Ashburn, VA

Virginia woman's wildlife cameras continue to spread joy into the New Year

Uplift Loudoun

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Donna Eberle's outdoor cameras capture nightly visitors.Donna Eberle
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Two raccoons enjoying themselves in Ashburn woman's backyardDonna Eberle

What do you get when you set up an outdoor party display to celebrate the New Year? A few furry visitors in the case of one Ashburn woman's backyard.

Donna Eberle has been capturing epic photos like this for a number of years. Recently, her photos have captured national attention after Uplift Loudoun shared a story with the photos that she captured during the holiday season.

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Raccoons ring in 2022 in one Ashburn woman's backyard.Donna Eberle

"The positive response to the photos and videos has been really overwhelming," says Eberle. "The responses from people have touched my heart in a way I cannot express."

Although elated with the excitement surrounding her photos and videos, Eberle says she can't say she is really surprised, however. "I believe that is the effect nature can have on us if we take time to look," she explains.

With the popularity of the now viral images, Eberle has made official accounts so anyone can follow along on social media.

In addition to providing laughs and happiness, Eberle is also finding meaningful ways to use the photos to impact the lives of others.

Recently after sharing her photos on the Nextdoor app, someone had contacted her regarding a loved one recovering in the hospital from brain surgery. The stranger told Eberle that the photos brought a smile to her husband's face.

"For her to share that with me meant the world as did the fact that something seemingly so small that I had set up was able to have such a positive impact on what I can't even imagine must be a terribly tough time for this couple," she says.

To bring more joy to the stranger she never met, Eberle created a "get well soon sign" for the woman's husband, Michael. Of course, the little wildlife friends showed up to pose with the sign.

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Eberle created a get well sign for a stranger recovering from brain surgery.Donna Eberle

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Another nightly visitor to express well wishes to Michael.Donna Eberle

"To be able to have such an impact on someone during a trying time in their life without ever having met or spoken to them is such an overwhelming feeling and I wanted to thank them for letting me know and hopefully lend a positive hand towards his recovery," she says.

If you love seeing wildlife in photos like this, then you'll be happy to learn that there will be a lot more of them. Eberle says she plans to share photos and videos throughout 2022, including older videos "because some of them are just too hilarious and cute that keeping them to myself would truly be a crime," she says.

Furthermore, Eberle says animal lovers can expect to see more themed pictures. She says she has received some help from her neighbor who is a professional party planner. The neighbor helped with the New Year display.

Eberle also wants to remind everyone that the safety of the animals is always a top priority. "For the NYE display, for example, all items were nailed down and if paint is used, it is never on a surface from which the animals would eat," she told Uplift Loudoun.

The photos and videos are "truly a labor of love," says Eberle.

To follow along with the journey, follow these links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mynaturecam

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/animals_of_ashburn/

Twitter: @mynaturecam

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