Sweet Nature

By Jennifer Howard

Read Time: 3 minutes

Nature. What do you do to relax?

We all need to relax and melt away the day-to-day stresses. Our wildlife can help alleviate tension and anxiety. In fact, watching them can provide the best stress relief in the world. My backyard is certified by the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Certification requires the area to have water to drink and in which to bathe, and shelter such as a brush pile. The designated area should also have natural sources of food, and flowering native plants for bees, birds, and butterflies.

Wherever you live, I highly recommend creating your own little sanctuary of peace. Every morning I sit by one of my three ponds, coffee in hand and read a book. The fish join me for breakfast, swimming so peacefully while the hummingbirds sip sweet nectar from their feeder and seasonal blooming flowers. Butterflies and bees, chipmunks, squirrels, birds also make an appearance. Each day, momma robin comes to the birdbath or pond to bathe while the orioles enjoy their bird jelly and fresh oranges.

During spring migration, the pond area is filled with beautiful, assorted warblers. So colourful and so calming. They feed on insects from inside the newly opening leaves, and of course the pond is a huge attractant for drinks and baths. Much needed revival for that long journey home. The reward for me is getting a bird’s eye view of everyone.  The best relaxation in the world to replenish one’s soul.

At night, our pond is alive with life which I view on my trail camera. Opossum, skunk, mink and raccoon. Even a porcupine came to visit once. Our fishpond is netted to protect the fish. But all are welcome in the other ponds to play and drink, have fun. 

Momma raccoons relax while babies play and cool off on a hot summer’s eve. Presently, we have a mom raising her little ones in our garage attic right now. She is a sweetheart and is causing no issues. She can stay and finish her family raising with us.

So, get out there and make a special space in your garden. Write a journal of your daily wonderful encounters with wildlife of all shapes and sizes. It makes for good reading on a cold winter’s day. After observing the orphaned and injured wildlife at the Centre, it is wonderful to see and be amongst all the life in my garden. Watching babies grow and listening to the beautiful sounds. Blending in with all my wildlife friends as they have learned to accept me into their space. A space I treasure. Water is healing, it is life. Who knows what you will attract? My camera has even picked up a little mouse. He is outside, his home. And boy is he or she busy. And ever so cute!

Open your eyes, put your phone down, get a good book, although you may not get much reading done, and relax with mother nature. You will be rewarded and at peace. And all the day’s stresses will just melt away.

Jen Howard

Procyon Volunteer/Photographer

Sweet Nature