Saturday, May 31, 2008

Here goes...

... soooo carefully! :-)

video

She only wanted ONE!

Robin nest update

Wednesday, 2 days old:

This little one was really hungry!


This morning, 5 days old:


If you look closely at the 2 outside ones, you can
see dirt at the edges of their beaks. They must've
just had a good breakfast of worms! :-)
I fear the little one at the very front of the nest
isn't going to make it, though. It looks a lot
less developed than the others.


Poll Results + a tip

The results of the poll "What are you allergic to?" are as follows:

  • Nothing that I'm aware of (3 votes)
  • Pollen (5 votes)
  • Dust/dust mites (1 vote)
  • Mold/mildew (3 votes)
  • Pet dander (0 votes)
  • Certain food(s) (4 votes)
  • Certain medicine(s) (1 vote)
  • Other (1 vote)

The results are from 10 voters, so some have numerous allergies. I hope those 3 people who have no allergies that they're aware of realize how lucky they are!

A year ago or so, I was surprised to discover an allergy that I have. I'd been having stuffy nose problems for years, never sure exactly what was causing it. I occasionally used oral decongestants, then resorted to Flonase. It worked well, and I used it for about a year, but I really didn't want to be on medication the rest of my life, so I decided to do some online searching to see if I could come up with a good home remedy or something. In the process of searching, I came across a couple of different places that mentioned a slight allergy to milk could cause a stuffy nose. I figured it was worth a try, so I quit drinking milk for a couple of weeks. It really helped! As a test then, just to be sure it was the milk, I started drinking it again, and bam! My head stuffed up as bad as it's ever been. I quit drinking the milk again, and it cleared right up, and I haven't drunk a glass of milk since... and I feel much better! I can still eat cheese and ice cream, etc., which doesn't seem to bother for some reason... or maybe just the smaller quantity doesn't bother as much. But I am soooo glad to have found this out! (I take supplements to make sure I get enough calcium.)

Maybe some of you can benefit from that little bit of info., too. I passed it on to an internet friend awhile back who was also helped a lot!

Thanks to everyone for voting, and I hope you can keep your allergies under control!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Another mystery!!

This is even weirder than the mystery I blogged about a couple months ago!

On Wednesday I went down to the computer in the basement for an email check before going into town for groceries. I closed the door behind me to keep the cats from following me down. I no more than sat down here when I heard Willow scratching at the door, wanting to come down. I ignored her and did a few things on the computer. (Who can do "just an email check" once they sit down in front of the computer?) The next thing I knew, here was Willow down by my feet, begging to get in my lap! I was shocked! I KNOW I left both cats upstairs! I checked the door, and it was indeed still closed and latched. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW SHE GOT DOWN HERE!!!! There is no other way to get down here!!

Can a full-grown, 3-year-old cat flatten herself enough to get under a door that is less than an inch off the floor?!

I think the person who left the mud on the floor in the other mystery was back and very quietly opened the door, let Willow through, and closed it again without my hearing it.

Or maybe I'm losing my mind... or my memory... or blacking out part of my life entirely (though I haven't been drinking lately!) Once again, I am totally baffled. And yes, it bugs me... but not as much as the other mystery.

What do you think?

HELP!!!!

The leaning tower of...

... stacking blocks!

Is it going over???

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fawn update

I was just outside and heard the fawn crying again. I thought, "Uh oh!" So I waded through the long wet grass and alfalfa (it's been rainy/foggy/drizzly all day) to find it. On my way down, I saw Mama Doe again, so that made me feel better. She and I stared at each other for a bit, and then she took off. I continued on to check on her baby, saw it in the distance and called to it... and it came right to me! I loved that! Still didn't touch it, though. It looked to be in good shape, so I'm assuming Mama is taking good care of it. It must just be an insistent little one when it's hungry! :-)

And now I must go change out of my wet jeans and make us some supper, 'cause I'm hungry, too! ;-)

An added note: Hubby said tonight that a friend told him that when a doe has twins, which is quite common, she doesn't keep both fawns in the same place. I did a little Google searching just now and found this article by the Maryland DNR titled Think Twice Before "Rescuing" That White-Tailed Fawn! It said they can be separated by up to 200 feet! So it's possible that there's another baby around here somewhere. That could explain this one's cries... maybe a little extra loneliness and/or hunger pangs because Mama isn't around much.

You learn something new every day! At least this was new to me!

The tower of blocks

It's sooooo pretty!

video

Did she do what you were expecting?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The fawn story

My apologies for keeping you waiting so long for the story behind the fawn videos... it was a busy day. I had to do the grocery run plus buy some flowers and get them planted before the forecasted rains come. Good job done.

So here we go... early this morning I was outside in front of the house and heard this strange noise. It sorta sounded like a bird, but the longer I listened, the more it sounded like an animal. I moved to the edge of the driveway and looked down into the trees for a bit, and suddenly I saw the fawn moving about as it cried. So of course I ran back to the house for my camera. I decided to brave the wet grass and potential for wood ticks and went down through the trees.

As I made my way to the fawn, I saw its mother also heading toward it. But then she saw me and ran off somewhere, so I continued to the fawn. Obviously, it wasn't very afraid of me. I snapped a few pics, then started talking to it, and it started coming toward me, which is when I took the videos. It actually came right up to me and sniffed at my legs, as shown in the center picture below.

It was so adorable, and I wanted soooooo badly to pet it, but I didn't. I was afraid if I did, my scent on it might cause its mother to reject it. So I took a few more pics and left, hoping the doe wasn't far away and would come and take care of her baby.

I listened outside several times during the rest of the day, and I didn't hear anything, so I assumed all was well. Until early this evening. I heard the fawn crying again. So now I don't know if its mother actually came and fed it or not.

Perhaps she hadn't been feeding it before, and that's why it was wandering around and crying? Or maybe she'd just been off grazing somewhere and was just returning to feed it when I found it this morning? And was off again this evening? I have no idea, and I'll just have to wait and see what happens. But I'm kinda worried about it.....

Thursday morning update: All was quiet this morning. Hopefully Mama Doe is doing her job. If I learn anything new, I'll let you know in a new post. Otherwise, let's hope no news is good news.

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

My day's been made!

Here's a little preview for you. Photos and story to come later.

Sorry for the quality of the first video. Hard to focus when it was coming right toward me!


video


video


Grandma's little star is back!

We had lots of fun yesterday! What do you think happened after I took this photo?


She'll never tell.

(Well, maybe tomorrow.)

And do check back later today. I had the most incredible photo shoot this morning! But I have things to do first, so it'll be awhile. ;-)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Speaking of hatching...

I decided to check the robin's nest yesterday, a couple days early, just to make sure all was well, and that I didn't miss anything. Good thing I did... 2 of the eggs had hatched already! Mama Robin must've begun sitting on the nest as soon as she laid the first or second egg.


Not too cute at this stage, huh? ;-)

I didn't peek in the nest this morning. Since it was only 42° outside (aargh!), I didn't want to scare Mama Robin away from keeping her babies warm.

I found a web site with very interesting information about robins and their nesting instincts. Lots of stuff I didn't know. It's worth a read... check it out here.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Peregrine falcon hatch

Today's the day for the peregrine falcon hatch in Great River Energy's nesting box high atop their Elk River, MN, station's power plant! I've been watching occasionally today, and so far I've seen 2 eyases (baby falcons). There are still 2 unhatched eggs. The mother keeps them pretty well-covered, but she moves around a lot, so you can catch a glimpse once in awhile. To see the livecam, click here. There are more details on that page, plus links to photos of last year's hatch and banding. Pretty interesting!

If you want to see another livecam on a nest with 3 nearly-grown eyases, click here. They're pretty fun to watch, because they're stretching their wings and hopping around a lot... atop the City Hall building in San Jose, CA. (They're also leaving a huge mess! Ack!)

Listen and see

This is not a good video. In fact, don't even look at it. There's nothing to see, unless you take note of the blue sky and the RARE lack of wind. I only made it for the sound. LISTEN to it for the clear, pretty song of the baltimore oriole (not to be confused with the chirping of the wren). Right at the end of the video is the most obvious 'oriole' song. And while you're listening, look at the picture below it to SEE the oriole. :-)


video


Hope you've all had a great Memorial Day weekend!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Just pretty

Some pretty pictures for your viewing pleasure. :-)

Who doesn't love a blue sky, especially on a foggy, gloomy morning like we have today? These were taken last Wednesday.

I took these lilac pics this morning. They're not the clearest, because it was windy and I was trying to hold the branches still. And they were wet from the fog which you can see in the background. I didn't know if they were actually going to bloom by Memorial Day or not...

... but they ARE!!!

Barely.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Splish splash...

... and he was back in the bath!

video


The birdbath is finally getting regular use, although as far as I've seen, it's only by this starling. But he's sure a clean one! Numerous times I've seen him splish-splashing. Such fun! Hopefully other birds will see his example and give it a try soon, too.

I've also seen an oriole and a robin taking drinks. Maybe if we ever get some warmer weather, the birdbath will get used more often.

Poll Results

The results of the poll "What is your favorite kind of pie?" are as follows:

  • Apple (0 votes)
  • Blueberry (0 votes)
  • Rhubarb (2 votes)
  • Pumpkin (0 votes)
  • Peach (3 votes)
  • Cherry (1 vote)
  • Lemon meringue (2 votes)
  • Apricot (1 vote)
  • French silk (1 vote)
  • Sour cream raisin (0 votes)
  • Mincemeat (0 votes)
  • Other (0 votes)

Well, I can definitely see there's a lot more interest in pie than there is in spring cleaning! :-)

Thanks to all who voted!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Big Bird

Willow LOVES to sit in the basement window, which is right under the deck, and watch birds (and probably dream of catching them). First she'll stand on her back legs on the table, stretching up and just barely peek over the edge of the window sill to see if there's anything out there. Then she'll hop into the window to watch. She'll lie there patiently waiting for the longest time. And her wait is often rewarded... sometimes birds will even come right up to the window, because they can't see her, and she gets so excited and tense, ready to pounce and no doubt wishing she could.

Yesterday she was lucky(?) enough to see this BIG bird right outside the window! Not quite her typical bird. I think she wasn't sure just what to make of it!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

For those of us having withdrawals

Here's the last little video I have of Courtney from last week Tuesday. This is her and Teddy chillin' after their exhausting "Dancing With the Star" performance.


video



And since I didn't get to have Courtney on my regular day this week, Auntie Kris was wonderful and sent me photos for a quick 'fix'. Thanks, Kris!!

Looks like she's having a great time on her little "vacation", doesn't it? :-)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hummingbirds???

video

"This sure looks like a finch feeder."

"If my beak was only a little bit longer."



"Get me some food, Honey... I'm starving!!!"



"Oh, dear... my sweet mate went a little too far trying to please me this time! How am I ever gonna get him outta there???"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Uh oh!

What's this???


Yikes!


Go away!


Unfortunately, it did go away before Hubby finished chores last night and could get after it with the gun. Actually, I'd have shot it myself if it hadn't been so close to the house at the time. But I sure didn't want that smell around here. So, the camera was the next best thing. ;-)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Robin's egg blue x 4

I found this nest in an evergreen tree in our back yard. Of course Mama Robin wasn't too happy with me when I took this photo, but I was quick, so as to not disturb her for very long. The last egg was laid Friday morning, the 16th, so in 12-14 days from then, there should be babies. I will keep you posted!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dancing With the Star

The star of Grandma G's blog, that is. And who better to dance with her than Teddy Bear?

video

This post is dedicated to all of us who will be missing our little star this week while she and Mommy are away on a pleasure/work-related trip. I know we will be having serious withdrawals by the time they get back! ;-\ Right, Grandma H?

(Willow might not miss her quite so much.) ;-)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Spring progress

We are FINALLY starting to get some leaves on the trees. Thursday morning was so perfect that I just had to wander around outside and capture some of the beauty.





Then that evening as the sun was getting pretty low in the sky, it made the trees almost glow in the light. You can see these trees have a ways to go yet.



But after 80° yesterday, the leaves are popping out in a hurry!

Poll Results

The results of the poll 'Do you do "spring cleaning"'? are as follows:

  • Yes (0 votes)
  • No (1 vote)
  • I try, but never get very far (1 vote)
  • I have good intentions..... (2 votes)
  • What's "spring cleaning"??? (0 votes)

Not too many voters this time. I guess it's a subject most people don't even like to think about! Not to worry... I think it was only a rumor that we were supposed to do it, anyway. :-)

Thanks to those who voted. The results made me feel better. ;-)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Another new bird!

New for me, at least! I decided to take a box of stuff out to our "junk pile" out behind our grove. I wanted to get it done before the grass got too tall and the chance of getting ticks got greater. I took my camera along, thinking maybe I'd see a nest or something interesting to photograph. I sure did see something interesting! Flying low over our pasture was this huge white hawk. I was a long ways from it, but managed to get a couple shots before it flew away.

I had to consult my birdbook again, and still not being too sure what it was, I did a Google image search. Now I'm pretty sure it's a Northern Harrier. Cool!

You can't see very well from these small photos, but click on each image to see it bigger.

She really does know...

... where her socks go!


It's just a little hard to reach!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A day for orioles!

It was a fun and interesting bird day yesterday! In the morning I saw a bird I'd never seen before, and he was hanging onto the twine holding my hummingbird feeder. Looking in my trusty birdbook, I found out it was a male Orchard Oriole. Here are a couple pics of him. They're not the best, because it was so bright outside that there was too much contrast and the pics ended up looking like silhouettes, so I had to lighten them quite a bit to show what the colors were. But you get the idea. For better photos, just do a Google image search.


Then early in the evening, I was very surprised to see a male Baltimore Oriole on the HB feeder! I've seen plenty of them before, but never on my feeder! Though I didn't see this one drinking, I've read somewhere that they do sometimes drink from HB feeders. They are such beautiful birds... among my favorites.

(Yeah, I need to get that speck of whatever-it-is off my window!)

I even had a robin drinking from my birdbath yesterday, too, plus hummingbirds back at the feeder, so it was a good bird day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Can you put your socks on?

video

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I've been waiting and waiting and...

I was just about ready to give up, thinking the hummingbirds had flown right past here without stopping, since there are no leaves on the trees. But lo and behold, FINALLY, I had my first little hummer today!

I put my feeder out about 3 weeks ago, to make sure I had it out in time for the earliest arrivals. Last year I saw the first one on May 5th. I've been watching the hummingbird migration map, and it seemed like they'd kind of bypassed us this year, so I was about ready to give up and take in my feeder until later this summer when they migrate south. I don't think any of them nest around here, as I've never seen them throughout the whole summer. There are usually a lot of them toward the end of the summer. The males come through first, followed by females and youngsters.

Anyway, I was very pleased to see this little female ruby-throat this afternoon! Poor thing looks kinda chilly... and with good reason, since it was only 46°!

video

Tulip update

I took these pics last Tuesday. Good thing I did, because the tulip is now gone. So is the red one. So are half the leaves and all but one remaining bud. I'm not sure if it's rabbits or deer that are doing it. I'd even sprayed some repellent on them but I guess the rain must've washed it off. Grrrr! I wish they liked dandelions instead!



Sunday, May 11, 2008

I love turkeys...

... but ONLY when they're tiny, fuzzy babies... or when they're COOKED! Live big ones running around in my yard might be fun to look at, but other than that they're a pain in the you-know-what! To answer your question, Grace... I don't think they've ever really bothered my flowers TOO much. They do, however, like to peck at the tomatoes. The worst 2 things about them are: 1) the huge... er... 'droppings' they leave all over (use your imagination as to how far one can squish up the sides of your shoe... or what the machinery looks like after they've been roosting above it overnight in the shed); and 2) the gobbling outside the bedroom window in the morning, which makes for a very RUDE awakening. If you've ever heard them gobble, you know it isn't just a steady "gobble, gobble, gobble"... it's a silence, followed by a sudden burst of "GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE!!!"... then more quiet... then the BURST again... over and over. AARRGGHH!!!

These are the ones from the video clip I posted Saturday. Much to my surprise and delight, our neighbor who bears the guilt of bringing the semi-wild turkeys to our area and who claims them as his, apparently saw them in our alfalfa field (just on the other side of those trees in the photos) later Saturday morning and came over and chased them back "home". YAY!! Now, if only they'd stay there. Ha! So far, though, I've only seen one hen back here, wandering through those trees probably looking for a good nesting spot. ONE turkey I can take.

(Click on photos to enlarge.)


Of course, any little ones who survive, do grow up. They get quite adventurous at times, too. Here are some on our deck railing a few years ago... trying to decide if they're brave enough to join their sibling on the roof!! AACK!!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Here we have our Little Miss Courtney practicing cooking the breakfast-in-bed she was planning for Mommy for this morning! I wonder how the real breakfast turned out. ;-)

video


A chilly morning it is. Ice on the birdbath again. Aaarrgghh!!!



At least the trees are getting a tinge of green to them.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Early morning visitors

video

More on these "lovely" creatures later....

Poll Results

The results of the poll "Will you have a garden this year?" are as follows:

  • Yes, already have some things planted! (0 votes)
  • Yes, if this crazy weather ever warms up! (3 votes)
  • Yes, just a few herbs (2 votes)
  • Yes, but only flowers (0 votes)
  • No garden for me (1 vote)

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that hasn't planted anything yet. I did, however, put out some dragon wing begonias in my whiskey barrel by the garage. I just HAD to get something going! They're shivering, but so far they look fine.

Thanks to all for voting!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Here she is!

I didn't want to keep you in suspense any longer. I'm sure you were all worried about her. :-)

Where's Courtney???