Watch it with the feet! Sunday, Sep 21 2014 


A denizen of the woods. He and his kind have vanished into the leaves for the most part now; but I did disturb the cutest (and very put out) little tree frog the other day…in the pole beans! I had quite the time picking around him.

You put me in a bucket! Tuesday, Jul 8 2014 

Releasing a snapping turtle for a friend (it had been found as a hatchling in the swimming pool, spent the winter in their house, but had recently demonstrated a lamentable tendency to, well, snap and having gone from being about an inch long to six plus tail and neeeeck, the snap was no longer amusing)

Driving while attempting to keep said turtle in the pan (they assured me it couldn’t climb, it most assuredly could) was interesting. But it is now down in the pond on the lower road, which used to have snapping turtles and has good water and plenty of little critters to eat.


Phoebes Tuesday, Jun 17 2014 

One of the most common flycatchers around here, a little charcoal suited (tuxedo) bird with the classic long flycatcher tail. For years they have nested on the porch pillars of Happy Thought or on top of the big window casement on that porch.  This gives them direct access to the meadow fence line (posts are ideal perches) and the high grass west lawn (a stake for a young white oak makes another good perch).  This year we are up to two pairs nesting in the area.

We had thought that, given the evidence, our resident gray fox (with cub, very fat) which is currently denning under said porch might have caught the Happy Thought phoebe yesterday.

However, it doesn’t appear to be the case.  Or at least is unlikely, I just saw the phoebe sitting happily on the porch rail contemplating the setting sun or the bugs…more likely the bugs….  I, not being a fly catcher, am sitting on the Other side of the screen!

Bachelor Band Thursday, Jan 2 2014 


The tom turkey flock (nine currently) out looking for food.  They follow a well established path around the house, mostly staying to the west of it in the woods and hayfields; but they use our drive to cross the road on their way to the neighbor who feeds them.

Skunks Saturday, Aug 3 2013 

I usually have a fondness for skunks; they do a good job on de-grubbing the lawn.  They are sort of cute and quite smart.

However, for years there has been a running battle on whether they should be able to get under the porch (and thence into the foundation).  Skunks under the house aren’t exactly the best companions.  Still, it was more of a nuisance than anything else (aside from the memorable year in which the hibernating colony all got spooked, woke up, and sprayed…under the main hall).  Not this year.  This year we have an angry skunk. (or possibly a zombie skunk)  Not only is it starting the nightly round of attempting to find an ingress earlier than usual.  It also digs in the garden and inadvertently kills fish by knocking over the fountain.  All of which might be tolerable….Except.  It Reeks.  Think of a cross between a skunk and septic tank, the aroma is powerful and constant.  Sufficiently so that when we have smelled it coming the last few nights, we have closed the doors and windows.  When it sprayed something a week or so ago it, it woke us up.

Not sure exactly what to do with it.  Trapping it is, for the obvious reason that I lack a HazMat suit, not an option.  My mother was able to banish one once by managing to spray it with soap, but that also requires close quarters.  Lead maybe, if I was more confident in my aim, and willing to stake the house out every night.

Distractions Tuesday, Mar 19 2013 

It is currently doing the freezing rain thing.  At least the several inches of snow didn’t stick to the trees, so the weight shouldn’t be too bad.  But we are back to a white and grey landscape.

The distraction factor comes from several very disgruntled chickadees which are hanging out on the west porch, right out side my window.  One of them just came and perched on a chair arm and gave me quite the look.  They are clearly of the opinion that this oughtn’t to be happening.  The cardinals are also of like opinion.  The male cardinals have been quite busy chasing each other and any passing female.  Several inches of snow topped with ice was clearly not in their plans.  I suspect that the chickadee in question is the same one that was determinedly investigating the porch and house for any likely nesting holes a few days ago.  Granted, this is less of a distraction than last year’s woodpecker, he attempted to enlarge a hole in a post right outside the window.*

….I now have three cardinals, two juncos, a titmouse, and several chickadees in the quince and forsythia bushes below the porch.  Every year I think about getting rid of those forsythia, (they bloom for a week or two and then I spend the summer trying to keep them in control and below the porch railing)*, and every winter the birds remind me why I haven’t yet.  The birds adore those bushes.  I suspect that they are on the route between the tall trees to the north of the house and the bird-feeders on the south of the house.  Some chickadees use the Japanese Maples and the redbuds to the east of the house as staging points between the tall conifers and the birdfeeders.  Birds coming from the pines to the north and west probably use the forsythia and the apples.  If I could tell the birds apart, I would bet that there are distinct patterns and territories used by the birds.  There may be east side and west side families for all I know!

The perils of wildlife.*

*the porch posts are box posts, the hole is for the awning poles.  I suspect the woodpecker gave up when he realized that this wonderful hole had no floor.

*The railing is a good six feet high, you would think that would be tall enough…

*Actually, it really is spring.  The bear has raided the trash cans and I nearly walked into him late one night a few days ago.

%d bloggers like this: