Wildlife at The Bower ranges from the large to the tiny. Black bears have on rare occasions strolled through the meadow and left their evidence along wooded trails. White tail deer frequent the woodland, enjoy the meadows, and on occasion the garden plants. Smaller mammals, like opossum, skunk, and porcupine, enjoy the variety of habitat that have been created by nature and our gardens for shelter and food. Chipmunks love our stonewalls; baby raccoons have been visitors to our pool. Our dog would prefer that the squirrels would move on to other properties, however.
Bird watching is one of our favorite past times. Besides the diversity of birds to see, it is captivating to watch them exhibit their varied flight styles as they travel from site to site across wide expanses of the landscape. Bird houses are erected throughout the property and always inhabited in spring and summer. Swallows have been known to enjoy these nesting boxes. Cardinals, crows, goldfinches, ruby throated hummingbirds, robins, sparrows, and wrens are other frequent summer sightings. Woodpeckers, from the huge pileated (who can be heard pounding on trees in the woods), to the medium red bellied, or smaller downey, are frequently seen. The latter two are always at our feeders in the winter. Blue jays, cardinals, chickadees, goldfinch, juncos, nuthatches, and purple finch join them at the feeders all winter. During their travels, we sometimes see gross beaks, indigo buntings,, orioles, scarlet tanagers, and red headed woodpeckers,. Red shouldered and red tail hawks survey the property from tall trees and the air. Wild turkeys in large flocks are frequently seen in spring and fall. Catching a sight of the males strutting around to impress the females in Spring is a special treat.
Our insect friends and a few foes thrive at The Bower. Favorites include the wild bees, butterflies (like fritillaries, monarchs, and swallowtails), ladybugs, and praying mantis. We deal with the not so favorites like Japanese beetles, gnats, mosquitoes, ticks, and wasps through prevention, hand picking, and organic deterrents.
bower (noun) 1. a pleasant shady place; 2. a retreat or sanctuary