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Walter Scott: We can get along with nature around us

Walter Scott is an outdoors enthusiast and freelance writer from Drakesville, Iowa.

Columnist Walter Scott

A few years ago, when we built our house at the farm, I thought it would disrupt the wildlife in the area. This does not seem to be the case. Quite the contrary, some of the wildlife is taking advantage of our being in the middle of โ€œtheir territory.โ€

It is fairly common to see deer and turkey using our roads and paths in the area. Recently, a doe has been spending most of her time in a small patch of timber beside the driveway.

We see her almost every day. When my wife takes her morning walk down the driveway, the doe either snorts at her and stands her ground or walks calmly away. She seems to have taken up permanent residence in that small wooded area, not far from the house.

Billie, the poodle, cannot get to her since he is limited by his hidden fence. He will stand at his boundary and bark at her when she is grazing the lawn beside the driveway. She looks at him and goes back to eating.

Jag, the terrier, will at times, run toward her barking viciously. He is not limited by an electronic collar but is limited by rare flashes of intelligence. If a deer is not going to run away, it might be better not to chase it.

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I think he has learned it is not always good to catch what you chase. The deer would surely stomp holes in him if he caught it. His charge toward the deer ends in a casual loop around the area and back to the house as though he did not really want to chase her.

The way this deer acts, I imagine she has a fawn nearby. She does not consider the dogs or us to be any danger and our presence may help to keep other predators away.

A pair of barn swallows have also taken full advantage of our house being where it is. The porch going around three sides provides ample space to build a nest on the bottom of the porch joists. These birds would have to find another place to build if we had not put these joists there just for them.

They are pretty little birds and nice to have around to eat insects. The only argument I have with them is their choice of nest placement.

Directly in front of my desk is a large window where I enjoy the scenery outside while working. For several days, they insisted on building their mud nest directly over my window.

When I moved my office to this spot, my wife was kind enough to wash my window so I would have an unobstructed view. This pair of barn swallows did not seem to be concerned about my view as daily, they left mud and other unpleasantness on my clean window. E

ach day, for several days, I would knock down their nest in progress. They have finally gotten the hint and moved their construction sight toward the corner of the porch, away from the window.

With a little cooperation, we can all get along. There is a limit to how often my wife will wash my window.

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My wife and I enjoy our location, out in the wilds of nature. For the most part, I think nature does not mind having us there.

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