Roadrunner and Other Creatures

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August 20, 2006:I have several things to report regarding wildlife. I forgot to mention last time that we had a skunk visit our carport one morning. He saw Farris in the driveway and ran and hid behind some equipment. Farris very gingerly went to the car and backed it out of the drive. The skunk stayed a good while but some young men who were working on the land for us scared him out; it is a wonder he didn't spray the whole place.

I went out to take in the cat food the other evening and surprised a raccoon and three little babies just approaching the food container. They scrambled and hid under a work table, the little baby  noses showing just under the table; I suppose the babies thought they were hidden. I took in the food. One definitely does NOT want to feed raccoons around the house. They will tear up the place looking for food. But those babies were cute. I hope to get a picture of them; Farris saw them this afternoon leaving after checking to see if we remembered to take in the food. We had. He will call me if he sees them again so I can get a picture.

I have not seen the fox at the watering trough since setting up the camera and focusing it on the trough. I did get pictures of some other things. One of our tasks in managing this place for wildlife habitat and development is to provide food, shelter and water as appropriate for the wildlife. Here you can see only one place we have provided for water. We also put in the wildlife tank and I have my sugar kettle fountain where birds, bees, and animals refresh themselves. Last week, I finally got some pictures of the road runner. Here he is at the trough:

raodrunner

roadrunner drinking

Roadrunner at trough

Drinking

roadrunner

roadrunner in tree

Doing what he does so well--running.
He left the fountain and headed east, changed his mind and ran back toward the fountain.

He flew up in the tree. Notice that his beak is open. It was about 107 degrees when this was taken.
He panted the whole time I watched him.


I need to mention that all of these pictures are taken from inside the house through a window. It would be nice to be able to get them without the glass intervening, but this documents their presence here in our yard.

The other animals that come up at least twice a day in this drought are the deer. Here are some pictures of three of the bucks who visit our yard regularly. They are now browsing the trees, and indication that they are having trouble finding the forbs they like to eat. Walking in the yard, I see just dead grass.

bucks drinking

bucks

The bucks and does come at different times now. I took these this afternoon about three hours ago.

I included this to show off those beautiful antlers.

big buck

Big Daddy again. This view shows off his antlers better than the last one.

That is the Lair wildlife report for today.

I have completed the Milli doll class, the last one I had to take before I begin the design classes with Judi Ward. I have posted pictures of Milli at the Doll Gallery. You can click the appropriate button above or click here. Millie is a French Boudoir doll, and she is very special. Please take the time to see her. You guys will miss a treat if you don't go there!

Until next time, keep cool.

. August 09, 2006: The fox continues to cross the yard every few days. I saw him headed for the watering trough one day this week. My big lens was not on my camera because I had been taking pictures of my dolls. It was frustrating because first he simply sat by the trough facing the house, and looking as if he were posing so I could take a picture. Then he went around the back of the trough and sat and daintily lapped some water. When he put his little front paws on the trough edge and started drinking, knowing that he would be gone by the time I got my tripod set up and big lens on the camera, I decided to follow the old adage of "shoot the picture anyway" even if you think it isn't going to come out, and I took the picture with my wide angle (17-85 mm) lens. The results is not a good picture but it is documentation of the fox being in the yard:

fox

Fox at watering trough

I have set up my tripod and camera with the wildlife lens focused on the watering trough and I hope that doesn't mean he won't come by again. We will see.

I have created a Doll Gallery and have added two new dolls. You can click on the link above or click here to see the new dolls.

 I have added a story that I had been holding back because I had submitted it to Blue Ocean Institute in response to their call for submissions of stories about the seashore for their new online publication called Sea Stories. I waited nearly a year to see whether they would use my article and when I inquired about it found that, even though I had received enthusiastic acknowledgement of my submission, it had apparently become lost in the labyrinth of their bureaucracy. They offered to look for it but I simply withdrew the submission and decided to publish it on my website. Some unusual pictures are included in that story, so don't miss taking a look at them. You can read about Beaks, Belicans, and Funny Brown Pelicans on the Creative Writing page by clicking the appropriate button above or by clicking here.

The humming birds continue to depart and although I still have four feeders up I could probably get by with just two. We have mostly females with an occasional male that is passing through. The bees continue to be a problem, although not nearly as bad as they were last year. I estimate we have about one fourth as many humming birds now compared to what we had at the height of the season.

Last revised: August 20, 2006




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