Wonder and Whimsy

Our Backyard Has Become a Nature Sanctuary: Pictures of our Wildlife Visitors and Other Magical Happenings

My husband and I live in the suburbs, close to downtown. There are some things about my neighborhood that aren’t always ideal. For instance, sometimes our neighborhood can be a little noisy and wild.

But one thing I love about my house is that we have a spacious back yard with lots of trees in it.  We do our best to make the most of the yard.

My husband built some swings and monkey bars for us to play around on.

Outdoor gym equipment

And we like having friends over for something we call backyard gym where we swing, play on the monkey bars, and play with parachutes, juggling, and other fun equipment. I think grown ups need to play, just like children do.

We have also been doing some renovations in our yard this summer. We tore down an old shed that has been there for over thirty years (and was falling apart) and put up a new one.

Shed #1

Shed #4.jpg


I planted a little garden, which I haven’t been able to do for a while, and my tomatoes and basil are coming along nicely.

Garden #1

Garden #2

I’m pretty new to gardening, but I like learning as I go along.

And the other day I built a stone labyrinth in the corner of our yard that I am enjoying so much.

L #2 (2)

You can read more about our labyrinth here.

I love all these things about my back yard, but what I probably love about it most is the wildlife that visits.

We have a wild bunny that frequents our yard regularly. He likes to meditate in our flower garden and hop around the rest of the yard. Here are some pictures of him:

backyard bunny

All of these wildlife pictures are courtesy of my husband.

Bunny #1.jpg

Bunny #2.jpg

Recently, our bunny has been bringing a friend, and they explore the yard together (we haven’t been able to get a picture of them together yet).

We also have a groundhog that visits our about once a month or every other month to check out what’s new. Here are some recent pictures of him:

Groundhog #1.jpg


Today we looked out our back window and, I kid you not, there was Mr. Groundhog in our stone labyrinth.

Today my husband realized that there was a nest of baby birds in a tree in our yard, and he got this beautiful picture, which I love:

Bird #1

I am actually quite surprised at all the magic that happens in our yard.

It often feels like cool things happen that I don’t expect or make happen. Like we just suddenly started having back yard gyms one day, and that was really fun. And they continue to grow and evolve into delightful, adventurous times with our friends.

And I didn’t really know how to grow a garden, but I started planting stuff one summer and learning, and now that is part of the back yard magic.

And I can’t really explain how my back yard has become a nature sanctuary all of a sudden. I just enjoy it.

I do know that the older I get, the more I try to practice curiosity, playfulness, awareness gratitude, hope, love, and wonder. And I can’t really explain this either, but I think that is part of the magic, too.

I’m grateful.


Where has magic showed up unexpectedly in your life lately? I would love to hear about it.

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13 thoughts on “Our Backyard Has Become a Nature Sanctuary: Pictures of our Wildlife Visitors and Other Magical Happenings”

  1. I love this post and all your pictures. There is something about nature that is so soothing and feeds our souls.

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