The bats that have been swooping over my swimming pool the past few evenings are larger than the bats I recorded last year. On top of that, they touched the water’s surface. It’s been so hot and dry lately that I suspect these bats were taking a drink before heading out to feed on bugs.

As I watched the bats at dusk, I started thinking about all the animals that live in my backyard. On any given day, I might see frogs, toads, box turtles, skinks, chipmunks, rabbits or hawks. The frogs’ mating call each winter is a nice reminder that spring is getting closer.

When I was a kid growing up in the New York suburbs, birds and squirrels were the only wild animals I would see. One of my very favorite things about visiting my grandparents in Noyac was the likelihood of catching toads and box turtles on their property. The younger me would have been happy to know about the abundance of fauna that the older me sees every day.

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