We welcomed many wildlife friends, from large to small, from raccoons to praying mantids. We lived in harmony with them for 36 years. Each creature contributed to the balance of this place and, because we respected them, they were calm and trusted us. It is possible to co-exist with wild creatures, even on a small place. If the raccoons or skunks start hanging around the houses, only then did we transport them to a wildlife refuge five to ten miles away. Over the years we've had badgers, porcupines, foxes, coyotes, deer and even elk in the orchard (the deer fence has stopped deer and elk from visiting). Raccoons worked with us to clean up windfall in the orchard. Only a few minutes' walk along the ditch and up the hill, the elk and deer still play on DOW public land—a great evening stroll with stunning views of the San Juan Mountains. The photos on this page are the wildlife both on the hill and the farm, all creatures great and small.
Elk on the hill
Above is the winter elk herd on the hill above the farm and the glorious view of the San Juan Mountains.

One of our favorite small creatures is the hard-working praying mantis, an intelligent wee beastie that seems to be more human than insect. We love to walk with them scampering across our shoulders while we do the irrigation or pick the harvest. We gather to watch them emerge from their egg cases in spring: the tiny babies with huge eyes break through their cells and make an en masse exodus. These highly beneficial insects should be part of all organic farming, for they devour pests like mini-wolves and vanquish grasshoppers even when the mantis is smaller than the prey.
emerging emerging



Some of our furry friends:
Coyote skunk baby
our fox Easter squirrel

The native Rock Squirrels are the Clowns of the farm, and can become quite friendly. Currently we have only one left in residence, since the coyote, fox, and owls take them out for lunch. That's nature...
Snowpea Our Prince
morning massage Snowpea


Easter bunny

Easter Eggs

Reptiles and amphibians are a great set of friends for the organic farm:
Chorus frog leopard frogs

Garden snakes



Wee friend



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