I always felt it was necessary to get into the "backwoods" to really enjoy what nature provides. It has always been an adventure to visit new places, see the wildlife, plants and trees. Whenever trips permitted I made sure to scope out the wildest, most remote areas in hopes of seeing new and interesting flora and fauna.
Seems I've suddenly discovered I don't need to travel far to view, with excitement, what nature provides. I certainly don't live in the "country", at least as I know it. While I considered where we lived rather rural when we moved here over 20 years ago, it is far from that now. As a resident of the greater Atlanta, Georgia area, we've experienced an explosion in growth with many more houses, cars and people than existed at the time we settled into our neighborhood. While I didn't pay much attention to my backyard then, I've done so in the past few years and continue to be amazed at what I find. My homeproperty adjoins a county water treatment facility which must be more than a couple hundred acres in size. This "sanctuary" remains undeveloped and has become a haven for wildlife, that have learned to adjust to the growth in the area.
I started feeding the birds a number of years ago and continue today. It's been one of the past times when being visited by my grandkids to go out and "fill" the feeders. We tolerate the squirrels that rob the feeders and will also damage them to get to the morsels intended for the birds. I've noticed within the past few years that chipmunks have moved to the area, I guess also for the availability of the food from the bird feeders. I guess it was probably 3 or 4 years ago, in conversation with my next door neighbor that he indicated we had flying squirrels living nearby and that he regularly fed them. Then about 1 year ago I saw my first flying squirrel and was amazed to discover it was living in a multilevel "birdhouse condo" I had erected in my back yard. Now we fill one of our bird feeders and regularly see them at night taking advantage of the peanuts that they seem to enjoy. We also began to regularly see deer beyond the fence that separates our backyard from the water treatment plant. Started with a doe with the past seasons little ones, then grew to a group of 8 does and yearlings. Then the bucks discovered the site and we now regularly see them just across the fence. I was very surprised when the first racked buck to visit was a very nice 8 point, with long tines that I guess is probably 2 12 years old. Has the potential to become a high scoring buck in the upcoming years. What was even more amazing was a larger deer, in body size, that we began to see on the first day the racked buck showed up. At first I thought this was a big doe, but soon realized the body size was way too big for a doe and looked at the deer more closely. Turned out this was a buck, half again as large as the nice 8 pointer, that had already shed his antlers. He has become a regular and I sure would like to walk the water plant property to find his sheds. I think they are likely high scoring. It used to be we regularly hear coyotes howling at the moon or sirens as they passed by. Sometimes the howls seemed so close I was sure they were howling at me. While we don't hear them much anymore I'm sure they are still in the neighborhood as there seems to be plenty of potential food sources for them. We often see possums, raccoons, and rabbits in and around the neighborhood.
While I never had aspirations to live in the "concrete jungle", my work put me in a fast growth, highly populated. While I would prefer to be residing in the last house on a rural road with few residents this likely won't happen in my lifetime (I am however still playing the lottery, with just a little hope of winning some day). Still, it's been wonderful to see how well local wildlife has adapted to all the changes that have occurred and it's a great feeling to get up in the morning, and , with a cup of coffee in my hand, be able to start my day watching the wonders nature has provided. Hope your "backyard" is as exciting as mine.
Happy spring to you.