Our first excursion to a local pond resulted in captured (and released) frogs, minnows, long black leeches, and a tiny red salamander. Even while running on back country roads I have stopped to turn a red eared slider turtle back towards the safety of the grass and jumped over a grass snake no thicker than a pencil. I didn’t touch the alligator snapping turtle possibly laying eggs in the gravel bank on the other end of our road, but watched for a while before resuming my run home. Last summer the coyote den at the bottom of a field was abandoned, leaving us to believe that now there were humans in residence so close by, they had retreated to the safety of the deep woods, but we found out the other night that another family has moved in and is raising pups, evidenced by the sight of fresh dirt. I don’t mind most of the other animals that we share our land with, but coyotes give me terrible premonitions of them attacking the children.
The kids aren’t scared of all the critters out there, with the possible exception of coyotes and the blackflies that like to take bites out of their necks.