We've had a few deer, a chipmunk emerging after the winter, and our regular Red Squirrel visitors in the yard over the past 2-3 weeks. They always liven up our view of life outside our doors.
We know there are deer around, and see their tracks quite frequently when snow conditions are right. But we rarely see them, as they seem to visit in the bluish light of early morning before dawn.
On this occasion, I just noticed one outside the kitchen window, but as I hurried to get the camera, another appeared. And then another, and finally there were four deer strung out across the lawn, moving slowly toward the pine trees. They all appear to be yearlings, and all looked quite healthy to me; it's been an easy winter for them.
The Red Squirrel comes to the feeder, or at least the ground below the feeder, where it's been coming to feast on spilled seeds all winter long. My bird feeders seem to be successfully squirrel-proof.
I like the little Red Squirrels, who chatter and scamper and chase each other through the garden. We hardly ever see the bigger Easter Grey Squirrels, which here seem to be part of the black sub-group.
I've seen up to 3 squirrels at once, but only one ever comes to feed at the same time. It usually stays on the ground, but occasionally it does climb up onto the deck railing searching for more seeds.
And just a few days ago I saw this Eastern Chipmunk, right beside the back door. It seems to be making a burrow under the garden, right beside the basement.
I may discover that I have to re-introduce my chipmunk relocation program this spring, if it starts trying to get inside the house. One year they found a route, and we had to capture one inside! But usually they stay over in the stone fencerow, where they're perfectly safe, and away from the house.