each of us has an environment that is unique based on where we live and what we expect.

The typical neat and efficient job of the beaver to sever the trunk and topple the tree,

For example, I received a call from a friend who shared the news that a tree had fallen on his house. He lives in a wooded area on a beach front at the bottom of the Bay. Having a tree fall is unfortunate, but not unexpected considering where he lives. Then he recounted the bizarre circumstances saying, “A beaver felled a tree next to our porch and it’s sitting on our outdoor grill. I wonder if this was in any way a comment on my cooking?” This message was accompanied by several pictures taken earlier by a caretaker showing a neatly chewed tree trunk and a 20 ft. aspen lying askew while covering the aforementioned grill.

My friend explained that the beaver population in his area had increased. New home construction in an adjoining neighborhood heavily populated by beavers was causing them to relocate. The tree would be removed, and it appeared that no serious damage had been done. Now measures would be taken to “relocate” the animals in the most humane way.

This incident raises the question, do we humans have the right to think we should be left alone while we rule the roost? Taking stock of what is around us the answer should be no! We are not alone. We live with deer, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, bees, mice, a wide variety of birds, even a bald eagle  and a long list including some pretty unpleasant characters.

Bat house
Photo credit: Vermont Country Store

We had a unique animal experience a few years ago. My wife noticed black pellets on the deck that reappeared each morning after they had been swept up the day before. When I mentioned this to a long-time resident of this wooded area he said, “you have bats!” We contacted a wildlife management service. They confirmed that our new home had a substantial colony of bats in the attic. They were squeezing through the soffits and had set up housekeeping. He could get rid of them but ….

The process for eliminating bats from our attic was not to kill but instead relocate them. To do this, nets were installed covering points of egress while the bats were out doing whatever bats do. When they returned the nets denied them re-entry so they had to look elsewhere. To keep the bats content, a bat house was attached to a tree in the woods several hundred feet from the house. This sounded weird but there was no alternative. The bats ‘agreed’ to live in the bat house and our attic has remained bat free.

Who won in this case? Some would call it a draw. I think the bats won!

By Savvy Senior

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1 thought on “The World We Share

  1. Keep your bats around, like you did. Bats thrive on insects. They can eat up to a thousand mosquitos-sized insects every hour. The bats of Austin, Texas are among the top tourist attractions in the state. Every summer evening, 1.5 millions bats leave their home under the S. Congress Street bridge in search of insects. (I have been there; Unbelievable. It is like a cloud that keeps coming.) It is the largest bat colony in the country. Since we don’t have that bridge, the next best thing is your bat house.

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