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Posts Tagged ‘Wildlife’

Why did the turkey cross the road?

Why did the turkey cross the road?

I know.  If you are reading this, maybe you are already “following” me/my blog.

This morning I was stopped by a turkey in the middle of the road, who decided it was safe at last and led 13 other turkeys behind him/her.  They moved too fast for me to get a photo, but they gave “Follow me!” a whole new meaning

Do you follow?

Follow me!

Follow me!

Are you following?

Are you following?

 

 

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Hurrah!  This is not about Germany, and of course we are back in Virginia.

In spite of falling asleep at odd times for close to a week, I am semi alert and almost fully functioning.

Next:  A Family Visit

And having emerged from tracking in the footsteps of the ancients, I am  now enjoying the excitement of a visit from our son and three grandgirls.

They are volatile, young, fun, and sort of tornadic.

Black BearA Bear Stops By for a Look

To add to the excitement, a bear came for a visit too and my middle grandgirl, Kendall, fearlessly dashed out on the deck to get a picture!  The bear admired her beauty for a minute and then headed for the woods.

Celebrating Birthdays

Two of the three girls share close together birthdays, so we are celebrating those too.  Their birthday dinner request is always for Hungarian Paprikash, a kind of stewed chicken with “knuckles.”

When my brother and I were little we could not pronounce the word  Nokedli (little dumplings) so we called them Knuckles, and that stuck (the word, not the dumplings). And I still cannot pronounce Nokedli.

On a sad note:

Our old friend, Buddy died while we were in Germany and today was his Celebration of Life.  Buddy did not want us to mourn but to remember him with happiness.  We loved him so and had so many years of grand laughter and shared kindness.  The memories are many and we are grateful for that friendship and to continue it now with his daughter, Pam and the rest of his family.

Bill and Buddy

Bill and Buddy

To the Drive-in Movie

This evening our son and grandgirls are headed for Hull’s Drive-In Movie Theatre.  Remember those?

Tonight’s weather prediction is for FROST!   I will stay home in a warm place for dozing and predict they will not make it through the first feature.

Virginia Safari Park

Virginia Safari Park

 

Safari Park

Tomorrow is dedicated to pumpkin carving and a traditional visit to Safari Park, where we have been going since the girls were little.  No visit is complete without high pitched screaming in the car when an emu or other big critter sticks its head through the window for a little more snacking!

The Shock and Awe of Silence

When everybody leaves our home and life returns to a normal routine, I may be accosted by the shock and awe of silence.  But for now, it feels like an extension of our vacation and a time to contemplate the joyful ties of family and friends.

 

 

 

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Striped_Skunk

Photo from en.wikipedia.org

I have been living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia for 26 years now and I am a self proclaimed “local”, but still considered a visitor by genuine old timers. It seems like eons ago I  traded citified  high heeled shoes (that don’t work on gravel drives) for  more sensible Wellies or flats that keep you from falling over.

OF COURSE you never have to ask for Dor’s sage words of wisdom.  Here’s the scoop and the straight talk about country living.

MAKE FRIENDS WITH WILDLIFE!

Deer Turkey Convention 3

Wild things “where the deer and the antelope play” make up a big part of country life but please forgive them their sins.

Deer are hungry.

And anything you plant in the ground (flowers, food, maybe even plastic plants) will send out signals in deer language.

Have you ever heard deer talking?  They oink to each other and they don’t know it but I know they are saying,

“Come and Get It Guys!!  SALAD HERE!”

But you have to love deer for their great beauty and grace.  And after all, they were here first.

  • Exception #1:  Do not try to make friends with Virginia Black Bears.  They are beautiful but somehow not to be trusted with your life.  AVOID VIRGINIA BLACK BEARS.
  • Exception #2:  If you see a sick skunk, do not try to cover it with a blanket to reduce chills and fever.  Dor tried this once.  Fortunately the shivering skunk dragged itself away, but I learned later it might have been rabid!  I hope it was only the flu, but please – AVOID SICK SKUNKS!
  • Exception #3:  Buy or borrow a “Have a Heart Trap.”  This comes in handy for humanely evicting critters that get into your attic like flying squirrels and possums.
Nice View Here

This is just a cute squirrel…not a flying squirrel. I have never seen a flying squirrel but my neighbors had them in their attic.

 

PLANT A VEGETABLE GARDEN BUT MAKE IT BIG

We planted a garden right away but were laughed at.

“Need some help harvesting?” said Julie and Peggy between rude guffaws!

I guess one cucumber and one tomato plant was considered small potatoes around here.

It wasn’t much of a salad for the deer either.

YOU WILL SOMETIMES MISS THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE

Plan on losing POWER, WATER, HEAT, AIR-CONDITIONING and don’t expect to FLUSH TOILETS EITHER!  These things usually disappear without warning at the most inopportune times.

WHACK AWAY AT THOSE WEEDS!

You will undoubtedly own five to ten weed whackers over five to ten years.  WEEDS ARE KILLERS OF MECHANICAL OBJECTS.  And weeds will always win.  Be vigilant. Enormous weeds will soon take over without your constant murderous intention.  Wear gloves for manual attacks or risk bleeding fingers and bug bites.  And be prepared.  You will definitely lose the war.

THERE ARE GOOD BEES AND BAD BEES

Have a plan for dealing with wasps and hornets who build TERRORIST CAMPS in the ground or in great hives almost anywhere you don’t think of.  We found one enormous hive in the fender of our pickup truck.  We moved the truck and the critters kept returning to the empty parking space.

Evidently wasps are not particularly bright.

Now there is a terrorist camp in the ground next to our front door!  Beware visitors.

Bill has a diabolical plan for dealing with the threat.  He ran a hose into the hole and turned the water on.  We are waiting to see if they evacuate and move to a more idyllic location.  I will let you know how this works out.

Request for Bee Eviction 2

WORRISOME WEATHER

We have had flooding rains.

Once we had an earthquake that registered as a mild thump with some rattling dishes.

We experienced a Derecho (a type of storm I never even heard of) with wicked winds.

Tree Limbs Down (800x800)

Tornadoes are rare but not unheard of.

Drought is a distinct possibility.

Deep snow does happen.

Hot, muggy, mid-summer weather is punctuated by severe thunder storms. (Dor hides in a closet.  She used to blame the dog.)

However, we were told and still believe this is Brigadoon and it only rains at night.

Don’t get me wrong.

I LOVE COUNTRY LIFE,

the birds singing

and starry skies,

seeing a doe nursing twin fawns,

herds of turkeys,

  Mama Bear and two cubs wandering by our living room windows.

I love the open space

and the silence,

the comfort of knowing we are almost self sufficient,

the warmth of a wood stove and being stocked up for the winter,

and occasionally I even love the challenge of survival

in a place that is not always benevolent.

I still stand in my kitchen and look out at the Blue Ridge Mountains and then I look again at the inside of our house.  It is a welcome nest Bill and I have created and it is all we had ever hoped it would be, complete with all the memories.

Are you still contemplating the serenity of country life?

Ahhhh –  call me if you have questions!

Shenandoah Sunrise

Shenandoah Sunrise

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/muse/

Can't Stop NowI am beyond excited!

Bill and I were on our road home tonight when we saw a doe and her spotted baby.

“Oh look”, I said,  “There is the Mama deer and her little one we have seen lately in the neighborhood.”  I always wished I could get a photograph but Virginia doe and their fawns are often very elusive.

“No! Look!  There are TWO!” I cried, “And  they are TWINS and they are feeding!”

Bill stopped the car and I held my breath.

The Mama deer looked right at us as if to say, “I CAN’T MOVE NOW.  DON’T YOU SEE THESE KIDS ARE HUNGRY?”

And there she stayed for several minutes, just long enough for me to take out the camera and try to get a shot.

Mama n Younguns

Twin Fawns Suckling

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366px-My-bird-feeder 2

How to Choose the Right Bird Feeder: 9 Steps (with Pictures) http://www.wikihow.com My bird feeder.jpg

 

I knew the bird feeder was hanging from a slightly loose screw.

No time to tighten or re-position it under the eaves because we were just returning from vacation and facing shopping, laundry, and re-connections with humans.  I filled it that morning and thought to adjust things later in the day.  At least the birds would have a first meal after weeks of missing me.

 But, in an hour or so when I returned the feeder was gone.  Well, it must have simply dropped from that loose screw onto the ground but it was nowhere to be found.

The Mystery of the Disappearing Feeder

There’s a thief here in Virginia

who stole my perfect feeder

depriving me of viewing pleasure

and the birds their welcome dinner.

A search below deck, round and round

– no feeder was in sight.

Who planned the cunning caper

and not even in the night?

Who was the canny critter with all that derring-do,

who took such great advantage of a little loose screw?

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O.K. yes, I know the Holidays are over.

Can you bear just one more cheery image?

How about this?

A real bird was decorating our little outdoor tree!

Birdy Tree Topper

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Random Five Friday (The Day After-The Day After)

Happy B'day BalloonsSurprise visitors who came for Bill’s birthday returned to the Wild West.  After all that excitement Bill and I were left in total silence with only  deer for company so we decided  to take one day to recuperate.  Being Super Woman I kept  running  on empty though, and tackled clean-up duty.  I  forgot about the effects of emotional stress the “day after-the day after” and the physical toll from too much laughing.

My Friend Janet Started the Laughter

My Friend Janet Started the Laughter

  • Yes,  laughter, especiallya lot of it, can be exhausting  because on the day after-the day after the visitors left all I did was sleep.  Or picture dozing at the sink or in a flat line daze, staring at a wall  with an empty gaze in the middle of changing sheets.  Isn’t it odd how the body simply gets determined to shut down?  The signals were abundantly clear, so much so that I woke up one time on the floor.  I didn’t faint but got down there to stretch and stayed prone in sweet serene slumber for an hour and a half!

 

  • Then came work out day at the “Y,” a Book Club meeting, replenish groceries.  I woke up sleepy though, from the lack of sleep perhaps.  Fourteen hours just wasn’t going to cut it.  So scratch the work out.  I was lucky to make it to book club without lapsing back into oblivion (by the way, Factory Girls is a very interesting book).  And groceries? Leftovers maybe.

 

  • Finally the old self returned just in time for an early morning departure for an outing with a good friend.  My last blog post was about our unusual lunch at a Thai restaurant in a Victorian Inn.  We also went shopping!  Shopping for true rural dwellers is an exhilarating experience, with all the symptoms of menopause.  Think hot flashes, nervous tics, shortness of breath, unexplained hunger, and the urge to lie down (or was that still lack of sleep?).

legs-running

 

  • And then it was really time to tackle the dirty work.  My little friend Amy came to help.  She is little but she is mighty!  Amy is getting ready to run a 26 mile marathon in Pennsylvania so she said she did a practice run of 26 miles in 4 ½ hours.  It would take me 24 1/2 hours to hobble that far.  Amy is a five foot tall redhead with boundless energy who just got her license to drive a truck.  She is also going to run in a marathon!  Did you know that true marathoners don’t stop to use  portapotties! Huh?  I will leave the rest of that fascinating fact to your imagination.  Using imagination,  I may never watch marathoners in the same way again.

“Learning is growing no matter how old we are.”

~ Another sage quote from Dor.   Happy Weekend!

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A Bird's Eyeview

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Maybe if I crouch down low enough she won’t see me!

I See You

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A Walk on the Wild Side - Our Forest

Photo by Dor at Virginia Views

The mystery of the forest awaits

as I walk once again to my secret place

a small bench halfway along the trail

to sit and listen and rest awhile.

The forest fills with sound,

the purring whine of  insects,

a wooshing breeze,  a song bird’s song,

a stream’s shhhhhh and trickling,

the chatter of leaves, 

unknown cracklings  and 

Yes, I can hear nature’s sigh 

that matches mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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