Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Our new house is in the middle of a big community, only blocks from rushing traffic and much congestion - people hurrying and scurrying - cars flying past - but we seem to be set in a little oasis of quiet, with trees on 2 1/2 sides, only one neighbor visible from our property and wildlife everywhere.

The sun is out today, the air is warming a little (at least for NW WA is seems a bit warmer) and friends are all over the yard.

This deer is eating from a bird feeder (during one of our snow storms) - you can't see the actual feeder, it is behind the little bird house. The deer lick the seeds out of the platform feeders and slurp at the regular feeders until the seed is all gone.

We didn't have to tempt the deer to come into the yard, they were wandering about before we bought the house, and have come more often now that they have discovered they can eat from the bird feeders. Our grandson Ben tells them - chooo deers - chooo - don't eat all the bird seed, and then he tried to walk up to the deer and pet them. So far he hasn't been successful, but he keeps trying. The deer are fairly tame and will let us walk around in the yard without running, but get to close and they move quietly off.

You can see a bit of the birdseed on this deer's nose, after finishing off a tray of birdseed.

The squirrels race up and down the trees across the street, some even jump from branch to branch and when they come in our yard they always try to get the suet out of the suet holder - but so far - no luck. This one climbed up this skinny metal pole with no problem at all.

And here he is - upside down - trying his best to get this open - but no luck so he climbed down and found some sunflower seeds under the feeders to munch on. We need to get some peanuts for the squirrels.

And a crow standing on the rock wall at the edge of the yard. There were two out there but I must have frightened one off when I got out the camera. I took the pictures of the squirrels and crow through the studio window. I did have to entice them to start coming to the yard - I put out some bread yesterday and now they are coming on their own. I'll put out some apple peelings a little later on and see if they want to eat them.

One of my favorite times in N. CA was when the apples were ripe in the orchard near our house and the owners had picked all they wanted. Then the crows would come in flocks and sing out loudly as they ate the apples. If ever a bird enjoyed something, it was those crows eating apples. I could tell by the sound that they were stuffing themselves. When they were done with an apple there was nothing left but the skin - like a balloon - empty of any apple. I loved to find the empty shells of apples left on the tree. The crows would come every day for a couple weeks and as soon as I heard their special song I would rush outdoors and sit on the back porch in the warm sunshine, close my eyes and listen to their happy chorus.

At our last house we never had any crows - there were two Ravens that owned that area and we would hear them fly over and call to each other, and there were crows at the end of the gravel road, but none ever came to our property or flew over it. We are so happy to have crows back!! We loved the Ravens, though they are not as friendly and don't spend time in the yard like the crows do. Crows are funnier too - today one of them hopped up each rung of the ladder on the swingset and then hopped across the top of the swingset to the tower where the slide is. I half expected him to slide down - but he jumped off the back and walked along the rock wall.

We still have to set up the bird baths - it is super fun to watch the crows try and squeeze themselves into the birdbath - a refill is a necessity once the crow is done, all the water is gone.

There are other birds in the yard too, red breasted nuthatch, juncos, sparrows, chickadees - which Ben calls chickanees, towhees, blue jayes, and so far, one robin. I've seen flocks of the robins in other yards, and that is a good sign of spring.

We took a drive yesterday to the Nooksack River to see the eagles - they are there from Dec. through Feb. but they were all gone - flown off to their nesting grounds a little earlier than usual, I hope that is another sign of an early spring - I could really use much warmer weather, and I want to start planting things in the yard. I guess I need to find out what kinds of things deer don't prefer to eat, or I'll never have a garden.

Happy quilting, and wildlife and sunshine to all the blog friends.