Many suburbanites would be delighted to find birds, foxes and other visitors from the natural world frolicking in their backyards. These suburbanites seem not to be posting their thoughts to Washington's famously feisty D.C. Urban Moms and Dads online message board.
Once upon a time, DCUM participants debated a serious issue facing those living in and around the nation's capital: Would keeping backyard hens make a person seem poor?
Some said no, some said yes, some said those who said yes were monsters.
We moved a few months ago and I am horrified by the amount of wild animals in our backyard. We live in a large, planned HOA, and while we do have a strip of "woods" behind our house, there is another huge subdivision right behind our "woods" - its probably about 30' deep. We have deer, rabbits, raccoons, TONS of loud birds, foxes, all kinds of lizards, a snake, etc. just in 3 months! There is no obvious food/water source in our yard other than plantings.
I've heard maybe I should get rid of my hostas? I will do that if it will help. A very unafraid raccoon came right up onto our deck the other night and was not scared of our voices, clapping or our flashlight. The deer poop ALL over our yard and we have to scoop before the kids can play. I'm sick of it. We could put up a fence, but I'd rather not, and don't know it would keep the smaller ones out anyway.
Well, this poster asked for advice, and got it:
Suck it up. You moved by a wooded area.
Cut down your trees, cement your yard, dig up all flora and build a tall fence. Or move.
Perhaps, you need to move back to the city.
Irish Spring soap attracts leprechans to your yard. Wild animals are afraid of tiny green men so they stay away. Problem solved, and on the plus side you might end up with a pot of gold buried under a tree somewhere.
DH pees behind our shed once a week to keep the critters from setting up shop in the space between the shed and e fence.
DH means Darling Husband, in message board parlance. And if you're feeling a little baffled at the idea that someone's husband, darling or otherwise, is urinating by a shed in order to make the yard a nicer place in which to spend time, know that this practice may be more common than you think, if not always to the delight of others:
My dad does this too, but I just thought it was because he drinks a lot and might be getting senile.
Our chief observation here is that, to those who suggest moving away from the woods and into D.C. proper, it might not help. We've got a whole lot of wildlife in the city, too, including foxes, bears, snakes falling from trees in playgrounds and the occasional red panda escapee from the National Zoo.
— Ashley Foughty (@AshleyFoughty) June 24, 2013
We wonder what the original poster would think if this crew -- an eagle, a fox and a cat -- were all hanging around together out back:
Red and grey foxes are well-adapted to urban life, and they're not dangerous to humans unless they're rabid, which is very rare. However, the animals have been known to prey on small animals, including cats, rabbits and chickens. If you've seen or heard foxes in your neighborhood, the Humane Society has several tips for how you can peacefully coexist with the animals.
These owls live in old-growth forests, so researchers were surprised to discover that barred owls are thriving in Charlotte, North Carolina's largest city. Scientists assumed that the large raptors would struggle to survive in urban settings, but they've proved just as resilient in cities as they have in the wild.
Coyotes are thriving in urban areas across the U.S. They've been spotted in Central Park, 3,000 coyote sightings are reported in Atlanta annually, and it's estimated that 2,000 of the animals live in the Chicago metro area. Experts say the presence of coyotes in cities sets the stage for larger predators like wolves, mountain lions and bears.
The eerie cries of the fisher cat have been known to prompt 911 calls from people claiming they've heard a woman screaming in the night. These large members of the weasel family are nocturnal, so their screeching is usually heard late at night.
These birds of prey are found throughout the United States, and while they prefer open areas and deserts, they've adapted to a variety of landscapes, including human habitats. If you hear this distinctive screech, look up and you might spot a red-tailed hawk in a tree or perched upon a telephone pole.
You don't expect to see one of these large cats roaming a suburban neighborhood, but reports of mountain lions in yards and city streets are popping up from Colorado to Connecticut. The animals have extremely large territories and can roam more than 20 miles a day in search of food or mates.
Bobcats are found throughout the United States, and residents of states like Arizona and California are accustomed to seeing the cats napping on their porches or in their yards. The animals, whose cries have been described as sounding like crying babies, are usually harmless; however, they can be a danger to outdoor pets.