“Hi fishies, are you hungry?” I ask the goldfish in the garden pond as I sprinkle their food onto the waters surface. We have so many critters in the garden. They are just as much a part of the garden as the plants are. Most days as I stroll the gardens I can see frogs, toads, squirrels, chipmunks, many kinds of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and who knows what. I usually have something to say to all of them.

Yes, I talk to the animals, and I bet you do too. “Here’s some sunflower seeds,” I announce to the cardinals and chickadees, and to any other birds within earshot, as I fill the feeders. “You better be eating a lot of mosquitoes,” I say to the little frogs sitting on the waterfall in the goldfish pond.

Sometimes I don’t really say it out loud, I just think it to myself. “You’re a pretty little butterfly,” I said, or maybe I just thought it. “Do you enjoy the flowers in our garden?” I asked the butterfly. But he just flew away, fluttering here and there, until he landed on another flower. They never talk back.

“Get out of here,” I yell to the neighbors cat, who is hiding under the trellis, hoping to catch a bird. I don’t like cats. They are always after something in the garden.

I was watering the roses when I saw something hop out from underneath the bush. “Hello little toad, did I wake you up?” I see toads often when I water the plants.

As the Sun goes down the critters begin to disappear. I guess they go wherever critter go at night. But other critter appear at nighttime. And some of them I do not like.

“Get away from that goldfish pond,” I shout from the sunroom window to the darned raccoon. The raccoons and possums visit often at night. “Get out of here!” I wish the raccoons would find a friendlier yard to visit. But they are still a part of the garden.

Am I crazy for talking to the animals? I hope not. But if I am, so be it. And if one of my critters ever moves to your garden, tell him I said “hello”.