When I moved to the country I knew things were going to be different. Although I had encountered wildlife living on the edge of the city I was warned that it would be more extreme in the foothills; owls the size of pterodactyls would swoop down and carry away the dog, there would be cougars hiding in trees waiting to pounce on unsuspecting victims, and if you weren't home bears might sneak into the house to make themselves sammidges.
I also learned that most people in the area name their acreages. I decided that I needed to name mine too but it's a lot harder than you think. I tried to brainstorm ideas but nothing was sticking. I'd come up with a name like "Happy Tails Ranch" and then shoot it down right away -- it sounds like a brothel house and I don't really have a ranch.
In the meantime I had my first wildlife encounter on the acreage. I opened the door to let my dog Jasper out before bed and he immediately bolted across the yard in pursuit of something. Luckily, I called Jasper back and he returned to the house. Whatever he was chasing ran over a hill in the forest and started making a very strange animal sound. It sounded like a dog crossed with a cat that was possessed by a poltergeist with a smoker's cough. This went on for almost 20 minutes.
The next morning I was out on the deck having coffee and the animal from the night before was wandering through the yard. It turned out it was a fox and this particular fox had a den right on the edge of my property. What's more is this fox was a mommy fox who had three pups at home still (no wonder she was so mad at our dog). The whole thing inspired me to come up with the name: The Barking Fox. I like it because it will remind me of the first nights I was out here and it kind of sounds like a pub. Now I just need to make a cool sign :)
The fox has since moved dens but I still see her a couple times a week and she still barks at me. She kept her pups near the den in thick bush so I didn't get great photos (I also didn't want to intrude on their privacy) but it was fun watching them play from a distance.