But a few new sounds have been popping up in my yard. There are some odd chirps, although I have to admit they aren't all together unpleasant. Just a little foreign. And it's not just birds. There are frogs--although it's safe to assume they've simply taken up residence in our still unopened pool.
The most daring of my backyard wildlife is by far the squirrels. Even during the winter months. We had two unwelcome visitors to our fireplace. Some cute little squirrels dropped in for unexpected visits within two weeks of each other. The second visit wasn't very pleasant for us, or the squirrel for that matter. The little guy avoided our live trap like the plague. We waited three days for him to set it. He was a pretty smart little squirrel. We decided to take things into our own hands, and that turned out to be a huge disaster. The squirrel burst out of the fireplace and all hell broke loose in our family room. After a half hour of chasing and cornering, we managed to grab up Mr. Squirrel and send him packing. The same squirrels enjoy perching on the back steps to the patio and torment our cat. I've seen this enough to know these squirrels know what they're doing. Saturday morning, someone left the garage door open. I saw one of my cat's little friends lurking. I was fairly certain he was coming onto the front porch to pay kitty a visit. All of a sudden, his bushy tail vanished. He'd made his way into the garage. Just great! I was on my way out to my local writers group meeting, so I sneak into the garage. There's the squirrel sitting in the middle of the garage like he owned it. I chased him around the garage, the familiar squawks and squeaks from our previous visit filled the garage. He scurried around the garage, each squeak getting louder by the minute. He ended up underneath the van. I decided he'd had enough of a scare for one day and left for the meeting. When I got back, I checked the garage. The squirrel had since departed.
Despite these normal animals and sounds, lately the night life of our neighborhood has boomed--literally. Every night, around eleven, one of my neighbors decides to light off a mortar. The first night, we thought it was a gun firing. However, after subsequent evenings, that was ruled out. I'm not sure why this neighbor has decided to start celebrating the Fourth of July two months early, but perhaps it has to do with the other new nighttime sound that has come into my neighborhood. Take a listen to the YouTube video below and you'll see what I mean.
I just hope my neighbors were lighting the mortars to scare the owls and not to actually harm them. As for the horrifying sounds, two paired barred owls (they mate for life) make that sound when another owl or pair invades their territory. I've never heard anything quite like it in my life.
So what is the strangest thing you've seen or heard in your backyard?