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Power Ranking The Wild Animals That Co-Inhabit Your Sprawling Rural Property

I bought a bigger piece of property west of Aurora last summer in unincorporated Kane County. It’s a quant and cozy 1920’s style farmhouse on 2 acres in the woods, surrounded by fuckin nature. 

I should watch my language but I’m compelled to keep it informal with you guys on the topic. There’s gorgeous shit everywhere and I should open up about it. 

So here we go. A power ranking blog of the 9 exotic species that co-inhabit my rural property. 

A couple notes before we begin: 

  • I’ll address it more when the spirit sticks, but Cook County is a complete hell hole and I was open to something different than a $5K+ mortgage payment to split a Lakeview 3-flat. 

  • My property taxes are approximately 80% less than what Roscoe Village would charge me

  • I technically don’t have a local government and I personally find that to be an advantage. Take that for what it is: a personal preference

  • I’m interested in owning goats but not chickens

  • I’m equidistant from the clubhouses at Black Sheep and Rich Harvest Farms, which is a douchebag comment but a lot of guys are exclusively familiar with this part of Illinois because of those two golf clubs. That’s context. 

  • It’s very safe

  • I hit full 60 degree wedges on the front yard, which is another douchebag comment at the expense of context 

  • If you enjoy the idea of me struggling, you will be rewarded to know that I grossly underestimated nearly every aspect of manual labor and the related underlying masculine traits that facilitate a rural transition. In other words I’ve gotten my dick smashed into my lungs just about every time I’ve done anything for the 1st/2nd/3rd/10th/etc. times. There’s some gains along the way but not without explicitly acknowledging the cost of incompetence and my personal struggle. 

  • As an example, I was so happy to figure out how to start the riding lawn mower the day we moved in. I called my wife outside to celebrate my achievement even though I can’t yet bag a blade of grass much less park. I’m just doing donuts in the driveway. QUICK! Take a picture for my dad.

  • Okay so as an example, that guy I just described above is a complete fucking moron who should take that stupid smile off his face and go make some friends at the Ace Hardware pronto. He should be diligent in the leaf collection/waste management process and far less concerned with mowing patterns and white-tail deer migration. That guy didn’t know shit. He's an idiot and I hate his optimism.
     
  • There’s a lot of examples on that same continuum. Surely more another time. Right now I want to focus my experience here to the wildlife that shares the land with me.

  • I’m basically Kevin Costner from Dances with Wolves with a minor in Field of Dreams. Somewhere in-between but closer to the peace pipe. 

  • That’s enough context. Let’s talk some fuckin nature. 

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Here are the top 9 species I share my land with:

9. Squirrel

JOHANNES EISELE. Getty Images.

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We’ll be quick because everyone has a squirrel population. I spread all that butter on the introductory bread just to hit you with squirrel but I would be remiss not to give you a classic fastball off the top with a little bit of arm side run. That’s the squirrel and mine are gigantic. They thrive off the oak tree acorns and are extremely playful at all hours of the day. I have bonded with a number of them and have found them to be quite amusing. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention in the city or maybe these squirrels are different. Either way, I’ve got a different appreciation for the lifestyle and I often find myself distracted by their shenanigans. 

8. Chipmunk

Shutterstock Images.

Reading an animal’s page on wikipedia can be quite daunting. There’s a lot of scientific words and classifications and scrolling before you get to the meat and potatoes: Interactions & Behaviors with Humans. In that spirit, I would like to take the complete opposite approach and just tell you up front that the Chipmunk is a genius cousin of the Squirrel. He is cunning and intuitive and adorable. The closer you get to a Chipmunk, the more Alvin makes sense as a brand. In my personal experience, I have a family that will chew threw any standard-issue 5-gallon bucket within a 24-hour period to access bird seed. I spent a week rigging different non-lethal contraptions to deter their ferocity and I was defeated each time. So while I’m recognizing their beauty, I’m equally impressed with the ingenuity and tenacity. Chipmunks would thrive on special teams. 

7. House Finch

Shutterstock Images.

1st bird on the list. You’re gonna get a couple more. I talked a little about this in a bird blog re: Clem’s big investment so no need to belabor the point here. Rather just hit you with that high resolution image one more time: 

Shutterstock Images.

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I know all the crows are dead (probably because they weren’t real in the first place) but that ain’t no crow my guys. That’s a House Finch and she’s not going to fuck you.

6. Woodpecker

Shutterstock Images.

These are real and they’re extremely loud. That may read and sound like I’m a complete moron but you have to understand that I’m a complete moron on this entire topic. Classic 1st timer here. You want to judge, go right ahead. But this amateur hour isn’t stopping over common Woodpecker knowledge. I just want to say the color of the head is so rich and colorful. The sound reminds you of the surroundings and more importantly, the expansiveness of nature. That Woodpecker could be 3 city blocks off target, laying into a cedar maple like it’s rooted in your living room. That’s power. That’s perspective. 

5. White Tail Deer

Robert Woeger. Unsplash Images.

Could easily be lower or higher but I just don’t know much about the species other than people like to kill them. Part of me understands why. I have a family of 6 that regularly inhabits the property at night because I have a keep a protective lighting system on their behalf. That’s a true story. But then I see them on the front lawn and all I want to do is kill them and eat them. That’s definitely inside of me. But they’re also really cool looking and it’s kinda crazy how normal it is that I see deer walking around like we’re buddies from high school. What confuses me is that I don’t know how destructive and invasive they can be from a residential standpoint. If I was planting corn then yeah I’d probably scope the rifle and take a couple down. But we’re just having cocktails and listening to music on the front porch. I’m not in a position to be overly particular about their impact but very open minded to counter points. If you feel strongly about my need to kill these deer then by all means, please let me know. 

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4. Hummingbird

Candi Foltz. Unsplash Images.

I keep a nectar in the fridge and special post on the front lawn just for this bird. They’re very active later in the summer into the fall. It’s been months since I’ve seen one but I still fill the nectar every week and wait by the window. If you don’t believe me then you don’t know this bird. It is magnificent in every sense of the word. The rapid chaos to its flight while maintaining perfect stillness will never register in my brain. Some of nature’s most powerful dichotomy can be found in the hummingbirds flight pattern. I can keep going but honestly you should find out for yourself. Hummingbirds are special. I mean it. 

3. Falconry/Hawks:

Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves. Getty Images.
Hard to put this one together because I just don’t know enough about the bird types. But there’s a cell tower about a click southwest that houses 3 majestic predatory birds that routinely circle the skies. Look out the window and good chance you’re gonna see one of them on patrol. It’s fucking awesome. My dad knows because his aunt gifted the family a complete edition of Encyclopedia Britannica in 1959 and he wasn’t allowed to watch TV. There’s a lot more in the story but enough for you to understand I can easily consult him on most things related to the animal kingdom. It’s a testament to his generation as much as his intelligence. Why do you know that? “Because I read about it.” That’s some OG shit. Anyways he said it’s most likely a regional hawk, but the length of the tail in relation to the WIDTH of the wingspan could mean it’s a nonresident Peregrine family that settled in migration. It’s not atypical where there’s an abundance of protected game animal, allegedly.

Whatever the classification, they hunt. They lurk. They watch. I like that. 

2. Fox

Giphy Images.

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Maybe a stupid entry here but there’s a red fox between property lines that loves to saunter and prance. He’s very cocky and smart and I like him a lot. I just don’t know how to bond more with the Fox and that kinda disappoints me because I would be very good to this Fox if given the chance. Should that day come, we will make a great friendship. Until then, I respectfully keep my distance. I take his presence as an honor and a testament to the rich wildlife that enables his existence. He’s not trying to fuck with me and I’ve got no problem with him. Just two dudes out trying to make the most out of this life, looking for a little sweet action. That’s what I think of the Fox and I can’t wait to get him out of the hole and back prancing through the wild flowers. 

Damn did you hear Carl has wild flowers??

1. Owl

Ronan Furuta. Unsplash Images.

I would gladly sacrifice a pair of every animal on this list if it made my resident Owl happy. There’s a gigantic white owl and I assume his (or her) bitch that chills in this one oak tree on the back part of the property. They hoot and howler all night and then talk to you in the morning. No bullshit. I go for coffee in the morning and throw a HOOT HOOT and they usually hit me back with a Good Morning Boss. 

We have a great relationship and it’s been recently improved with a set of WW2 binoculars my dad gave me. Apparently my great uncle was a lieutenant on a sub destroyer in the battle of the Atlantic. Or something. He married into the family after the fact so kinda hard for me to act like it’s in my blood. 

But more importantly is that my dad got his officer’s binoculars when he died, and now they’re mine and they should be illegal. I’ll go as far as to say the Houston Astros don’t have the ethics to posses this optical technology. 

They’re so powerful I can look and see your moms panties right now and actually testify in front of jury of peers that they’re too moist. I have that much conviction in my site lines and that’s why I’m putting the Owl #1. I’ve gotten such a good close look at the owl over the last few months and it’s breathtaking every time. The head turns are real. The silence is real. The communication and wingspan and dive bomber runs are all real. It’s awesome. Owls rock and I’m luck to have a pair. 

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That’s my top 9 wildlife co-inhabitants. If any of this is completely off base or I need to kill these animals, please give me a heads up. I’m doing the best I can with what I know.