. . . I learned from popular culture. I grew up in the suburbs, and then spent a number of years living in cities. We rarely saw anything more exotic than the gray squirrel. Of course our garbage cans got knocked over by raccoons occasionally but we never saw them do it. And years at summer camp led to a passing familiarity with the habits of skunks.
I began noticing some new and different animals when I moved to a semirural area of Connecticut. Deer were ubiquitous—and easily recognizable.
I live close to town in a semi-rural area, but my house is set back from the road and bounded on two sides by a right-of-way owned by our local power company. There is a stream downhill from us on one side. There is another street with houses a ways through the woods, but we only see those houses in the winter when the trees are bare.