Tonight I sat outside as the sun went down, taking in the live oak trees shedding their small oval leaves and watching the screech owl poke his head out of the box. The moon was already up and almost full, an appropriate way to end the year.
A Swainson’s thrush has been visiting our backyard. These birds typically migrate through in September and October on their way to South America and are seen more often in eastern Texas, so we are lucky to see him. He’s been here a few weeks and seems to like our pond.
The male screech owl showed up on Halloween, peeking out of the owl box entrance just as it became dark. It’s a relief to finally see him; I have been waiting and wondering when – and if – he would appear. Each evening he pokes his head out about 5 p.m., preparing to take flight and leaving around 6 p.m., soaring over the fence and into the trees.
When we first built the pond and waterfall in the backyard I thought it would be a lovely feature that would add to the backyard landscape, making it more interesting, allowing us to feel like we lived far away from the city. What I didn’t realize was how much life the pond would bring to this little patch of land.
Each night we walk through the neighborhood searching for does and fawns. The evenings are the best time, walking just as darkness falls when a strong breeze makes it feel cooler than it actually is. This spring we’ve been particularly lucky, beginning with the doe and fawn we saw on May 30.