wildlife - The first wildlife to greet us when we had not purchased the farm yet was a praying mantis. The next memorable meetings were with the bullfrogs by the ponds, the tree frogs and that Autumn leaf colored newt munching down a giant earthworm in the forest.

From quail visiting the garden on early Summer mornings, to Herons fishing for mice in the field after a downpour, wildlife presence has been increasing. Red winged blackbirds sing in the wetland, and a few steps over, we caught a glimpse of a young otter or beaver scrambling out of our way. One night, I awoke from strange noises in the garden only to find a family of deer eating the fallen crabapples as noisily as our pigs.

We also adopted a couple of barn owls from Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center. The owls prefer the forest to their boxes right now but we have been finding their pellets nearby and hear them calling at dusk while walking home with the sheep. We have seen our share of coyote, especially when they have stalked our sheep, and found parts of skunks and racoons, leftovers from coyote dinners.