Mutual of Omaha

While we live in the middle of one of the most densely populated, overdeveloped areas in the country, we’re extremely fortunate to have found an undeveloped wooded lot on which to build our house 8 years ago.   But sometimes it feels as if they’re filming an episode of Wild Kingdom outside.  Just some examples:

Deer
Lots of ’em.

buckWhile your first reaction may be “Ohhh, look at the deer,”  after a herd of several … dozen have stripped every last leaf off of your landscaping, they lose a little of the “awwww” factor.  And it can be really quite disturbing to find two on your front porch first thing in the morning. Especially when they are engaging in, shall we say, “adult” activities.

Insects
Every imaginable kind.

wolfspiderThis several inch wide wolf spider is just a representation of the many types of creepy crawlers we see every day .  My favorite was the four inch long Hercules beetle we found one evening.  We kept the dog inside for a week, for fear that he would make a nice midnight snack for one of them.

(In case you’re wondering, the little bumps all over the back of the spider pictured above are the several hundred baby spiders riding on its back.  Feel free to get all itchy.)

And we can’t forget the time K went into our living room and heard a strange noise.  Once she located the noise, she realized the bay window wall was, well, vibrating.  Turns out, several thousand yellow jackets had taken up residence in the wall.  Several hundred dollars later, trained professionals had removed the interlopers.

Of course, this weekend, this appeared:

nest (Custom)Since this was outside the walls of the house, I thought a little wasp spray would take care of this.

Uh, not so much.  These hornets eat hornet spray for breakfast.  The trained professionals are scheduled to return today to take care of it.

UPDATE – The professional insect wrangler told us that these were a particularly evil, nasty type of hornet.  After he treated the nest, he told us to keep everybody in the house the rest of the day, since the hornets would attempting to swarm, sting, steal your wallet, etc.

Birds
And not just sparrows.  Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting varieties:

NestNext to our front porch.  And not from Tiffany’s

HawkRed-tailed Hawk.  They like to chase the bats.

WoodpeckerWoodpeckers.  Great at 6AM

Surprisingly, I can’t find pictures of the two of the most common birds we see … Blue Herons and Canadian Geese.  The herons love to fly down our driveway, swoop around the house, and fly back down the driveway (seeing a 6-foot wingspan out your living room window can be quite disturbing).  And there is nothing like finding geese setting up shop on your roof.  Just like the woodpeckers, they seem to enjoy 6 AM.

Foxy
Baby!

foxyThey like to curl up in the mulch.  And the ones with mange (and therefore no fur) look like a weird type of hyena.

Snakes
Why did it have to be snakes?

snake
Actually, I don’t really mind the snakes.  We’ve never had a mice problem because of them.

Snapping Turtles
While Jim wrestles the snapping turtle, I’ll observe from the Jeep …

TurtleOK, these are not your cute, little, take-for-show-and-tell type of turtles.  These are 12 inch diameter, finger removing, prehistoric snapping turtles.  When online resources tell you to use snow shovel to move them, you know to give them a wide berth.

This is our road and only egress from our house.

Flood

Did I mention that we live adjacent to a 100-year floodplain?  This means that every once in a while, we need an ark to get out of the house.  At least we’ve already got the animals all ready to go.

But with all this, I wouldn’t trade our backyard for the world

Backyard

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2 Comments on “Mutual of Omaha”

  1. carpoolqueen Says:

    I am NOT going to show C. the snake pic because I do want to come visit you sometime before our next lifetime.

    Would loved to have been a fly on the wall to explain the deer to the little Omahaians.


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