Look too quickly, and you may think it's photoshop. But in fact, these animals are real and are exploring a wonderful Christmas display in one curious animal lover's backyard.
Ashburn resident Donna Eberle knew her backyard was a natural oasis for wildlife. "I have always been a huge animal lover," says Eberle. "When my husband and I moved to Ashburn four years ago, I was so excited to find the abundance of wildlife in our area."
Over the past few years, she's been capturing animals in their natural habitat on cameras she's set up along her home. "Throughout the year regular visitors include several foxes, opossums, raccoons, skunks and deer, all stopping by almost nightly," she explains.
This year, she's given the wildlife a little holiday cheer by dressing up their traditional stomping grounds. Eberle installed a Christmas tree with lights that has lured the animals in with their natural curiosity and has created some fascinating snapshots along the way.
As they're too good to keep for her private enjoyment, Eberle has been sharing the photos on social media as a way to brighten the holiday spirits of others this Christmas.
"I started sharing some of their antics on my personal Facebook page and after seeing the positive reactions from many of my friends I decided to start sharing my footage on the Nextdoor app and created an "Animals of Ashburn" page on Facebook," she explains. "My hope is that these posts will not only bring a little positivity to people's days but that they may also serve a greater purpose of inspiring an appreciation for our local wildlife."
Eberle says she also hopes that the photographs and videos can serve as "an educational tool to help overcome the negative perceptions some people have regarding wildlife," which she assumes "comes from a lack of exposure and understanding; as is the case with most things," she says.
Seeing the joy that all the photos bring, Eberle plans to continue to share pictures and videos she captures throughout the holiday season and beyond.
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