Living “in the country” surrounded by wooded areas has given me a whole new experience with wildlife. Birdwatching has become a favorite hobby. Still new to the experience, I must refer to my library of bird books in order to identify my feathered friends. A house wren and her mate are still working on the nest in our bull head basket which hangs on our house right next to the front door. They can be seen and heard for most of the day. We look forward to seeing the eggs and future nestlings.
Most of the bird activity takes place in the back yard where four feeders, a seed sock, a suet cage and a birdbath can be found. The squirrels have not visited the chalet since I no longer put the suet in the side baskets. A “no squirrel” seed mixture with pepper flakes has kept both the red and gray squirrels off the chalet, but yesterday we noticed a chipmunk eating there instead. There will be some renovations to the chalet site and hopefully a baffle will keep the rodents away.
Yesterday Bella located a third toad, the second in the cellar window well. I removed him myself, choosing not to bother the animal rescue officer (my husband) this time. The dust pan with the tall vertical handle works like a charm. Froggy was set free and happily hopped off into the woods. As I brought a leashed Bella out into the front yard later in the evening we were met by yet another toad on the path to our steps. Luckily Bella didn’t actually see him, but I know she had already caught the scent. Luckily it was too dark for her to actually spot him. Bella is pretty strong for a forty-five pound dog and certainly would have dragged me along for a visit.
The weather yesterday was warm and sunny for most of the day. My collage is another attempt to illustrate my birdwatching experience. I hope to expand our gardens and feeders to attract more birds. So far we have counted twenty-three different species. Since the fence was installed the deer have not been in our yard. We still see them in the woods to the rear of our yard, but the thickening green foliage is making it more difficult to notice them as they pass up and down the hill. All the leaves are also hiding the wild grape vines that haphazardly wrap themselves around trees. That is a good thing; I’ve been complaining about them for a while. Soon the wild black raspberries will arrive and my husband will pick enough to make his tasty “Lamponcello” liqueur. The black caps grow on treacherous, thorny vines. They surround the yard and crowd out anything in their way. You have to love the wild elements here in country.