I run across all sorts of critters as I work around the land – here’s a couple I spotted recently!
Frog song is a constant on the farm but spotting them is tricky. There was one living near the pool when we opened it a few weeks back, but I haven’t seen him lately. This little guy is about 1/3 of his size! I spotted him while weeding in the field, so tiny I nearly missed him. Thankfully he was on the ground next to the clover so I didn’t step on him. He’s about the size of that three-leaf clover – crazy tiny. These little guys do such great work eating insects – I’m thrilled to have them in the field.
I was re-laying brick and moving tree debris behind the coops when this box turtle startled me. It’s the first one I’ve seen on our property, but he was so well camouflaged I may have overlooked others. He kept his head tucked into his shell and I was happy to leave him alone. I’m pretty sure he’s living in an old trash pile between our burning pit and the barn, and I’m happy to let him do his thing. He moves much faster than I expected – I spotted him headed into the field the next day and am crazy curious as to what he’s snacking on there.
Keeping space for natural wildlife is an important part of revitalizing the farm. By maintaining the ecosystem with trees, shrubs, and ground cover we attract natural predators for the insects, mice, and other creatures that would harm crops and irritate animals. They also enrich farm life: observing the animals and paying attention to their behaviors gives the farmer advance warning of potential problems. I find they also remind me to take life as it comes and not overly worry about how the day will play out.
*NOTE: I practiced this style of gardening in the city and enjoyed a wild variety of life there also. Interested? Consider eliminating part of a perfectly manicured lawn in favor of a small section of native plants!