Friday, October 01, 2010

Here, Kitty


It’s a jungle out there. In my back yard.

When we moved from beachside to mainland eight years ago, Dear Hubby and I made the decision not to clear the back half of our one-acre lot. I have to admit, initially I envisioned something a little different from a wild abandon of palmetto and pepper trees. My original plan for the back yard included paths winding through the wilderness, hostas edging the line between grass and growth. Maybe a tree house and a swing. But since neither DH or I particularly like working outside in Central Florida’s ever-present ninety degree heat, yard work is, yeah, a problem.

Instead, we’ve decided to let Nature do her thing and hired people who mow the grass and keep the jungle behind a line that ever wants to creep forward. Some of my neighbors have clear-cut their back yards. They mow an acre of sod in straight rows. Not us.

We love the birds, I exclaim to anyone who bold enough to ask why. Our plot of overgrown jungle is on the map handed out to various species before they take off on their annual migration. So, twice a year—coming and going—every tree limb fills with robins, and the ground becomes a carpet of tiny little butterbutts. (See my Tipsy Robins post from 2/25/10.) We enjoy watching the squirrels, I tell neighbors who complain about torn screens and furry animals that can outwit the smartest bird feeder. I’m not so crazy about the raccoons, but once we wrapped our enormous hobo in bungee cords, those scavengers left the garbage alone.

Lately, there’s been a new addition to the menagerie of birds and opossums, armadillos and raccoons, squirrels and the occasional red fox that live in our back yard. A bobcat. Who, apparently, thinks we’ve laid out the welcome mat. He’s certainly made himself at home. This week, he prowled through the back yard, sniffed at the screen door, and bounded into the woods.

Pretty, isn’t he? I hope he doesn’t expect a bowl of milk ‘cause that’s one kitty who won’t be invited indoors.

4 comments:

Estella said...

Your backyard sounds wonderful!
I don't think I would invite that kitty in either.

Dominique Burton said...

Leigh,

I love your yard. I wish I had a jungle in mine. I have three wild boys, that would go crazy in an acre in a land like that.

Not to mention wild animals! What a fun life for you. I imagine your kids love to come and visit and you love to enjoy the yard and jungle.

Smart thinking on not making yard work so hard on yourselves. The heat in Orlando, just about killed me.

Great article

Dominique

Megan Kelly said...

When I was little, I took milk out to a very big kitty with huge paws and a deep purr. Needless to say, Mom was horrified when she caught me feeding the bobcat. I envy you your backyard! I have raccoons here I'd like to relocate. :)

Nicole S said...

He sure is beautiful! I love listening to the birds. Your backyard sounds like something I'd love.