Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Today's Post is Brought to You by the Letter "B"

Last week was a busy week in my back yard.  The beginning of May, I changed the batteries in my motion sensor cam and redirected it.  I was hoping to catch the edge of the swamp as there are always lots of prints in the mud under my viewing log.  The black flies were eating me alive so I didn't take the time to change the date and time.  I finally retrieved the camera at the end of last week.  It was FILTHY!!  All muddy and a big glop of I don't know WHAT in front of the motion sensor.  I brought the whole thing up to clean it off and reviewed my catch.  I think this guy's responsible for the condition of the camera.  I chose a blurry photo of him to spare some gory details.  The horizontal log (the bigger of the two) is my viewing perch to survey the swamp.  This guy (eleven or twelve, I'm guessing) is apparently hunting frogs just beyond my log.  He knows my camera is there and sometimes ignores it and other times performs.  This particular day he drops to his knees and waggles the dead frog in front of the camera and then I'm guessing he left the frog on top of the camera as a gift for me.

Something else found it first (THANK GOODNESS) and had a tasty snack, leaving my camera rather dirty in the process.  I cannot say exactly what it was as it was much too close to the camera, but we're guessing it could have been a young Black Bear.
 My daughter took this shot out my office window, maybe 25 feet or less from the house.  Mid-afternoon she got a call from a neighbor across the street saying the Black Bear was crossing the road into our yard.  Before my daughter could grab the camera or bang on the window, he had grabbed a bird feeder.  He is sitting just on the other side of the stone wall, working on the contents of the feeder.  She took a few pictures and then opened the window and yelled.  Our day nurse was headed home and banged a pot and pan as she crossed the yard to her car!  The young bear came back that evening for the front feeders but I had already grabbed one.  I could have had an amazing shot as he stood on his hind legs to pull the thistle feeder down but I've already lost two shepherd hooks to this hungry guy.  Instead of grabbing the camera, I slammed the front door and he took off like a shot.

One final shot from the swamp cam, a Bobcat!  I have the camera set for a burst of nine pictures and only got this one!!  Wish it would have captured his face but I'm just thrilled to have finally caught a picture!  Two summers ago I had a Bobcat kit chasing a bird in my backyard and I don't think many people believed me.  A picture is definite proof!

Friday, May 25, 2012


It's that time of year when the turtles  make their way up the steep hill from the swamp to find prime egg laying spots.  For the past eight years, I'd say, we've only seen Eastern Painted Turtles.  Yesterday afternoon, we had a fairly good sized Snapping Turtle.  The Courageous and Very Curious Babymomma had to go check it out.  I missed the shot of her running back to the house as it turned quickly to check her out!  Last week I had captured a Very Curious Gray Squirrel checking out an Eastern Painted Turtle.  

I don't know if it successfully found a good spot to lay eggs.  Many years ago, come September, we would have cars stopping as dozens of tiny snappers were crossing the road.  I think the Snappers continue up the hill across from us to lay their eggs.  Quite the trek.

I'm always amazed at how high they raise themselves up to walk and how quickly they can move!

The Eastern Painted Turtles decide my yard is good enough, often at the edge of the driveway or in the gardens.  I wish I knew more about them, especially how long from laying to hatching.  Often in July we'll spot broken eggs withering on the surface of the grass.  Not sure if something dug them up or if they've hatched already.  Last spring when we were working in some flower beds we found tiny empty turtle shells.  This April we found quite a few tiny turtles in our driveway. So I'm not exactly sure when they hatch or how long it takes them from hatching to get to the swamp.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Honey, I've Got to Go!

Not my proudest moment, this morning.  My hubby is overseas on business and called!  There was a sandstorm and he was going to be stuck for the night in a remote location...."at least I brought a blanket and some snacks."  The phone call was more than touching base, it was a way to kill time.  As we're talking, I'm walking and something just catches my eye.  Still talking, I'm looking everywhere for my binoculars.  There is a bird but it is in the shadows of the leaves and I am seeing only a hint at color.  Can't find the binoculars anywhere, so I am doing my best multi-tasking; talking, looking for my camera, keeping my eye on the bird. It suddenly darts out of the shadows and onto the bird feeder and I catch that gorgeous shade of blue.  "HONEY, I'VE GOT TO GO!  THERE'S AN INDIGO BUNTING ON THE FEEDER!!" 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

While You Were Sleeping

I've heard reports of bear in the neighborhood for several years, but my bird feeders have always remained unscathed.....till now.  The bird feeders themselves were fine, just dirty.  The lid opened on one, but the other remained closed.  The shepherd hooks, sigh, they will need replacing and I will now join the ranks who bring the feeders in at night and put them out in the morning.