Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Renovations Almost Done!

I can't believe it has been 30 days since my last post.  In all the years I have been keeping the blog I have never taken such an extended break.  The house renovations are almost complete.  The kitchen which was a huge project lacks only the new flooring to be put down.  While that may sound like a big project compared to the cabinets and other changes it will be a drop in the bucket.  I wanted to get all the cabinet work and painting done so only minor touch-ups might be necessary before the floor went down.

I have really missed being outside but had to focus on the tasks at hand.  Other things were a couple of new ceiling fans in other parts of the house and changing out light fixtures.  I have one more light fixture to change out but not sure about the wiring on a 3-way switch so I will hold off until I can get my brother here.

Hopefully my friend and I will be going to Lake Mattamuskeet Saturday for a day trip.  I really need a break before I start on the floor.

My task today was to clean out my "work clothes" closet.  30 years of military clothing (three changes in military style) left me with a packed closet I no longer needed.  It is so funny now to look in that closet and see only a few hanging items.  I kept one of each uniform style....the old "pickle suit" (solid greens/Vietnam era), the BDU and finally the ACU.  Sentimental reasons I guess.  That was a large part of my life and I guess one day I will let those go too.

Like everything else in nature that seems off timing this year, the matriarch deer and her daughter have finally begun bringing the fawns up.  I have had the trail camera set out watching and waiting. This afternoon when I looked out the window one of the fawns was wandering around in the front yard.  I tried to ease the window open quietly but the fawn took off.  I went down to get the trail camera and got a few decent shots.

I had put some older apples out at the feeding spot yesterday and they were quickly eaten.  I can see that nothing has changed regarding the doe's behavior when a buck comes up.  All the doe were just relaxing and eating until the buck showed up and they took off.

I submitted my photo for the trail camera contest.  There are some pretty neat shots.  If you have some time to kill check them out here.  Not the best shot because the light was so bright but I liked the way the groundhog was lounging in the sun.  Voting will start after 8 August so check them out. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Finally Feeling Better

After a couple of weeks of just not feeling well, I am beginning to feel like my old self again.  I took advantage of the cooler weather this morning (a rarity this time of year) to get out for a little while. I did not stay out long as I needed to get back home to cut grass and run the trimmer.  The heat and summer storms return later this week so this is a task I needed to complete.

The female Red-shouldered Hawk was sitting in her favorite tree watching for a meal.  All the birds love this particular tree.  It was hit by lightning two years ago and half of the tree died but the other half is okay.  The tree was full of birds.  Lots of young Bluebirds and more House Finches than I could count.  I wish I had paid a little more attention to just what all was in the tree.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Guess what got the snake?

For the first day that I had the snake over the stump, the hawks sat up in the trees around the yard screeching.  On the second day, they would make fly by checking it out.  Finally one got nerve enough to check it out.  And yes, it flew off with the snake.  The trailcam shot of the fly off was not too good. Sun highlights were too strong.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Catching Up

I have been so super busy over the last week getting ready for a kitchen renovation there has been little time to do much else.  To top it all off, a really bad case of sciatica hit me after a long hike and has had me off my feet quite a bit.

Off and on today when I would walk outside, I kept hearing this fast little chirping sound.  I had spotted the juvenile Cowbird and kept trying to see which bird got sucker-punched.  Late this afternoon I finally saw as a Carolina Wren was frantically trying to find enough to feed the young bird that was twice the size of the poor wren.

It really made me quite mad to think that the young wren chicks probably did not make it and were pushed out of the nest by this bird.  The photo is not the best as it was getting late and light was funky.

Just before dark I walked out on the deck and noticed some movement at the disappearing fountain.  Normally I do not kill snakes but sorry, this Copperhead was too close to the house and my dog walks in that area.

I went to get the hoe and had a little bit of trouble trying to get it among the rocks.  It was striking out at me so I was trying to be very careful.  I felt sort of bad but just could not risk the dog getting bitten.....or me.

As it was now almost dark and I really did not want to walk down get it over the fence, I draped it over a stump.  Head removed I am going to be curious as to whether anything will get it tonight or one of the hawks in the morning.  Did a quick set up of the trailcam so see if anything comes tonight.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Eastern Box Turtle

Our State reptile and only true land based turtle.  While yes, we see snappers, Yellow-bellied Sliders and Painted turtles on land also, they are amphibious.  You will never see an Eastern Box Turtle in the water.....not intentionally anyway.

I put this one outside the fence surrounding the backyard on Friday.  Today is was back in the fenced yard again.  I guess he or she calls the backyard its territory so I left it alone.

You can see new growth (light colored areas in the scutes) on this one which will eventually turn dark.  Eastern Box turtle numbers have declined over the last several years.  Although they have a long life, they are slow to mature (7 years to full maturity), late to reproduce and the female lays few eggs.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Jack In The Pulpit

One of our unusual native wildflowers.  It grows in a shady, bog type habitat.  Colors vary.

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Nature lover, animal lover, lover of life.