Fall Fauna

Life in a backyard wildlife sanctuary is filled with activity. Not all of this activity is of the warm and fuzzy variety.

The frogs in Coppertop’s pond are less numerous than in the spring and summer months yet can still be found basking in the sunshine on top of lily pads.


A stately great blue heron has visited a few times and perches high in an evergreen while keeping an eye out for those frogs and little garter snakes around the  pond. We’re hopeful that all our carp will survive.



While we noticed a definite decrease in visiting birds over the warm summer, feathered flocks have been on the rise again at our deck and garden feeders. Since moving in at Coppertop in January, I’ve kept list of 27 bird species I’ve seen here, and the newest additions to the list are hairy woodpeckers, northern flickers,  western tanagers, Anna’s hummingbirds, turkey vultures, and the heron.


This caterpillar seems decked out for Halloween. I’m pretty sure it will soon be a spotted tussock moth.

The squirrels are back, and an ancient cousin of theirs, the mountain beaver, commonly called a “boomer,” has been hard at work helping us clear the palmate coltsfoot. We’ve observed this furry football gnawing down pieces of the native perennial on the unfenced hill along our driveway  and dragging the pieces far uphill through the brush to a resting place or burrow. Each time we scramble to get the camera, the stubby-tailed beaver (not truly a beaver) disappears. No wonder this animal is described as elusive and the stuff of myths.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s