Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Few Critters Near and Far

Well, it's Saturday, the day Misty Dawn hosts Camera Critters.  Click on the link in my sidebar to get to the links to see what critters folks are posting photos of.  I've been seeing cardinals, chickadees, and sparrows eating the safflower seeds yet this week. 

This morning, I vacuumed the dining room, which is really a bedroom that we use for the purpose.  I then set up the wood train tracks that our grandson loves to play with when he comes over.  Usually, we set them up in the living room, but I wanted to do something different, which would allow Heidi to stay upstairs.  When KJ is over, she gets into his space, puts his toys in her mouth, and wants to be the center of attention.  She can't relax and lie next to him or us.

While vacuuming, I noticed the female cardinal on the window feeder, but she flew away while I was reaching for my camera.  Then, while setting up the tracks, the male cardinal and black capped chickadees gave me more opportunities to take photos.  I'm going to have to clean the window when I get a chance.

The little rose Larry got me for Valentine's Day is still blooming, but the blooms are fading.  I suppose I should cut them off so the plant will be ready to go into a bigger pot and maybe bloom again this summer.

About an hour ago, I noticed a squirrel higher up in a tree than this, but it was gone by the time I got out.  This one saw me right away.  My zoom was refusing to move, so by the time I got it to work, it was in the thicker part of the tree, hiding.   Can you see it?  The squirrels had eaten all the corn, so I went out and put another cob in.  

Some folks couldn't find the squirrel, so I went back and cropped the photo.  Can you see it now?  When I got closer, it was too out of focus.

Heidi knows what all critters are making their homes under the deck, and where the main entrance is.  I've mentioned that sometimes it's hard getting her in at night, because she has the opossum  or some other critter cornered somewhere.  I hope they never get into a real scrap.  I think it would mean a trip to the vet for Heidi.

I was so proud of my train track creation, I had to post a photo of it.  I figured the photo is somewhat garden themed since it has dried flowers from my garden in it, and the cool poster of herbs Larry got me many years ago.  Oh, and there's a poster of sunflowers I got at a garage sale.

I quit trying to use the directions for the configurations that came with the main track set because I couldn't tell where to start in order for them to fit in the area we have for it.  I just start at the edge of the space we have, then put tracks where I want them to go.  I have great fun doing it, and sometimes, KJ helps.  He probably will more as he gets older.  If I don't have it done when he gets here, he'll usually just start playing with the trains as I set it up, and add a track here and there. 

There was a cat in the back yard today, when we got home from The Mill.  I haven't seen cats around much since the neighbors across the street moved a few years ago.  I suppose it was stalking the bird feeders.  I'd rather have it do rabbit patrol.  There has been a big rabbit living in one of the front curb beds.  At least it spends a lot of time there, because most of the time when I go out that way, it runs out and leaves the yard for awhile.  I've taken to throwing sticks in the general area whenever I get a chance to go out there.  I saw a rabbit in the back yard a few days ago.  I am determined to put rabbit proof fencing along the existing fence in the veggie garden, and figure out a way to block them from the open entrance.  I have always planted extra for the rabbits, but they have gotten more and more greedy, and I am tired of them.

I hope you are having a great weekend.  Oh, someone mentioned using my car as a blind to get some photos.  I am thinking about doing that some time.  Do any of you do that?


  1. Love the new look to your blog, it is beautiful. I enjoyed your critter post too. The window feeder is my favorite and I am going to have to buy one now. I love your dog Heidi, she is a cutie. My son use to play with a wooden train set too. It is packed away in the attic now. Great photos, have a wonderful Sunday!

  2. Great job with the train track.

    What a great close up view of the cardinal.

  3. Oh, I never thought of using the car as a blind to get critter photos! I could have done that at our old house, but all our bird feeders here are in the back. Hmmm...maybe I should put some in the front. What a great idea!

  4. i suggested the car idea, i have a tripod that even fits on the window.Glad you got a few window shots, now try the blind.You can get portable blibnds for hunting and sit real nice.

  5. I really like your window feeder - and it seems to work! Do you have to be careful of moving very near your window, Sue?

    Your new blog design is very nice. I do miss your corner photos, though. ;-) Getting ready for Spring, here. I found 3 or 4 spots where some daffs and surprise lilies were beginning to grow. Yea!

  6. I love that you've got the train tracks set up for your grandson...he'll love you all the more for it! I could use a bunny patrol too - they are eating the day lilies as fast as they can grow!

  7. Hiding behind the car, throwing sticks at rabbits, I can just imagine it! LOL
    Seriously, it sounds like a great idea for taking pictures. I must tell my husband, he's the No. 1 photographer around here now.
    The cardinal is gorgeous and I love love love chickadees. I found a bump I thought was a squirrel, enlarged the photo, and I was right! Yay!
    And that train track is a work of art. When KJ is an adult, it will be a topic of conversation, expressed in a fond tone of voice.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  8. Sue, your blog gets better and better looking everytime I stop by. You really should win some kind of Camera Critter award for the cardinal and chickadee photos. They're fabulous and I luv the feeder so much that I want one for myself. Seeing all that train track makes me remember when Phillip and I would do that together, usually early in the morning while still in our pjs. Enjoy these years with your grandson because as you know, they go by so quickly.


  9. Hi Sue. That little rose you got would do well outside too...I got one several years ago from my husband and put it in my vegetable garden. I forgot to bring it in that fall---but it survived our frigid LONG winters like a trooper and has grown larger and more lovely every year. It never has pest problems and blooms heavily all summer. Give it a try-you'll be surprised at how well it does.

  10. I really enjoy your blog, Sue! And today's is no exception...I think your train track looks ever so much fun...I feel tempted to get down on the floor myself to join in the play. Your little grandson must absolutely love his visits to you. What a super Gran you are!!!

    Heidi is beautiful and she sounds ever so loving, wanting to be in on everything all the time :) Too sweet!

    Thank you for visiting my blog and for the many lovely messages!

  11. Wonderfuls hots of the birds :

    I think our cats would love to play with the trains on the train track! :D

  12. The cardinal is beautiful! We are just a shade north for them.

  13. Like your new blog look, Sue.
    You have a gift for train set layout, obviously!

  14. I love the bird feeder!!! Love the new blog look!

  15. Sue, I love the photos you snapped of two of my favorite birds. I did not find the squirrel in the tree though.

    Count me in when KJ comes over to play with the train set. I had so much fun watching my brother play with his when we were kids. It brought back my childhood memories. You two are going to have so much fun!

  16. Cardinal pictures are always so pretty with that bright red!

  17. Great set up for the train.....sounds like you had fun....and I am sure KJ did the pictures of the birds.......and Heidi .....
    Gald you had such a nice weekend :)
    Prayers, Bo

  18. Wow I love the train track. Great job you did with that! I bet KJ loved it. I like the new look to your blog too.

  19. Love the photos --especially the Cardinal, always one of my favorites! And I must add that my son would be so jealous of the train track -- he's a huge Thomas fan so he sets up these really complicated tracks in our basement -- tracks everywhere :-) He does quite well for six!

  20. I believe the Cardinals are getting used to seeing you in the window! Nice shots.

    The new look on the Blog is wonderful. My slow internet connection (wireless) gave me some problems at first but I came back and made it through.

  21. Oh, I am so jealous of your beautiful birds!! My gardening goal is to plant a habitat to attract many different types! I enjoyed my peak into your blog! Hope to come back soon.

  22. I've missed reading your posts of late, but your blog looks terrific and I always enjoy critter pics. I've used my car for taking photos several times. I carry my camera with me always. I never know what I'll see, especially when I pull up to my home. Any number of animals may be on the porch raiding their feed bags for one thing!

  23. Sue,
    I like the new header image and the great pictures that you have posted again. Me being all passionate about my garden garden is not all about the plants and flowers only, it's as well about all the critters.
    I just noticed this morning some Chickadees are starting to build their nest in one of my birdhouses that is put up on a pole very close to my patio. I hope I can take a few good pictures of them.
    For the first time since I'm living here (20years!) I have seen a couple Red Robins coming to my backyard. You probably can imagine what a big smile that on my face.

  24. One of the things I have learned during three years of blogging is how little Zone ID has to do with reality in the garden. We are still buried in snow. Boo hoo.

  25. Love the train tracks going under the table! And the cardinal is really a beauty, too. I've been to The Mill many times!! At least, it looks like the one I've been to whenever we visit our daughter.

  26. I forgot to tell you I saw the squirrel in the first photo. It was fun trying to find him...sorta like "Where's Waldo!"

  27. I like.the critters you have captured for this post. I have trouble getting clear shots through a window. I also like the track layout you came up with.
    Thanks for the birthday wishes.

  28. Thanks for the comments, everyone! I think I have visited all of your blogs now. I added a cropped photo of the squirrel in the tree since some said they couldn't find it.

    I have tomorrow off of work because our school is closed for some basketball games. It's supposed to get up to 47ish. I hope to get out and get some clean up done in the garden.


I welcome comments and questions from anyone, including those who do it anonymously. Some people find my posts by doing searches, and I like hearing from them. I guess spammers won't even read this message, but I will delete spam as soon as I see it.