Just the back yard!? Nah, I want the front and side yards landscaped in natives too.



Sunday, July 17, 2016

Another Fox Pic

I left the trail cam in place for as long as my patience held--probably 5 days.  Still no face pic, but this is still a better shot than the first few I got. :)

Just as there were already garter snakes on the property and a bear came to our bird feeder when we first moved in, I assume nothing that I did to improve the property is responsible for the fox passing through...but, perhaps what I have added, will allow it to utilize the property for more than just a pass through.

There is a spiderweb at the top of the photo...I cropped most of it out which makes the few bright lines more puzzling.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Phase II...in progress...


After buying a liner last year, I never got around to digging the pond--my focus was on planting the meadow (I've yet to post about the trials and tribulation of establishing my native meadow over the past two years--I hope to post about that before too long).  As I recall, the heat of the summer kept me from digging later in the summer, but I did end up breaking ground on December 25, 2015 since the ground had yet to freeze and I had no concern about the heat. 

This summer, I am smart enough to get up early and work in the shade before noon...now I'm well on my way to digging Phase II, my largest pond ever--still not as large as I'd probably like; from all I've read, the biggest regret of any pond owner is that they didn't make it larger.

Honestly, I can't even remember how large the liner is, but I recall thinking that I could make a pond approximately 17' X 5'or 6' ft...with a depth at some point of 3 ft or so.  Time will tell.

If, somehow, I end up with a larger pond, I hope to buy a larger liner and use the one I have for a wetland.  As you can see, I'm winging this.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Game Cam Surprises


While sorting through the pics from the game cam--with my husband, Jeff, watching over my shoulder (so glad to see him interested and excited as a few surprises came our way). :)  

No big surprises with the rabbit, squirrel, robin, and ground hog that appeared in the pics--and I was not even surprised to see the raccoon (I've seen their prints in my latest addition to the yard--that I've yet to post about)...but I was happy to finally have a photo of one.





I have wanted to see a fox (and hopefully photograph one) in the yard for years.  I guess I knew it was possible or even likely that they were here or at least passing through...just undetected by me.  Now, I have proof. :)  YAY!
 

Again...no surprises that we have free-roaming cats--I love cats, but hate to see them prowling in the habitat that I am creating to support wildlife.  Domesticated cats are not natural predators of North America...and they decimate wild bird (and other critters) populations that are already struggling with habitat destruction.  So, of course, I was not happy to see these two on the game cam.





What I was not expecting was to catch what looks to me (and to Jeff) to be a bobcat! :):):)  This is a natural predator and one that I've only seen in books.  Since getting this incomplete shot of him (or her)...I have moved the game came to face in the opposite position...hoping to get a face pic next time.  :) 


Game Cam Pics










I finally set up the game cam again--and perhaps in a better spot for seeing what comes through our yard (seems it is a wildlife trail), but not aesthetically or composition-wise.

No surprises here--deer...but it is great to see the fawn.  With a bit of cropping some of the photos don't look so bad. :)

But deer were not the only wildlife to show up on the game cam.

Among some of the common critters that one would expect to see,
some surprises were in store for us.

More to come...



Saturday, April 16, 2016

Prime Real Estate

Today, I spotted the male perched atop their favorite house again.  When I grabbed the camera and zoomed in, I noticed that the female was inside with her head peeking out through the hole.  I was pleased.  ~smile~  Although they built their nest in March, I checked a few days ago and saw no eggs.  This is a good sign.

I went outside (beautiful day, sunny and in the 60s) to get some better shots.  As I was walking out into the field (I can't wait to be able to call it a meadow once I've established native grasses and wildflowers)...I spotted another returned visitor--four of them actually; the tree swallows have returned as well.  They were soaring and diving around the open space above our property.  I figured they were house hunting and just enjoying the spring weather and the feelings it brings. :)  Normally, they choose two other nestboxes from the five or six I've put up...but, today, I realized that they had their eye on the house that the bluebirds have already built their nest in.  I'm not happy.

I expect the bluebirds to win the standoff--but, I've never really noticed them competing before.  I hope it doesn't get ugly.

(Pictures to follow--I'm having trouble uploading them at the moment.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Cheerful Sight


After weeks of unseasonably warm weather and what looked like a very early spring, temperatures plummeted and we got an inch or so of snow this weekend.  Although I was used to working out in the yard in 60-70 degree weather, I still got out and did a lot this past weekend...but what I want to share now are some of the photographs I got of birds in the snow.  Something that seemed to be lacking most of the winter.

I was thrilled to be out with camera in hand, and take shot after shot of the small flock of goldfinches perched in the largest dogwood in our front yard.  This dogwood has served me well (and wildlife well also)...I still recall fondly the various species that came in the fall for the berries.  What attracted the goldfinches here was many handy perches as they came for the black oil sunflower seeds I'd put out.








Monday, March 28, 2016

Spring is in the Air



Although, they are not the best shots in the world, I finally got some photos of a red-wing blackbird displaying his epaulets as he calls out feeling those feelings spring tends to bring. :)

Over the past few days, I've enjoyed the gurgling calls and trills of the redwinged blackbirds out in my yard.  They are still hanging out in loose flocks...and they add an air of excitement to the yard.