If you're like me, you enjoy the parade of "critters" that pass through your backyard during the warm months. (And the Kennedy cats like nothing better than watching their outdoor friends from the sun porch. It provides hours of enjoyment for them.)
But what happens to our furry outdoor friends in the winter? It's getting chilly here in the northeast and evening temperatures are dropping into the thirties.
Here are some quick things you can do to make life easier for the raccoons, possums, feral cats, chipmunks, squirrels and birds who call your backyard "home."
First, keep putting out seeds, raisins, nuts, dried corn and whatever goodies you've been providing during the summer months. The natural food sources (berries, fruits) will be more difficult for the animals to find, so I always add more food to the trays. Don't put the food too close to the house. Bob Giddings reminded me that it's not a good idea! So I set up the feeding stations in the woods behind the house. This visitor came a little too close to the deck and was staring in the glass doors at my cats. Later in the day, she came back with her fawns.
Secondly, if you're pruning back bushes, don't discard the branches. Save them and make a brush pile somewhere in the yard. It will provide instant protection from the rain and the cold for so many little creatures.
And finally, don't forget to save your christmas tree and add it to the pile. A great way to recycle!
Oh, and one more thing. It's really important for your backyard visitors to have water. If you have an outdoor plug, you can use a heated water dish. You can find several online for under twenty dollars.
Hope these tips help! Next week, I'll share some ideas on helping feral cats in your area. Stay warm!