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I sometimes think of myself as a "suburban naturalist"...........A few years ago my husband and I submitted information to the Nature Conservancy and became a certified "Backyard Wildlife Habitat". We have less than a half acre of land (including our house) and have kept about a fourth or so wild, which means that all form of life is welcome back there....... We affectionately refer to it as the "back 40". We rarely enter it, leaving it for the resident groundhogs, birds, wild turkeys (we had a female with 11 young this summer), and deer (2 fawns were born within feet of our house until they were able to stand and the doe moved them to the "back 40"). We've had Red-Tailed hawks nest as well as a Great Horned Owl two consecutive summers and we've seen fox and coyote passing through as well. In the midst of our populated suburban landscape (we are 16 miles from NYC) our wildness is a haven for us as well as the animals that choose to be here. As I write this the doe walks past my window. The sunlight hightlights her ears transparent orange as she passes. She pauses to sniff the air and stares directly at me. In the winter I call the deer each day and throw apples to them. I call them "Darlins". Some of our neighbors, on the other hand, are supporting the deer "hunts" that have begun this past year, another scheduled for November of this year. The wildness, the animals, the variation of vegetation all keep me grounded and connected in a very necessary way in this area of the country that is fast-paced, technologically dependent, and over-crowded. Thanks for the opportunity to reflect and share the bounty we have in our lives. Elaine Spieler Jones