Archive for the ‘Wildlife and Animals’ Category

Park Your Horse at the Minute Market

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

It’s not every day that I see horses parked at the Minute Market across the street from my office, but occasionally, I’ll see one or two horses quickly cross the busy highway, the rider parking her horse in the parking lot as she rushes in to purchase something at Oregon’s version of the 7 Eleven.

These horses seem quite used to this routine, unphased by the traffic and the curious stares of passersby.

Within a couple of minutes, one of the two riders returned and off they went.

Speaking of horses in unexpected places, I was taking a walk in my town, which is near the countryside, and saw a woman leaning over to brush what I thought was a young girls’ very long blonde hair.  But when I got closer, I was surprised at what it really was:

Here’s a close up of the same fellow, who I realized had just featured his show-off performance in the town’s recent parade:

Dusk Visitor

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

I found this young skunk just outside my back door, foraging on seed fallen from the bird feeder.   He/she? wasn’t fussed by my presence, but just the same, I closed the door quickly and quietly!

Strutting Tom Turkey

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

I wish I’d had my camera with me when I came across this male turkey displaying his stuff to his female hangers-on!  He was quite gorgeous and Thanksgiving postcard perfect!  Unfortunately, I had only my phone camera to capture him, so the details are very poor.

It was taken around 4:30 pm after a day of heavy rainfall.  There was a brief break in the weather, the sun shone through, and there they were.  Next time, I’ll bring my camera!

Spring Has Sprung!

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Now that we are officially in the spring season, spring has complied completely around here.  The plum trees are glorious, and with gusts of spring winds, the falling blossoms appear like pink snow.

The local Fawn Lilies (above) and Shooting Stars are making some dramatic appearances.

And it’s not just flowers that are busily blooming.  The bees in the local cemetery are hard at work tending to the flowers!  You don’t see them here, but they are busily humming in and out of the snag at the bottom of this Madrone tree. (Someone has kindly placed a warning to stay a respectful distance.)

Weekend Houselife

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

It’s been a quiet weekend with cold mornings turning into warmer afternoons.  The inside flock loves the afternoon sun as it streams into the livingroom and will eagerly take baths, knowing they can preen and dry out with the sun warming them up directly.

This shot was taken after Sam took his bath.  He had to wait for the little guys to finish sun bathing before he could take his turn.  He likes watching the deer traipse by – or not.

Sometimes they just hang out, like the old matriarch doe here, catching some rays and relaxing a few feet away from the front window.  Looks like she has her ears cocked to the noises within our house.   I sometimes find the deer curious about these strange coddled birds INSIDE the house.  At such times, they will stare intently into the front window and listen and watch.

On other fronts, Bun Rab continues to thrive and relax more as she understands her new place in the household.

We had a rocky first week during which I nearly tore my hair out trying to figure out where she wanted to pee, of all things.  When rabbits pee, they gush – and it is pungent and has super staying power.  I’d read that they tend to chose a corner and use that as their place of peeing, once they have established their territory (by peeing randomly here and there).  The problem was, she peed in two corners consistently.  She finally trained me into understanding that she wanted TWO litterboxes, one for each corner.  Duh!  That took me awhile to figure out.  Since I understood, peeing has been contained and consistent, and we are becoming good friends.

Rabbits are so different than birds that it took me some days to make the adjustment.  I also realized that I had to ramp down my expectations about Bun Rab and allow her to “tell” me what she needed.  I’m getting there!

All my birds are now used to Bun Rab – except Chipper, who still freaks out when Bun Rab makes a sudden movement that Chipper happens to see.  In time, I figure he’ll get used to her.  Sam is still smitten with her, as am I, and spends long sessions with me as I watch being herself on the kitchen floor.

Here she is, queen of her domain, relaxing contentedly between her TWO litterboxes… (it seems cramped, but she has complete freedom to move about the kitchen, so it is always her choice when she wants to go to her cage).

Bun Rab is still housed in an extra bird cage.  Her permanent cage is coming next week and it will be slightly longer than her present house.

About time to become a fulltime rabbit and not pretend to be a bird!

The original Bun Rab from Walt Kelly’s POGO says it all:

More Signs of Spring

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

I love how these mosses are already putting out fruiting bodies during a warmer sunny late winter day.  The greens are so vibrant!

And I really love how this horse’s thick, curly winter coat looks in the sun too.  (The owner of this coat was rather anti-social.  I tried to photograph his face, but he kept snorting at me and turning away!)

Oh, how we love the sun when it comes out these days – in between lots of rain, which is due again tomorrow.  Hope you too are experiencing some sunny days wherever you are.

Bud Buck

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

I read somewhere that a first year male fawn who begins forming antler buds is called a “bud buck.”

Well, here he is!  He’s the son of the blacktail deer I wrote about last spring.  He was twin to a female fawn.

He’s already about 6 inches taller than his sister and seems to be thriving.  Except for two weeks of severe cold in November, this winter so far has proved to be pretty easy on the deer.  There is lots of green browse for the grazers, so they all look quite good right now.

I think this fellow is going to be quite a handsome buck soon.

Chico Making Our Lives Safer

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

On my way to Albuquerque, I had a stopover in San Francisco – it was so good to see the ocean again after so long! and to be close to that wonderful city I’d roamed as a teenager.  I took this photo from my seat on the plane as we traveled south along the coast.

Upon my return to the same airport, I came across a gorgeously beautiful Belgian Malinois dog who was accompanied by his handler, Officer Jeffrey Brown of the San Francisco Police Dept of Airport Bureau.  Belgian Malinois look similar to German Shepherds, but the breed is older and doesn’t have the hip problems that German Shepherds do, according to Officer Brown.  Chico was alert and ready for action at all times (sniffing for explosives) while I spoke to his handler.  Officer Brown handed me Chico’s business card, which explains his story:

You may not be able to read the “Personal Message” easily, so I’ll transcribe it for you.  It is a quote from Mark Twain:

“Let us abolish policemen who carry clubs and revolvers, and put in a squad of poets armed to the teeth with poems on Spring and Love.”  Hear, hear!

Rain Respite

Friday, December 18th, 2009

deer1

The “girls” were waiting for me to get up, this Saturday morning, hoping for a handout.  They can really bore holes into your soul, it seems!  Or at least make a person feel downright guilty.  It had rained for the last couple of days, and they were also drying out at a safe location, free of dogs.

This doe and first-winter fawn were mutually grooming each other in the weak winter sunlight.

deer3

The mildness of the day and the break in the rain must have made the old matriarch sleepy, and this is what happens when all conditions are right:

deer2

Tis the season…

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

deer turkey2…for turkeys!

We had about 20+ invade our street and empty lot next door over the weekend.  Even the deer look sort of puzzled by it.  What were those turkeys doing?  Convening a meeting to come up with ways to avoid being eaten for Thanksgiving?

I had to be sure Chipper didn’t see them.  While the other birds of my inside flock don’t mind these small-headed large-bodied cousins, Chipper freaks out at the sight of just one of them.  I managed to be successful!

deer turkeys1