Wildlife Visitors to the Autumn Garden

My friend Bonnie lives in one of the most beautiful areas of the country, the state of Oregon. She and hubby Leon have a lovely home surrounded by the most amazing gardens. They share it with some real characters, too!

There’s Pearl who loves to remove to the top off the bird feeder and carry it as far away as possible in an effort to keep Leon from placing it back on the feeder.

Squirrel Stealing Lid to Birdfeeder_wm


She even tries to drag it completely off the deck!

Squirrel Stealing Lid off Birdfeeder_wm


Then it’s time to dig in to all that yummy birdseed!  You can read more about the story of Leon and Pearl here: Squirrel Outwits Bird Feeder:  The Story of Leon and Pearl

Squirrel Raiding Birdfeeder_wm


Bonnie has lots of wild turkey this time of year. They always appear in autumn. Don’t they know Thanksgiving is just a few months away?  This is the time to hide!

Wild Turkeys


They like to raid the bird feeders, too. Pretty brave–coming right up onto the deck!

Wild Turkey on Deck


Bonnie has “ground squirrels” in her area. I don’t think we have those in Georgia, if we do I’ve never seen one.

Ground Squirrels


Aren’t they cute! They look very different from our squirrels here. Our squirrels are ambidextrous…they hang out in the trees as much as they do on the ground! Okay, ambidextrous isn’t quite the right word, but you get the idea. 😉

In Georgia, we even have flying squirrels, though I’ve never seen any since they apparently come out at night. I have seen pics of them (raiding feeders) at my local birding store. Maybe that’s what raids my feeders at night!

Ground Squirrels (3)


Bonnie said, “Ground squirrels burrow and forage for food on the ground and stuff their little pouches with food, like chipmunks.”  Do you have these where you live? They do remind me of the chipmunks we have here. The coloring is very different but they both have those fat little cheek pouches.

Ground Squirrels (2)


Bonnie and Leon’s bird feeders get quite the workout, day and night! This is one of their nighttime visitors.  I have these little masked bandits stopping by, as well. They visit the feeders that hang off my deck and clean them out if I forget to bring them in at night.

Raccoon raiding bird feeder


Bonnie said, “We love the wildlife around here, except the deer totally destroy any landscaping we’ve put in, even a few evergreens. One time, before we had the pool filled in, we found four bucks in it ! Twin fawns were born in the back yard.  We’ve also seen coyotes, fox, pheasants and the neighbor found bear tracks in her yard.

A couple of years ago, the police were chasing a very large and angry black razorback pig down the street (pic below).  Leon asked them what they planned to do with it if they caught it, and was met with blank stares.  He told them maybe they better just let it go back to where it came from!” Sooo funny!  Leon caught this picture of him as he was making a hasty exit.

Razorback Pig


Here are the deer who love making Bonnie and Leon’s garden their own private buffet.

Wild Turkey


The do look very well fed, don’t they? 😉



You have to admit, they are truly beautiful, even when they are chowing down on the flowers!

Deer in the Flowers


Bonnie’s gardens are absolutely stunning!  This picture belongs in a magazine!  Soooo beautiful!

Deer in the Garden

Thanks to Bonnie for sharing these wonderful pics. Happy Weekend dear friends!

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  1. I have many squirrels at our feeders too. We enjoy watching them as much as the birds. We have deer in the area but they haven’t found us yet. A coon kept raiding the the birdseed bucket so it had to be moved into the garage. I am having a fight right now with a hawk. I love him and think he is beautiful, but he wants to eat my birds and squirrels! Every time he comes into the yard all the birds hide except the blue jays, they start screaming at him and try to run him off. If I hear all the noise, I run outside like a crazy person clapping my hands, fussing and hunting something to throw at him. I’m sure the neighbors enjoy the site! Enjoyed the post. We got a laugh at Pearl.

  2. What a beautiful yard and so fortunate to have all that wildlife to enjoy. Thanks for posting for us to see!!

  3. Gorgeous photos! Love all her wildlife, so cool to be so close to so many different animals. Except, I wouldn’t like to meet that pig face-to-face! Hope your weekend is wonderful Susan!

  4. Oh My ! What a beautiful garden and how wonderful to be able to see all the different creatures ! We don’t have such a variety of wildlife here in Cleveland Ohio, but we do have the beautiful deer. I just can’t get mad at them, even when they chew my hostas all the way down to the root ! They are just so pretty…..

  5. We moved from the country into a small town west of Indy. Soon after I bought the house, a family of 4 skunks moved in under the house. We have had wild turkey, hawks, squirrels, chipmunks, snakes, rats, mice, voles, frogs, owls, bats, numerous raccoons, opossums, more skunks, vultures, crows, coyotes and a crane. Way more than we ever had in the country! No longer do we fill our bird feeders with seed and have almost stopped composting because of the varmints. And yes we are thinking about heading back to the country.

  6. The picture of the deer in the bushes with the yellow flowers is absolutely beautiful. A friend that lived in Alaska one time said she often woke up to Moose in her back yard eating on whatever they could find. They had a fence but the Moose tore it down. Their back yard faced a cross-country ski trail so they just left the fence down so they could see the skiers easier and the Moose had an open invitation to visit. All I have in my back yard are squirrels and they are taking all of the pecans from my trees, biting them (pecans are still green) and throwing them on the ground. Squirrels are fun to watch as they chase each other around the tree trunks but they are destructive little buggers! Thanks for all of the pics. Susan, I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

  7. What gorgeous pictures! I love Oregon, have visited many times and am a big fan of that state!

  8. I love the pretty yard but love all the animals more. We used to live in the country and we saw deer,coyotes, turkey and sometimes a fox. Love to watch them, so pretty. I loved seeing the mother deer have their babies and care for them. So peaceful. Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  9. Nancy B of Lake Stevens says

    Susan, your post reminded me of a video that was making the rounds about 15 years ago. It was about the tenacity of the British grey squirrel to get through whatever obstacle was put in it’s way on it’s journey to the bird feeder. I was able to find a link to part of the video called delightfully “Daylight Robbery” Enjoy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uY9Yf26J4ZM

  10. Nancy B of Lake Stevens says

    Susan, videos part deux.
    Part 4 is the best part but they are all interesting.
    Part 2 of 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPmZd7w83jA
    Part 3 of 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXJF9M7y6YQ
    Part 4 of 4http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvWFLvaUAzo

  11. This was great Susan….loved the critters, I need to post soon.

  12. Such gorgeous photos!!! It is always amazing seeing the beautiful wildlife we have in this country. Oregon sure has a great variety . Animals have to be hardy to live in Oregon and make it through their harsh winters. We love our wild pets here in Virginia. Tonight we sat by the pool having happy hour with our tree frog in the umbrella. It made everything just perfect!

    • Oh, I love that Peggy! I’ve had these teeney, teeny frogs in my yard this year…they are so cute! I love to hear the frogs when I’m out on the porch so I know you enjoyed your serenade. 🙂 How did he get in the umbrella! I guess he jumped from a tree?

    • He is there often and every year ! I think he even knows us because the little guy never hops away. Just sleeps above us during our Happy Hour! They can really jump far. A tree frog can bring so much happiness!

  13. Those ground squirrels look sort of like our chipmunks…you know, like Chip and Dale! And they are quite destructive for such little guys…always burrowing under sidewalks. The deer are beautiful, but I’ve had to rearrange some of my plantings, and keep certain ones out of our yard altogether. Otherwise, I’m just serving up a buffet for them! 😉

  14. She makes wonderful photos!! We just moved to a townhouse, after living in “wildlife central” for 31 years. I miss our deer, squirrels, frogs, raccoons, possums, foxes and the occasional coyote. Now all I see are dogs and insects.

  15. Susan, Oregon is a beautiful state with such lush natural beauty. The pictures are awesome and I agree, the last photo belongs in a magazine. We have a huge problem here with deer. They crisscross our property on a daily basis. Once this spring a large buck was relaxing just outside my bathroom window. I tapped on the window to run him away…nope he just laid there for another twenty minutes. He left on his own schedule.
    Thanks for sharing their lovely grounds, xoGinger

  16. Both the gardens and the wildlife are just beautiful!
    When I lived in Alaska, we had Sitka blacktail deer come into town, and sometimes brown bears (grizzly bears) too. Nobody complained about the deer except hunters (they were not allowed to hunt them in town), but I don’t think anybody was too fond of bears raiding the trash cans or simply walking down the street like they owned it.

  17. Hi Susan. Great photos, the last one especially is so beautiful. We have a skunk tenant at the moment. He is living under the shed in our yard and he comes out and digs our yard up every night. My husband and I looked over our fence last night to see if we could see him. We looked down at the same time and up popped his tail, two feet in front of us. We both took off in different directions. It was pretty funny (since we didn’t get sprayed). Thanks so much for sharing this post.


  18. Beautiful pictures of fur babies here in Oregon Susan. We have lots running every morning on the roof and jumping tree to tree. You have all the rain and were getting 90s next week. Crazy for here in Oregon. Have you ever visited Oregon?

    • Wow, that’s hot! I have a good friend who lives in Bend, Oregon. We visited her and skied Mt. Bachelor. We also went for walks on the lava areas around the volcano. 🙂 I love the scenery there and in Northern CA, too.

  19. What gorgeous wildlife in a gorgeous yard! When I lived in Chicago we used to have the ground squirrels. We had a chestnut tree in our front yard that they loved to feast on the nuts breaking open the very sharp spikey nut covering. They would collect the nuts and bury them and also liked butter cookies which I would sometimes feed them! The pictures of the beautiful deer in your friends’ yard are beautiful! I love the deer in the yellow flowers, but the deer with the purple lavender flowers is a gorgeous photo! I wish I could grow lavender like that, but mine all seem to die especially living in the hot desert. Thanks for sharing!

    Pat F.
    Las Vegas

  20. Bonnie’s yard is amazing. The landscaping looks like it came out of a botanical garden. I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the wildlife that visit her yard. The pictures are truly beautiful. I am so glad we don’t have razor back pigs in our yard. Coming face to face with a big old pig like that would scare the daylights out of me!

  21. What beautiful gardens and wildlife!

  22. Living in mountainous WVa, we have the same in our yard as our home is in a very wooded area. No black boars! But
    plenty of black snakes!
    One squirrel has “resided” in our back yard for years–we know its the same one because part of
    his tail was bitten off when a dog as chasing him.

  23. What a glorious yard! I live in central Phoenix and we don’t have squirrels, chipmunks or deer. I’m fron Ohio and miss the squirrels and chipmunks. Thanks for sharing these lovely photos!

  24. I haven’t seen squirrels in this neck of the Woods, but I understand there are in wooded areas. Now, deers I have seen here, as we live in a mountain place. Yes, your friend’s garden is gorgeous and the last photo is unbelievably beautiful! Have a great week ahead.

  25. What a gorgeous yard Bonnie has, and I really got a kick out of those squirrels!

    We think we saw a razorback pig yesterday, but we didn’t know what it was until we saw this picture.

    I agree that deer are such beautiful creatures, but I sure wish they didn’t like the same plants I do!

  26. Wow, that wildlife is amazing. We get the squirrels but thats about it!

  27. What lovely pictures and such a variety of animal visitors. We have ground squirrels or chipmunks here in central Alabama.

  28. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    I agree that one picture of the deer in front of the plants belongs in a magazine. Wow, it’s stunning! What sort of plant is that behind the deer, do you know? It reminds me of the purple things that grow from monkey grass or vitex purple chaste trees, but it’s an inbetween size, lol. Very beautiful. I’m so glad Bonnie and Leon shared. 🙂

    • I think it’s lavender. Hopefully Bonnie will see this comment and let us know. That picture is gorgeous! I’d love a copy to frame and hang on the wall!

    • Hi Pam and Susan, It is lavender. The best plant for dry, hot places with a bonus fabulous scent!
      Susan, I’ll send you the full sized print. I took it with a telephoto lens and it’s not as sharp as I’d like.

  29. Seeing all the animals reminds me of our squirrels in our back yard in Cleveland, OH. We had a backyard but behind that and all the houses on our street was a woods. We had ground squirrels that came right up to us to get food. I used to watch them from my bedroom window at back of house. It’s so great to be able to watch wild animals in your yard.
    When hubs and I lived in Mt on Canyon Ferry Lake a lot of wild critters came up to or close to our house. A coyote came up onto our back porch, think it was more scared of our dog than we were of it, it was winter so most likely hungry. Also had an antelope that brought her babes up to show off every spring. I would stay far enuf away so as not to scare her but she’d stand with them for a few minutes while I talked to her. The babies were so beautiful along with her. I sure miss that. We had a shed in our back yard in KY, a raccoon decided one of boxes in shed was good place to have her baby, so cute but not to be messed with in case mama was close by. Raccoon mamas can be pretty scarey. All we get where we live now (west of Grand Junction, CO) are nasty stinky skunks, phewy are they bad, can smell them all over. When we smell them we bring dog/cat in.
    Loved all the great pics, especially the one with blue grass and the deer. In AZ they call wild pigs havelinas.
    Oregon is gorgeous, spent part of summer there on farms when I was 10 (in 1950), had lots of relatives there then. They had strawberries the size of big apples.

  30. What fun! We just moved from a place very much like this — we had everything but the lavender! Really really miss my critters! Thanks for these photos 🙂

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