anghara: (owl)
One of these fellows

just popped in for a snack of suet. It's a Western Tanager, according to my little Bird Book, and we haven't seen his ilk round here before. He's quite spectacular!
anghara: (snow deer)
We have a couple of rather past their sell-by date avocados in the kitchen. I've been throwing out apples and corn to the deer, but [ profile] rdeck said, "You know, I LIKE avocado, but they need it more than me - see if the deer will eat it!"

So I tossed out an avocado, as an experiment.

Initially the couple of deer who came over sniffed at the new offering gingerly and then turned back and attacked the apples. They didn't seem certain as to what was required to deal with the avocado. But later on one of the deer came back and nosed out the avocado from under the snow. There was a little wrinkling of the nose, rather like a two-year-old who's been given spinach for the first time and isn't sure that this is an experience that he/she might want to actually repeat - but it's STILL only 20F out there, and food is food, and the deer finally figured it out and ate the avocado. I didn't see what it did with the pit, which is admittedly rather larger than anything one might discover inside an apple - but it went, the avocado.

I suppose, standing hock-deep in snow with more threatening to come down any moment now, they'll take what they can get. They prefer the apples, the corn - the familiar - but sometimes food is food...

(BTW - new icon - specially for winter deer posts...)
anghara: (snow deer)
The deer, three of them this time, came stepping lightly up to my door just as the light was beginning to fail. They were maybe two or three steps away when I eased the sliding door open, very gently, and only flinched a little at the noise but waited, poised, as I rolled out a couple or three apples and a corn cob out to them onto the patio.

They were at them before the door was fully closed. Three apples and a corn cob vanished before my eyes. The deer waited for a moment, huddled into a tight group, staring at me through the glass door as night fell.

"Come back tomorrow," I said.

If I had the resources I'd have given them more - but I haven't been to the stores in a week, and what I have in the house has to last me probably another four to five days before a predicted thaw - and I figure they'd rather have SOMETHING every day than nothing at all if I run out too quickly. Oh, but it's heartbreaking the way they look at me, the way they ask mutely for help and sustenance.

I have another couple of apples and some corn ready for tomorrow. I hope the deer come again for their supper.
anghara: (snow deer)
Again under cut, for your viewing pleasure... )

Snowing steadily all day. They're threatening SOLID freezing between now and the weekend. Doesn't look like I'm going anywhere before the thaw...
anghara: (owl)
I left a (fairly large) corn cob out on the feeder - it's getting cool out there and the criters need it.

We just watched one of our Cheeky-species squirrels, a Douglas squirrel (one just like the one in the pic)

take the entire corn cob in his mouth - it's twice the size of him - and take it all the way down the outside deck to the far side, getting stuck at every upright on the railings but figuring out how to get past them. He climbed to the top of the railing - with the thing still in his mouth - contemplated a jump to the tree - climbed down onto the deck - *shucked* the corn a little bit - climbed up on the railing again - measured the leap - shucked the corn some more on the deck - climbed up again - LEAPED AT THE BRANCH FROM THE RAILING, with the corn cob still in his mouth - and ***MADE IT***.

I tried to take a picture but I got him just as he leaped and all I have is squirrel-and-corn-shaped blur. But I swear, we APPLAUDED. This was above and beyond the call of duty. He DESERVED that prize.

Go, Cheeky!
anghara: (owl)
The deer family just came by - or at least, momma and one of the twin fawns that have been hanging around here all summer. The fawn is... different today. No more bambi spots, except as fading streaks of white splotches on adult deer fur. And it's definitely a young buck - I can see two tiny but vary masculine-what-do-you-know bulges on his forehead.

They're all growed up. Sniff. The baby deer I baby-sat all through summer are all growed up now.
anghara: (owl)
The gave up on the HINGES of the food bin. No, that was too slow, and too indirect.

Instead, there is now a hole a couple of centimeters in diameter *on the lid of the food bin*. A plastic lid which is a solid heavy duty plastic at least several millimeteres in diameter.

The scary thing is that I don't know what became of the plastic that used to be, um, what is now the hole. THe squirrel can't have EATEN it, surely? That would be an indigestible lump even for a determined squirrel...?

Make that two scary things. There are tooth marks on another bit of the lid. One hole wasn't enough.

I've duct-taped a metal lid over the hole - but hey, if they chewed through solid plastic a couple of pieces of duct tape are hardly going to be a problem.

I may have to invest in a metal food bin...
anghara: (owl)
One of the fawns came to visit. Up close and personal. Even knocked on the door politely with a baby hoof before snarfling at the glass with a snotty black nose which had remnants of lunch (something that looked like a half-chewed blade of grass) stuck on top of it.

(S)he (I have no way of knowing) was literally less than an arm's length away. I could count the eyelashes framing that huge soulful eye.

We stared at each other for a moment, and then Baby pranced away in an endearing fashion, half shyness and half bravado, and sought shelter behind Mama, out on the dirt beyond the patio.

I love my house.
anghara: (owl)
So, this morning, I wander into the living room and look out on the deck - and the cedar branch that the squirrel population has been using as access to the deck and bird-feeder (HAH! *Bird* feeder! that would be the day!)and which has been steadily losing strategic bits under the squirrel onslaught is now lying flat across the feeder, green cedar fronds spread all across it.

"Well, they've finally done for it," I think to myself, thinking that one squirrel too many managed to skedaddle down the thing the wrong way and broke off the whole thing.

And then I took a second look.

*ON* the branch, and the reason behind its sudden change in location, a young raccoon is perched within easy arm's reach, as it were, of the feeder, and munching away, brazen as you please.

We locked eyes, the raccoon and I, and it decided that retreat was the better part of valour after all; it minced back along the branch in question, only barely able to hold its weight, occasionally lurching ominously sideways this way and that to what MUST have been a muttered "@##!!*&@ !!!" that I couldn't hear through the closed glass doors.

It disappeared into the cedar to which the branch in question is attached.

We haven't seen it since. [ profile] rdeck did inform me, however, that what I saw this morning was the young wretch's SECOND visit to the buffet, because hubby observed him earlier in the same spot using exactly the same access technique.

Yes, I know that raccoons are bad-tempered and violent and carry rabies and will eat anything that isn't nailed down. No, we can't afford to keep feeding a young raccoon. But dammit... he was cute as all get go. And he made me smile this morning. I guess he paid for his meal, in his own way.
anghara: (owl)
So the cat is racing around frantically making weird noises, from the sliding door to the window, back to the office, into the laundry, onto the washer, off the washer, back into the office, mrrowr mrrowr mrrowr.

It's twilight outside, not yet COMPLETELY dark, I can make things out quite clearly - I peer out of the sliding doors and I can see nothing, but the cat is still at it so finally I get up and take a closer look through the door. Nothing. I go next door and peer out the window, hands cupped against the glass to cut out the reflective glare from the lights inside.

And the pile of blue tarp bundled into the chair outside the window suddenly lifts a sharp pointed possumy nose at me.

Okay, my heart is still racing. The possum is now gone, but I keep having visions of my blue tarp coming to life. I'll dream of possum-hatching tarpaulins tonight.
anghara: (owl)
Seriously. No April fools. I've just watched hm sneak up to one of the pillars that holds up my deck and start gnawing at the base of it for all he's worth.

Yes, we DID put food out. Yes, despite all evidence to the contrary, it IS spring, and there has to be other food starting to be available.

So what gives with nibbling treated wood, dummy?... (He's still there as I type this, glaring at me in an affronted manner for having interrupted his activities. Weird little animal.)

In other news, the copy edit is done, and will be on its way tomorrow. One more thing to cross of my list.

The hackery is still present but down to a mild roar. I am cautiously optimistic about the reading tomorrow in VIllage Books.


Jan. 29th, 2008 01:03 pm
anghara: (owl)
[ profile] jkling found this one:

One of my Christmas presents was a wildlife camera, which I've yet to set up outside covering my back deck. But I get deer, lots of birds, the occasional raccoon or some other more exotic critter - nothing like that thrice-blessed bear scratching the itch on its back or those magnificent ten-point king stags (I do have a soft spot for the deer right at the end, the only life form caught on that camera that was intelligent enough to NOTICE the camera and go and find out what the heck that thing WAS...)

I'll set mine up eventually. In the meantime, enjoy.
anghara: (owl)
We now officially have Douglas squirrels (at least five of 'em!), grey squirrels, and now at least one chipmunk. Yep, saw the little guy just outside my office this morning - took a pic, but until I download it and decide if it's good enough to put online, this is pretty much what the critter looked like. Yep yep yep, a chipmunk.

He may be a refugee. They clear-cut another lot near us a couple of days ago. I saw logs that used to be 100-year-old cedars stacked neatly by the road, underneath a raped hillside covered in twisted remnants of roots and crumbling bare earth, and I wept.
anghara: (owl)
I'm sitting here in my office, fixin' a chapter, mindin' my own business, with the sliding door open to the woods... when I hear this sound behind me.

"MI-ow! MI-ow?"

I look around for the cats.

But it isn't the cats.

It's the baby deer, the tiny spotted fawn of a few days ago - actually, there were TWO tiny spotted fawns a few days ago, I very much fear that one of the twins has been lost... - but there it stands, the little one, *nose right against the screen door*, looking directly at me.

"MI-ow! MI-ow!"

Deer meow like kittens?!?

I just sat there like a dummy with this broad grin on my face and stared at it.

"MI-ow," it said, and then trotted back to mamma, who nuzzled at it and licked its face, and then they both began to wander away.

It came to say hi. My baby deer came to say hi.

My life is a succession of small miracles.
anghara: (owl)
Outside my window, right now: Mama Deer with two tiny, tiny, exquisite spotted baby fawns.

I love my office.
anghara: (owl)
Would you believe he eats ROSES?

I'm dead serious. I chased him away from my little dwarf rose bush out on the deck THREE TIMES now, once caught red-pawed, as it were, munching on a rose held between his front paws.

What gives? And how the FRICK do you wean a stupid squirrel off the potted plants?


May. 12th, 2007 08:15 pm
anghara: (owl)
We have a hummingbird! Or two!

They look a lot like this - and I am utterly enchanted.

The cats think it's a weird kind of bug, especially since the male BUZZES when he hovers there, like a large bumblebee - and the two felines sit there with their heads lifted and raised and ack-ack-ack-ack at the intruder, not quite certain what they should do about the matter.

Tiny. Tiny, jewel-like and gorgeous. We have a HUMMINGBIRD!

(and yes, I named it Twinky. Why do you ask? [grin]

May 2009

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