|Toby waiting for Chippy|
Today our family awoke to rain falling and the sounds of silence coming from the forest nearby. Normally, the birds are singing and very busily flying back and forth gathering food for their newborns, but this morning they were allowed to sleep in. For many of them they are brooding their second batch of babies for the summer season. Looking out and seeing a fluffed up baby catbird sitting on the garden fence is not unusual at all. The baby catbird looked like someone had taken a hair dryer to it and left without grooming it at all. At those times it is easy to see a mommy or daddy catbird flying frantically back and forth protecting their baby from harm. The uptight parents make me think of birds that have had too much caffeine, as well as their baby having a bad hair day.
Yesterday we had a baby female cardinal come to our feeder. Normally cardinals look so majestic with their pretty crown of pointed feathers on their heads. This baby appeared to have a bad Mohawk. I informed Anne about the baby cardinal and she came over to see for herself, she laughed for a moment and then went, “Ohhhh.” At that moment I made my crazy baby voice as I was walking past Anne, “I know that I look pretty wild right now, but I am soon going to grow up and look just like my mommy!” Anne looked over at me and gently laughed shaking her head as she left the room. I could only imagine what she was thinking at that moment. Perhaps it was, “Got to love that man as strange as he is!”
|Woodchuck visiting in the Spring. "I like Anne's flowers too"|
Yesterday our cat Toby perched herself on the bottom step and waited for her little friend the chipmunk. I have to admit they have a very strange relationship that I cannot figure out. Toby waits for the chipmunk to go by and then she pounces at “chippy” but narrowly misses each time. This sometimes can go on for a good half hour. The chipmunk runs under the porch and then comes out on the other side and repeats the event all over again. Sometimes Anne and I will watch chippy come from the other direction, which will throw Toby off. Yet this animal of fur and fluff must have a death wish sense of humor. It will run wide and almost flaunt itself in front of Toby. During one of those particular performances, Toby got the chipmunk’s tail, but chippy narrowly escaped once more. We both heard squeals coming from the excited chipmunk, as it must have thought about a life ending experience. A couple of days ago chippy came around the corner of the step and stood up and just stared intently at me. Who knew what the little fellow was thinking at that moment, but at that instant, it sensed someone else staring at it. It slowly turned its head to it’s left and there was Toby crouched and ready to pounce. The chipmunk jumped in air and sprinted with all its might, narrowly escaping another encounter with the Grim Reaper. Both Anne and I laughed heartily over the experience.
|Winter Cardinal waiting for his turn at our feeder|
One day last week we had an unwanted visitor, (a skunk.) It came near our woodpile which was not to far from our porch. During this time Abby was sitting on a deck chair playing with her dolls. She spotted the skunk through a lattice wall covered with thick vines. I imagine the skunk could not see her at the time, but instead experienced a scream that made it think twice about expecting friendly hospitality at our house. I was sitting at the kitchen table visiting with Anne’s folks when I heard Abby screaming and I ran full speed toward her. When I got to Abby she was shaking in fear. Our poor little button had never had an encounter with a skunk before and hopefully it will be her last. For the skunk, I don’t believe it will make any inquiries for food at house again.
|Fall visitor near our living room window.|
Yesterday my friendly neighbor was complaining to me that he had a visitor outside their bedroom window and it decided to rest there for a while. (I believe it was the same skunk that visited our home.) By the time my neighbor got his window closed he suffered a life altering experience. The smell so permeated his house that he and his poor wife could not sleep at all. They had to close the windows and in that act alone, it left them with an enclosed house full of smells that was as intense as being next to the skunk itself. The next day after the offense, my tired neighbor found out why the skunk was paying him a visit. It had been digging for grubs and slugs nearby. Oh what joys there are to live next to the forest.
|Coyote, early Spring visitor.|
The day after Abby’s encounter with flower (I named the skunk) I reconnoitered out on our porch by looking out through the door window before venturing outside. I didn’t see flower there, but what I did see made me laugh. I saw our little chipmunk standing on the step where Toby normally perches. Chippy appeared to be looking back and forth on the porch for her toxic friend, Toby. I believe with all my heart that God created animals with a sense of humor and fear (flower), or at least he gave it to the critters around our house.