For five years I lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My house stood on a 0.63-acre lot in a residential neighborhood first developed in the 1950s. The name of the neighborhood, Magnolia Woods, is apt. Nature lovers seek homes there, particularly motivated by the lush canopy of trees. The lots are large enough to facilitate relatively high-functioning ecosystems. Birds abound, owls hooting from dusk until dawn. Frogs croak after each rain, accompanied by buzzing insects during the warmer months. Possums and raccoons rifle through the garbage when containers are not properly closed. Snakes slither from yard to yard, and coyotes even wander along the forested drainage watershed abutting the neighborhood (Dawson Creek), only six miles from downtown Baton Rouge. Dense, rich plant life and a wide range of tree species provide both food and shelter for animal inhabitants.
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