When we first moved to our home (that later became Rosehaven Cottage), we realized that we had the privilege of living amidst a great deal of wildlife diversity.
Our gardens were part of the territory of an established feral cat colony that was being watched over by a loving neighbor but she had been unable to spay/neuter two of cats in the colony--one of which was a big black tom cat that considered our garden "home base". Tom Tom was later tamed, neutered, and is now "retired" from his tom cat ways; only going out on supervised strolls in the garden.
We also had a wonderful variety of birds, insects, and night creatures that frequented the garden even in it's early barren state.
With the addition of a 1,200 gallon pond in the second year, came new animals including the WalMart goldfish that thrive and reproduce in it. Adding a water source also increased the diversity of wildlife that frequented our garden. We now have black phoebe birds that feed on wasps, mosquitoes, and flies. Another mosquito eater we enjoy are the dragonflies that breed in our pond as well as feed throughout the upper air space over the garden every night during the spring, summer, and early fall. The tiny Pacific treefrogs found the pond very quickly and serenade us every night from late January until May during breeding season.
We also have brightly colored orioles and flocks of bushtits that forage in our rosebushes. The bushtits are looking for aphids and other bad bugs which helps to keep our garden free from pesticides.
The various finches that are native to our area love when flowers go to seed, so we plant sunflowers for them. And hummingbirds regularly buzz down into the garden to get a drink from the hose when we're spraying and watering.
The goldfish in the pond are so prolific that they provide a food source for the egrets that wade in the pond during the day and the raccoons and skunks that amble through at night. We also have the occasional clumsy oppossum that waddles through too.
During the day we often come across a lazy lizard sunning itself on one of the sunning rocks that we've placed strategically around the vegetable and flower beds.
The rodent population is kept down by a sweet little feral cat named Oreo that was born into the feral cat colony shortly before the last feral female was spayed. Occasionally, she will bring us a "gift" and leave it on our front porch.
Inside Rosehaven Cottage, we have inside-only cats (7 in total) that enjoy the luxury of a life free from the dangers of fights, cars, and contracted diseases. They laze about and watch the world go by from perches that we've strategically placed by windows so they can enjoy the garden habitat too. Although we never intended to have 7 cats, they are very well-mannered, loyal, and sweet companions which we feel very blessed to have stewardship over.
In fact, we feel very blessed to have the choice experience of being stewards over all the animals that call Rosehaven Cottage home.