Of course, "rewarded" is a matter of perspective. It doesn't feel very rewarding when you come across Thumper lunching in the vegetable garden or Bambi partaking of your prize perennials. Co-existing with wildlife often requires a keen sense of humour. Although there is an abundance of deer on the property they have (so far) behaved themselves. I like to believe it's because I offer them a safe haven as just up the road from us exists a very active hunting area. Naive? Yes, but it helps me sleep at night!
There is a tree on our property which serves as a warm weather home to a flock of buzzards. I know it doesn't sound very glamorous, but I truly enjoy their annual return. I love the sound their wings make as they take flight each morning and I can time the setting of the sun by their nightly return. Oddly they returned a bit earlier than normal this year and got caught in last weekends snow storm.
This guy was sitting just off the back deck early Sunday morning and I watched from the kitchen table as he worked to de-ice his wings. Each time the sun would peek through the clouds he would open them up and bask in its warmth. It was fascinating to watch and I felt a bit like a peeping tom as I sat there.
Sometime later, after moving to a lower branch he caught sight of me, but seemed unfazed and I felt incredibly privileged that he'd allow my presence. It took several hours, but eventually he did dry out and I watched as he headed upward and began to glide above the treetops. There is beauty, even in a buzzard!
Mother Nature created this haven and the wildlife inhabit it, I am simply a guest. As such, I feel a sense of obligation to live peacefully with them. Now let's hope they feel the same way!