The Wildlife in My Wild Life – Photo Essay

Since I live in Colorado, I’m always on the lookout for wildlife. I’ve spotted them on hikes, while skiing, or through a car window. Prehistoric porcupines, bear, elk, common deer, bighorn sheep, you name it. But this year, my wild life has gotten wilder. Several otherwise elusive creatures have made appearances in the most unlikely of places: My home.

Bullsnakes have made their way into my home twice. A newborn made its way through a light fixture since I found it on top of my flat file. It became a pet for the winter. The kids released it the following summer. The other must have pushed its way through the doggie door. I thought it was one of the rubber snakes from downstairs carried by our Bichon, Roxy. Nope! I put it in an aquarium until the weather warmed up and then let it go. The one in the picture was full grown (about four feet long) when I found in the garage. I picked it up and released it into the garden.

bull snake in yard

Several families of owls love to perch on and around my house. As the sun sets every night, I can hear a couple hoo-hooting to each other.

owl hanging out on roof

Two weeks ago, something hit a window. I rushed to my back door to see. A baby owl sat on the stoop. I waited until he flew away to be sure he didn’t become dinner for one of several hungry predators who lurk in our yard at night.

Last week, I heard the most annoying screeching sound. When the dog went nuts, I ran to the window. A huge owl stood on a planter screeching, “Good morning.” Ha! Worst sound ever.

Click to see the video –

While in Europe after a disastrous water leak from a demon washing machine, our wood floor guy, Nick took pictures of a lynx! Yes, this is our deck.

IMG_2653

According to my neighbor, two bobcats hung out at the front door while we were gone. Make yourself at home, why don’t ya? Of course, I never saw them after returning from our trip. Gah!

IMG_2654

In April, an enormous gold “housecat” walked around the pond. Later, I found out a young cougar has made our neighborhood its hangout. Unlike the lynx in the photo above, its tail is long. It’s a yearling and still pretty small, but the doggie door is shut until further notice. Poor Roxy.

Remember Roxy and the Coywolf? I don’t trust that she’s learned her lesson. She got lucky when that beast laughed and released her from its jaws in 2015. This time too.

Roxy in the window

As I’m typing this, I’m at a desk in the window being totally distracted by the backyard view. You never know what might take a shortcut through our property…

Our family had an unexpected visit last Sunday up in Breckenridge. I’ve seen them at Brainard Lake, at the bottom of Peak 7, but not in my neighborhood!

My husband, Danny, rushed toward me as I walked out of the kitchen. He had an insane look on his face. My first thought was whatever he would say next would be completely sarcastic. “There’s a moose in the driveway!” he screamed. Yes. SCREAMED!

Stained glass windows flank the front door. I saw a massive black shadow beyond. Instead of running for my camera, I rushed downstairs and shouted to my son who talked with his girlfriend on the phone.

He ran upstairs and used Facetime to show her the incredible sight. Right outside our picture window stood a full-grown male moose complete with wicked cool antlers. A yearling grazed nearby. We trapped the dogs in the basement to keep them from frightening the pair.

When my wild life meets wildlife

Click to see the video –

After taking a few photos, we caught our breath. Minutes later, another shadow graced our front doorway. The cow brought up the rear of the little family.

Incredible!

As the sun sinks lower in the sky, I’m still waiting for my glimpse of the elusive wildcats. It’s 4:30 and owls have begun their hooting chant. Another just landed on our roof. The raccoons will scout and a pack of coyotes may send out an eerie cry.

I love where I live. There’s plenty of room for all of us.

Click for more of my Wild Ride.

Related posts:

What was she thinking?

The Moose is Loose!

Not in My Neighborhood!

Taking It to New Heights – A snake encounter…

Have you seen any unusual wildlife? Has your life gotten wilder lately?

86 thoughts on “The Wildlife in My Wild Life – Photo Essay

  1. That’s so neat – you can keep the snakes though. Hate snakes; even the harmless ones. I realize the big cats are very dangerous but also very cool to see. Thanks for sharing a snippet of your life with us 🙂

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  2. Wow!!! What a daily adventure you have. I live in the city. The most active wildlife we have are thugs, crowds of people and a few city birds. With the abundance of owls the snakes seem to take shelter within your house. Thank you for sharing your story and pictures, I truly enjoyed it.

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  3. I’ve got a family of raccoons who come every night to clean up spilled sunflower seeds and corn, but when its too dark to get a decent picture, a hawk who hunts my chipmunks, and occasional bears. Your photos are great.

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    • Thank you, Bob!
      I wish I would see more bears. They’re more common in the foothills. We live across the Boulder Valley on a hill. The raccoon family who lived under my deck this summer decimated my bird feeders, bending the metal post every night! I finally gave up when Roxy got fleas. Euw! Luckily, it never became an infestation.

      I’m asking Santa for a Critter Cam!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you want to see bears, it helps a lot to have neighbors who put their garbage out the night before pick up day. Bird feeders are good too. Bear see bird feeder, bear want bird feeder. One of my neighbors had a bear drinking from a hummingbird feeder that was mounted on a window with suction cups. Also, here in the Smoky Mountains there are increasing reports of Puma sightings, but not confirmed photos, scat, or capture. They’ve been officially extinct here for over 100 years, along with wolves.

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  4. I need to show this to my husband, he loves wildlife, brought home a copperhead once as a kid. Was a bit disappointed his dad wouldn’t let him keep it.
    I’ve recently seen vultures and raptors in out neighborhood. I’m watching our 5 lb Yorkie mix really carefully when she’s outside now.

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    • OMG! A copperhead??? They are so vicious and poisonous too! I wish I could find the photo of me with a five foot bull snake wrapped around my leg. I picked it up in the yard during my son’s graduation party and freaked everyone out. Ha!

      A Yorkie is pretty small. I thought of the size of my dog and the huge owls that have been hanging out. I think she’s just a little too big for them.

      I saw turkey vultures last summer when on a bike ride. They are pretty gruesome birds!

      Thanks so much, SG!

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  5. I see turkeys periodically when I’m headed to Lansing. Deer, obviously (especially the one that initiated me into the “Bambi Club” LOL). Falcons and other big birds, yep.

    My favorites are definitely the vixen and her kits that came through many years ago when I first moved in–we called her Mama Weasley because she was so patient with a pile of kids jumping all over her! xD | My other favorite is the owl that hangs around our house. I’ve seen him/her once and heard him talking at night sometimes. A few weeks ago, he and another were having a full-on conversation. It was eerily cool!

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  6. Oh my goodness Suzie! You live in such a good spot for wildlife!

    I am not sure I’d be able to cope with the snakes! I know they help eat the local mice, but eeeep! You are so brave!

    I hope you get to see some of the big cats too! That must be amaazing!

    What animal would you like to see most?

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    • I do consider myself very lucky. Colorado is the best for viewing wildlife!
      I would love to see the mountain lion or lynx. Why not both? Ha! It’s very unusual that they’ve made their home this far east. I live on a hill across the Boulder Valley with a view of the mountains. Bear and wildcats are seen in Boulder every year, but not in the little town of Niwot!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, love the wildlife even though I don’t get to see a lot of it. Your so lucky to live in such a place with so many different kind of animals. I hope I someday live at a similar place like yours.
    Which wildlife animal is your favorite?… if you can pick.

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    • I would love to see the mountain lion since it’s the most elusive. It’s that time of day again and I’m fixated on the windows overlooking the backyard. The lion and lynx are probably chillin’ on my front porch. Ha!
      Thanks for reading! I hope you get a chance to come to Colorado someday. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, ER! I am very lucky. In fact, some of my neighbors freaked when they heard about the mountain lion. I thought they’d try to have it moved, but animal control won’t do anything. YAY! I just keep my dog inside and we’re all good! She likes to keep watch from her perch inside. Bichon’s are catlike when laying on the backs of couches. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love that you have so much wildlife around your home! I actually don’t mind snakes, but I wouldn’t want them in my home. That’s where I would draw the line. I love the shots of the snake and the lynx!

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    • Thanks so much, UR!
      I just remembered there was a snake under the couch in the basement one time. Ha! We must have a lot of cracks and crevices between the stone and stucco. My husband recently stuffed steel wool in it to keep out the mice. It’s pretty wild out here, especially when living next to open space and a pond. I love it!

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  9. All beautiful animals. I know most people don’t like snakes, and I don’t care to have one bite me or my dogs, or even slither harmlessly near me, but that photo is really great! So clear and bright. It’s excellent! Great post (again)!

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    • I know! It’s been really wild! Most have been sighted in Boulder.
      The moose family was seen last weekend in Breckenridge. I was so surprised to see them in a neighborhood when there’s so much surrounding forest. They are huge and fearless!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. WOW! This is all so cool!! The snakes I’m not sure I could handle, and my husband is afraid of them as well, so that probably wouldn’t work out well for us. But oh my gosh, the owls, the big cats, and the MOOSE! What a beautiful place you call home!

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    • Thanks so much, Becca!
      I couldn’t believe the photos of the cats. The moose really surprised us last weekend. If we had been quiet instead of FREAKING OUT, we might have gotten better pictures. Ha! We were super excited. I’m so glad our kids were visiting and saw them.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I notice the house outside your back deck is for sale–could it be because of all the unexpected wildlife? And when can we move in! This sounds like a definite wild ride of wildlife. The snakes are a bit disconcerting, the cats are lovely, but I don’t want one curled up in my bed, and the moose look enormous!

    What an adventure!

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    • Ha! That family moved out in June before all the action. The new neighbors are in on all the fun!

      The cats are a big surprise since our property is across the Boulder Valley with a view of the mountains in Niwot. Pretty far east for them but they have a wide range. I hope to catch a glimpse of them soon!

      The moose family was huge and spectacular all up close and personal. I have seen them around but not in a neighborhood. They have no fear and are known to be very aggressive. I’m glad we were lazy instead of taking a walk!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow… Your wild life has definitely gotten wilder, Susie! 😀
    But… Isn´t it exciting, though?… I mean, seeing all those animals… so close… “close encounters of the third type” (first type equals humans, second type = pets… Third type: all the other creatures!). 🙂
    I much enjoyed your post… Love & best wishes! 🙂

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    • Thanks so much, Guat!!
      RIGHT???? I absolutely love here. I never know what I’m going to see. The cats are new to our area since we’re across the valley from the foothills where they are more plentiful. I heard that the fox are greater in numbers, so cats have grown too!

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  13. Wow! I’d love to see a moose up close. I had a big deer standing in my front yard when I came home the other day. Good for you for rescuing the snakes and keeping them safe through the winter. All snakes aren’t bad.

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    • Bull snakes look a lot like rattlers so they are often killed by homeowners out here. They eat their weight in mice and can only swallow.
      There are a ton of smaller black-tail deer in Colorado and I’ve seen elk several times. But I’ve never seen moose in a neighborhood! They are known for their aggressive nature so we stayed inside. My kids were in town so I was super excited to share the moment with them. 🙂

      Thanks so much for stopping by to read, Phil!!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Well, except for the snakes, that’s super exciting! You can keep the snakes. The strangest thing I’ve had in my yard (parking lot actually) was an armadillo. I’ve never seen one up close. At first I thought it was a possum, but it didn’t act like a possum. As I got closer, I saw that it was not a possum, but an armadillo just ambling along through the parking lot.

    Now, if I saw in a moose in my yard, I’d be screaming too. That would be really weird. I keep waiting for an alligator, but we’re too far away from the river so I guess that won’t happen.

    Thanks for sharing the fun photos. You do have a wicked cool life out there in Colorado.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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  15. You have an AMAZING array of dangerous wildlife around your house! Wow. Here in NZ we have a net total of… uh… none. No snakes. No wild cats. No coyotes (except on ‘Roadrunner’ re-runs) and no moose! I get some native birds around the house, which is nice, but kind of boring really compared to you guys. 🙂

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  16. I live now in the large city of Middletown (Pop about 2800, I think). Don’t see much wild live (human or animal) around here, but I used to live out in the rurals and, yes, saw ,much. Went to Shenandoah National Park and saw a bear, up close and personal (3-5 feet away until I could run…
    Your property sounds nice, though I don’t think I could deal with bobcats and/or lynx. Other than that, wonderful…
    Scott

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    • I would love to see a bear again! I saw one in Breck years ago. The bobcats are pretty small, but mountain lions can get pretty big. My neighbor took a picture of a gray wolf in her driveway! Now that’s getting scary.

      Liked by 1 person

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