When we first moved to our house on the White River in Vermont, we set out to make our little part of the watershed as flora-and-fauna friendly as we could.
Except for some pink garden phlox on either side of our front door, a little bit of rather dull iris and one tiny patch of crocus, there was absolutely nothing in our front yard. It was hot in July (very hot) and birds were rather scarce.
In addition to that, our land had once been the site of a public swimming facility called Island Park so lots of local folks were used to crossing our land willy-nilly to get to the water.
It took a while on a lot of fronts—letting trespassers know they were not welcome, planting gardens plus a little natural re-routing of the river—but nowadays, we have a lot of birds in the yard all year round, lots of flowering plants, and critters who have decided we’re pretty friendly (though they still, wisely, keep their distance).
One of our favorite rites of spring is the arrival of the Canada geese. They flock here in early April making a heckuva ruckus as they sort out who is going to live where.
Then at some point after mid-May, we’ll spot a new brood of chicks. These six little ones accompanied their proud parents for a swim for the first time on May 21.
Aren’t they just adorable!