Tag: Deer

Share My Wildlife With Me

A young red squirrel
A young red squirrel photographed in my garden

Although my plan was to photograph flowers when I left Microsoft, my photo library began to fill with more and more wildlife photos instead. 

When we bought a new house upon relocating from Switzerland, it came with a large garden. The garden was, in fact, one of the main reasons we bought the house. I always loved animals, so naturally, I wanted it to be a wildlife-friendly garden. Not so much manicured lawns and formal flower beds but a place where animals, birds, and insects would thrive. A wildlife heaven.

Birds on a bird feeder
A tree sparrow, a great tit, a blue tit and a wood nuthatch at one of the bird feeders in my garden.

Four years on, I can safely say we succeeded. We have identified over fifty species of birds (so far!) coming by to sample the food on offer or drink/bath in one of the many bird baths; insects love the flower beds planted with pollinator-friendly flowers, the tiny insect water holes we set up here and there, and the insect hotels we offer in winter, free of charge; and animals are roaming the grounds day and night.

So far, we’ve got deer (oh, how they love my flower beds!), red squirrels, foxes, rabbits, and badgers (only short visits, none have taken up residence, thank God!). Unfortunately, there are no hedgehog sightings yet. However, I did prepare a corner in the backyard for them, with a huge pile of dry leaves, twigs, and water nearby. I’m still hoping, though.

A deer laying in a garden
Mi casa es tu casa. Or garden 😉.

Naturally, I wanted to document the process. It was so much fun seeing the garden transform and more and more animals and birds coming by! One thing led to another, and I’m now, somehow, a wildlife photographer, too.

Kangaroo Island kangaroos holding hands
Kangaroo Island kangaroos, mother and daughter, one of my favorite photos from my 2023 trip.

I’ve started traveling to photograph wild animals, and it was so exciting! Combining my love for Australia with wildlife photography was the ultimate experience. I’m looking forward to more trips and meeting more animals and birds in their natural habitat.

Snail on a pink cone flower.
A tiny snail on a coneflower

I reflected on my journey to wildlife photography as today, October 4th, is World Animal Day. My love of animals brought this amazing transformation into my life, for which I’m forever grateful.

If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.”, Steve Irwin said.

Now, this is my mission, too. Share beautiful photographs of the amazing creatures we share our planet with, share my wildlife, and touch people’s hearts. Because humans want to save things they love.

Woodpecker on an oak tree
A woodpecker on the old oak tree in my back yard

October 4th is Animal Day, but every day should be animal day. We share this Earth with others, and the topic of animal rights isn’t about animals only but about us, too. Let’s build a world where both animals and humans can thrive. Animals also have a right to live free lives unharmed and unexploited.

“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” – Emmanuel Kant. Some food for thought.

Red squirrels on the trunk of an oak tree
Red squirrels playing in the same old oak tree.

If you care about animals, there are a lot of things you can do to help them, for instance:

  • Spread the message, not only on this day but all year. Every day should be animal day.
  • Support an animal charity by raising funds, donating, or volunteering to work for one. 
  • Donate supplies to an animal shelter (towels, toys, medicine, etc.).
  • Become a fan. Like and follow your local animal charity or shelter on social media and share their posts.
  • Adopt a rescue animal or become a foster.
  • Make your garden or balcony a haven for wildlife to find shelter, food, and water.
  • Support companies that don’t test on animals.
  • Support fur-free fashion.
  • Do not support animal attractions.
  • Fight poaching if you can.
  • Draw attention to cruelty.
  • Take a stand against overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction, and other threats to animals.
  • Educate children to show compassion for animals.
  • Help change the laws by signing petitions, e-mailing your local representatives, and involving your friends (share campaigns and social media posts).

I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to the protection by man from the cruelty of man.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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The Making of a Snowman

Seashore blanketed in snow. Photo by Mihaela LImberea

It’s been snowing steadily these past weeks, fluffy snowflakes dancing lazily in the air. And every time it happens, I run to the window, filled with the same wonder as when I was a kid. 

“It’s snowing!” I tell my husband. He looks out, smiles, and goes back to his book. “It’s snowing!” I tell Minette, and she stares back with that sphinx look that cats use to convey how silly humans are. You can almost see the shake of the head, the soft muttering, “Humans.”

I want to run out, make snow angels in the garden and build a snowman. I would have done it too, but for the lack of a carrot. A carrot! A carrot! My kingdom for a carrot! After all, what’s a snowman without a carrot for the nose? 

My husband tells me this snow is no good for building snowmen; it’s too fluffy and powdery. Pity. It would have been such a fine snowman. I have the perfect scarf for it, a mohair thing in bold blocks of color, bright red, buttery yellow, sky blue, green, and orange wool fireworks on a cold man. The orange block would have matched the nose—the one I don’t have.

Close up of plants against a snowy background. Photo by Mihaela LImberea

I shovel the snow around the entry and create a small path to the mailbox. I’m cautious not to step outside it. I love looking at all that pristine white blanket covering the ugliness of the world. 

Maybe that’s why I love freshly fallen snow. I love the purity of the world. I love the silence pierced only by the call of a blackbird or the rhythmic toc-toc-toc of the woodpecker in the back yard. The occasional passing car makes only a muffled sound, dying quickly away. Toc-toc-toc.

Close up of tracks in the snow. Photo by Mihaela LImberea

The snow continues to fall in a hypnotic rhythm. I’m thinking of marine snow. Such a poetic name for the aquatic detritus slowly falling from the sea surface to the seabed that can be visually likened to snowfall. I’ve read somewhere that fish can produce light in the eternal darkness of deep seas to defend themselves. They’d make this bright flash of light to blind their attackers, and they’d use the ensuing confusion to flee. Nature will find a way. It always does.

I walk to the window and look at the massive oak tree in the backyard. No squirrels. It’s probably too cold for them to venture out. Snow too deep.

I can see deer tracks in the garden, where they have trotted during the night. A hare’s too. They’re quickly fading, covered by white fluffiness. 

Two fawns in the grass. Photo by Mihaela Limberea

There are two fawns born in our backyard last spring. They were minutes old when I found them in the tall grass around the big birch tree, barely able to stand. The mother stood a few meters away, watching me anxiously. The little ones were so trustful, looking big-eyed at this new thing – the world. Imagine feeling the warmth of the sun for the first time. The low buzz of the insects in the grass. The calls of the birds.

I had gone there to check on the compost, and I almost stepped on them, well-hidden in the grass. I backed in surprise, not trusting what my eyes were telling me. I snapped a couple of pictures with my cell phone (the best camera is the one that you have with you) and then went back to the house, leaving the new mother to take care of her babies. They were gone in a few hours.

I guess they’re not fawns anymore; they’ve grown so much this past year! Last night they munched on the remaining pumpkins, leftovers from Halloween. They were completely hidden under the blanket of snow, of course, but they knew where they were and dig them out.

A doe in the snow. Photo by Mihaela Limberea
A deer in the snow. Photo by Mihaela Limberea

And during the time it took me to write this post, they came again, going back and forth in the garden, looking for sunflower seeds. Life.

I return to my desk with a sigh. I have to get back to work. A new chapter awaits. The snowflakes swirl around, racing each other to the ground.

I make a mental note to buy carrots. And more sunflower seeds.

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