I won’t say this has been a mild winter, but I’m not going to complain about the harsh, frigid weather we’ve experienced this year. Have we have some really cold days? Oh yes, we have! And even more overcast, just-plain-dismal-days! However, we are way down in total inches of snow this winter, and there have been too many days when the dreariness made me decide to stay indoors and work on other photo-related projects instead of heading outside for a trail walk. As it turned out, yesterday was a good day for trailwalking. It was cold, but not bone-chilling. And it was dry…a real plus.
Gulliver, pictured above with Bob and one of the many deer that call the park home, was scheduled for a quick visit to the vet to have staples removed from his recent (very successful) surgery.We decided to take him for a short walk in the park before his appointment. Side note: Gully gets over-excited at the vet’s office and isn’t always his usual well-behaved self. We consider it a good visit if he doesn’t leave an unwelcome gift on the vet’s floor…all due to his nervousness. Thanks to our walk in the park, this was a good visit, although our walk was short to allow us to get to the appointment on time,
The meteorological experts are predicting a February warmup over the next five days, meaning no new snow on the ground and probably mud in its place. We shall see! At any rate, here are just a few more pictures from the park to show what it looked like before the (predicted) February thaw.
Downy woodpecker (male)
Dog walker on the river trail
Thanks for coming along on this short trail walk!
…you don’t always get the guests you expected!
After breakfast, I cleaned the kitchen and went outside to prepare the backyard buffet with a delicious feast for the birds. Apparently the feast was appealing enough to attract the attention of a little herd of deer that wandered up from nearby Chagrin River Park.
After the deer were finished feasting, very little remained for the birds’ breakfast! As the Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote…
“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”
Maybe I could adapt that line to read, “The best laid plans of mice, men, and backyard bird feeders often go awry.” Although that isn’t nearly as poetic as the original, it is definitely true.
That’s all for today’s backyard birding adventure!
Thanks for visiting! It is always good to entertain company.
See you soon!
The new bird feeder, destroyed by the rapscallions last week, has been replaced, thanks to a warranty from the manufacturer. Yesterday I hung it in the back yard buffet, in place of the feeder the deer had destroyed, wondering how long it would take for them to discover it. It was mid-afternoon, well before dark, but unfortunately I didn’t have to wait long before five or six of these ladies came wandering into the back yard buffet.
They cavorted around our back yard and next door in our neighbor’s, wandering around and browsing for food under the snow, while I kept a close eye out the window in case they got too near the new feeder. All was going well, and then this fellow came onto the scene.
…and he was definitely interested in food.
As I watched through the window, camera in hand, he came closer and closer…
…until he finally reached the tree stump, just a few feet from the window from which I was watching and only a few feet from the newly replaced feeder. Thinking it was about time to chase them away, I moved. He looked up, spotted me standing inside the window, and apparently unsettled by how close I was, he turned his back and, stepping over the fallen tree trunk, left the back yard buffet.
As soon as he was gone, I put on my jacket and hurried outside to bring in the new bird feeder…or is it a deer feeder? I’m really not sure.
Thanks for stopping by the Back Yard Buffet today.
Walking into my kitchen, I glanced out the window and there, staring straight at me, were two deer…in broad daylight…the penalty we pay for living next door to Chagrin River Park. Why, you might ask, would I call these beautiful animals rapscallions (an old-fashioned word for rascal; rogue; or scamp)? It’s because they consider my Back Yard Bird Buffet their personal dining room, and anything I put out for the birds is free range for these much larger mammals.
When they saw me through the window, they ran away, but I knew they would be back because they knew where the good food was…free for their taking. Unfortunately, they are destructive. They push at the suet and other feeders with their heads to shake the food loose and when they’ve eaten their fill, they leave broken pieces on the ground…Not broken pieces of food, but broken pieces of the feeders. I’ve ended up with more than one broken bird feeder as a result of their night time visits, which is why I call them rapscallions. However, they are beautiful animals, and it’s quite amazing to see them outside my window. I guess we will just have to be more diligent about bringing our bird feeders inside before it gets dark. (But if you have a better solution, I would love to hear it).
Rant over! My feeders are inside and it’s time for me to go to bed.
See you tomorrow!