Tag Archives: backyard

Critter cam.

 

Alright, that’s a lie.

It’s just me snapping shots from the window. But that’s not a snappy title… so get over it.

 

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Our fox is coming every night now.

 

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And sometimes he/she brings a friend.

 

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They’re such beautiful creatures.

 

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And wonderful at keeping the mouse population under control.

 

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As you can see from the bird feeders, it’s Baltimore Oriole time.

 

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They’re gorgeous, but quick.

 

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And catching a good shot is rare.

 

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We put out oranges and grape jelly, which they adore.

 

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Of course, so does everyone else.

A raccoon comes in at midnight and strips the jelly…

 

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And this hairy woodpecker makes short work of the oranges.

 

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Our resident chucker is still here.

 

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Enjoying apples.

 

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And salad scraps.

Life is good in my little corner of the world.

 

 

 

No hole too small.

 

Maybe I should rethink that title…. don’t need the porn spammers dropping by again.

Anyway, after we planted our free trees the other day we had to do something with this under performing flowering plum that was now ruining the alignment.

 

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We planted 2 of these before the big barn construction began, but one died and the survivor gets eaten alive by Japanese beetles every year. I was all for heaving it, but the husband had other ideas.

When my mother died in 2014, she was cremated and I planted some of her ashes with a lovely tulip tree in our backyard.

 

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It did well for 4-5 years until we had crazy late spring freezes and frosts that it couldn’t tolerate.

Since I planned to replace it this year?  Husband decided to do a little transplanting.

 

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I  (very helpfully)  told him we’d need a bigger hole since we were moving a mature 12 year old tree with an extensive root system.  With this  (ever so helpful)  advice, he did what he always does….. and promptly ignored it.

 

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Digging up the plum was an absolute nightmare. The roots were thick and deep and under the topsoil? Hard clay that might as well be cement.

 

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Our farming neighbor offered to come over with his backhoe and scoop it right up, but no.

 

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The husband didn’t want to tear up his lawn and went with the spiderweb approach to removal.

It took us approximately two hours of digging and tugging and even then we ended up chopping what had to be 10 foot long roots.

Whoever said gardening isn’t a workout needs to be bitch slapped.

 

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This photo caught the other half gasping for air after the last pull.

 

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I had serious doubts the hole out back was large enough, but away we went.

 

 

 

Yeah, not quite.

 

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There was a lot of twisting. And turning. And laughing.  ( Okay, that was just me. Husband didn’t find it the least bit amusing. )

Some quite inventive spiderweb root trench digging later……

 

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He made it work.

 

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Whether it survives is anyone’s guess.

In case you’ve never seen it close up….

 

Don’t get excited, I’m talking about deer antlers.

 

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And as I was filtering through my hundreds of shots of our buck the other day….

 

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I thought some of you city people might get a kick out of this.

 

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After the fall rut….. (read: deer orgy, where size does matter) ….. the buck will drop his then useless horns.

It’s a slow process that sometimes takes all winter. The blood supply is cut off and they slowly loosen. You often see bucks with one side hanging crookedly… and they’ll rub against trees, fence posts, picnic tables or whatever is around to knock them off.

When this happens, it does look a little bizarre.

 

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And painful, though they assure me it’s not.

 

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But how do the proverbial ‘they’ know?

I doubt anything has fallen off of them lately.

 

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It certainly doesn’t look like fun to me.

A day most fowl… as well as foul.

 

It started out well enough, with a sighting of a beloved yet rarely seen visitor.

 

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This time he was across the street, walking along the edge of our neighbor’s farm.

 

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He’s a beautiful ring necked pheasant we named Phineas.

 

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They’re not native to Maine and can’t survive the winters, but a man up the road raises them and occasionally one or two will break free. Last year, Phineas brought his woman to our backyard. She was looking for a nesting site… but we never did see any chicks.

Later on in the day….

Saturday, May frickin‘ 9th?

 

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We had ducks.

And snow.

 

 

This is the first time we’ve ever had mallards.

 

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Sadly….it isn’t the first time we’ve had snow in May.

 

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The ducks stayed quite a while, raiding the droppings from the bird feeders and the leftover deer grain.

 

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And then a friend joined them.

 

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A fowl day for sure.

 

 

Here we go again.

 

We love our large back yard.

 

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Specifically because there’s nothing to see except grass and the occasional 4 legged visitor.

It’s quiet, peaceful and far away from other houses.

 

 

Remember a while back when I complained about the neighbor behind us who parked his motor home right next to our property line instead of on any of his other 10 acres?

Grrrr.

Well, the other day as I was reading on the couch, I heard banging.

Do you see it?

 

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How about now?

 

 

The neighbor’s house isn’t visible from our place, and they have a good 12 acres worth of property, if not more. Some is cleared, some wooded… and it goes right down to the water.

So what did they do?

 

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They started construction of a tree house…… right next to our property line.

Grass? Ours. Brush? Theirs.

Maybe 6 feet between the end of our grass and their tree house frame.

12 acres plus… more than 522,720 square feet! But they had to pick the only spot on our common border that’s open to viewing from our side.

I’d like to bitch… but we love these neighbors, and have always had a good relationship.¬† The owner lost her husband to Parkinsons a few years ago and it broke all our hearts. The home is large and was too much for her to handle alone so her daughter and family¬† moved in to help. Two granddaughters and two step grandsons are now also in residence, hence the tree house.

Which technically it isn’t, since it’s merely tree adjacent.

 

 

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I don’t mean to sound anti children, but damn. We’re on the other side of the life spectrum and relish our peace and quiet.

But there it is, looming over our backyard.

The perfect spying platform.

 

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Did I mention it’s strategically placed on the only break of the tree line?

 

12 plus acres…. and they had to put it there!

 

 

 

The herd.

 

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It’s been deer central at Casa River lately.

 

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With upwards of 14 at a time.

 

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Lots of repeat visitors from past years, and though they might all look the same to you…. we recognize and call quite a few of them by name.

Alright… Pregnant, the Buck, Little Guy and Dark Doe aren’t so much names as designations. But still.

 

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Our resident buck’s antlers are starting to grow back….

 

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Which always makes me think of Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia’s doughnut hairdo.

 

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They’re all currently blowing winter coats and the lawn is full of hair clumps.

 

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Which the birds, chipmunks and squirrels scoop up for their spring nests.

 

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Mother Nature is a wonderful thing.

More chucker pics….

 

Because I can.

 

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I’m seriously in love with this little critter.

 

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I know most people see them as pests and hate them.

 

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But other than a few holes here and there….

 

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This one’s never done any harm.

 

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And a cuter garbage disposal for leftover salad scraps you’re not apt to find.

 

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Last year we had a momma woodchuck and 4 babies.

 

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This year…. only one.

 

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I’ve yet to determine if it’s momma or one of her kids.