Wildlife...

Discussion in 'Homebound/Bedbound' started by hangininthere, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. hangininthere

    hangininthere Well-Known Member

    We have robins and sparrows mostly here. And grey squirrels, sometimes a rarely seen black one.

    There used to be two red cardinals that came to our huge about twelve foot high tree-size rhododendron bush summer after summer that I could see out my kitchen window. (Not sure what kind of bush, but looks like a Rhodie from looking up pics online.) Then bush got cut down along with a bunch of other greenery by landlord because of a poison ivy infestation throughout our yard. When the cardinals came back, they were looking all around confused where their bush was, then left and have never come back.

    And huge black crows and big seagulls in store parking lots, which I can't figure out why the seagulls are here inland away from any shore. A cute family joke is how my sister mispronounced them 'seagles' when she was little.

    One time at the store, I got so tickled to see one black crow standing in the midst of dozens of seagulls, all cooling their heels in the parking lot. All getting along peacefully. Such a precious sight. That blew the old saying out of the water 'birds of a feather flock together'. Ha ha. Thank God for free spirits. Loved it.

    I got so excited last summer when I happened to look out the back picture window and there on the side of the huge old maple tree clung the most colorful bird I've ever seen around here.

    Looked it up online, and was tickled to find out it was a yellow bellied sapsucker. I've always heard that name in cartoons as a joke, but never knew what they looked liked. Its color was far more brilliant and luminescent than any picture I've found online.

    I'm in the city, so it's always a treat to see a groundhog waddling across the yard. One time I had my garbage bag in the basement way with door closed. When I went to get the bag to put it outside the next day, there stood a huge black groundhog by the bag. Of course we both startled each other. Looked straight into each others eyes. He waddled down the basement steps as fast as he could and I saw him disappear down the drainpipe that leads to outside main sewer pipe to street. Then I put a big cement block over hole in basement til landlord put in a drain cover.

    Several years ago there was a mama possum and several babies living in that huge rhododendron bush. The way I found out she was there was when I opened the back door to take trash out, she was on my little back porch right there. We were within inches of each other. Each startled of course. She looked me straight in the eye and hissed real loud and ran down the steps and into the tree. She didn't even faint from fright 'playing possum'. I peeked up in the tree another day and what a precious sight, the babies were pretty big.

    Being a city girl all my adult life, it's a real treat to see some wildlife right here in my city yard at times.

    Well, it was a hard arduous treat the time a squirrel got into our house. I was laying in my bed in living room with a pillow over my head as usual, and suddenly something ran from the back room den, through the kitchen, into the living room and right across my head at top speed to bedside table and front picture window, then back over my head to den again. Startled me and the poor dear was scared to death of course.

    It took three days of trying to get it to go back outside. It was hiding up in a fake fireplace flue that it had fallen down. I don't know why there's a flue to roof when it's a fake fireplace with electric outlet.

    First I tried to isolate the squirrel to that back room by putting up a big queen size mattress over the big archway between den and kitchen. Then opened windows. We could hear it scurrying around out there at times, but it didn't make it out the window, but just back to its hiding place. I even tried squirting it with a spray bottle in the flue to scare it into running out the open door, but it was too terrified to move.

    As sick and weak as I am, I even crawled out the upstairs attic bedroom window onto the roof, with a sheet torn up and tied together like a long rope, with knots tied into it. I put it down that flue in hopes it would crawl out that way. It grabbed on right away, but then let go and wouldn't come up. I had a nice friendly conversation with the friendly next door neighbors who were re-siding their house out there. Explaining why I was on my roof in my pajamas. Hahahahaha.

    I should've left the rope there overnight or all day or longer, but I was afraid more squirrels would get in. Same with leaving the windows open all day. What a conundrum for my brain fogged mind, trying to figure out what to do. The poor thing would starve. I put a bowl of water in the den, and some nuts.

    Finally, the third day we had a pure stroke of luck.

    Me and hub heard it in the back room scurrying around the den. So we hurried and edged through the mattress to get in there, and I ran like a football player fleeing at top speed for the end zone, and covered the flue hole with something so it couldn't get back in its hiding place. Meanwhile, I'm screaming for hubby to open the door wide - while trying not to fall over from my precarious position I landed in when I dove to cover the flue. Kind of like playing the game Twister. And sure enough, after it flailed all over the room in terror, it finally accidentally flailed right out the door. Whew. Poor thing. It was sheer luck that it didn't run back into its hiding place as we came into the room.

    Luckily I love rodents, not afraid. Son has had pet mice and a pet rat when little. I kiss them on their sweet little heads. Love squirrels, would kiss them if they'd let me. Love to watch them frolicking through the yard and trees and fences.

    One night my cat caught a cute little field mouse in the den. I heard a ruckus and went out. There he was with the mouse in his mouth, mouse still alive and struggling. It was the cute kind with the big round ears, like the cartoon Pixie and Dixie. I ran and got a big thick bath towel and folded it up so I could grab the mouse out of his mouth. When I lunged at him with the towel it startled him and his jaws unclamped. I had the mousie in the towel and went out to back porch and threw him over the railing into the grass below. He was stunned from the ordeal. He sat there looking right up into my eyes saying "What the?" Precious moment.

    And those are some of the wildlife adventures of this city dweller.

    Patti
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
    freida and Soul* like this.
  2. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    Love the city meadow wildlife stories :D

    Over here we have robins, the great tit, the blue tit and the tail tit, blackbirds, crows mostly the small and occasionally a large one, european jays, magpies,
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    pigeons, sparrows, treeclimbers (?) an incidental hedgehog and squirrel, some bats and swallows.

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    The blackbirds try to nest year after year and do lay firtile eggs but often nests are abandoned or robbed halfway through. The tits had started building a nest too but didn't finish and went elsewhere though the young did come here.
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    The robins did nest succesfully and had at least two young. I only realised they nested IN my garden when the young had just left the nest.

    [​IMG]

    The blackbirds roam the garden a lot constantly and also bring their young when they have them. They love the compostheap but dig everywhere they can. They also love the birdbath as do the tits.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
    freida likes this.
  3. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    How cute....I've never seen a hedgehog.

    A few years ago a little mourning dove discovered a hanging basket in my shade garden and built her nest and laid eggs. She sat on those eggs for at least 6 weeks and every now and then I would peak, but no little ones. A friend told me to destroy the nest because she had gone "bonkers". So I did. A week later Dorothy Dove had laid more eggs. I think the problem was I never ever saw a mate. And last year there was a mourning dove looking AGAIN at the rental property in my shade garden. I moved things around so she wouldn't build a nest.

    Patti....I love all those critter stories you've shared.
  4. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    Sun my heart skipped a beat when I saw it wobble through my garden. I have a fake one under a bush so thought it might have blown away but then realised it was a real one. They supposed to only come out at night but this was midday in December. I haven't seen it again after that.
  5. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    Soul: The only "connections" I have with a hedgehog is thru Beatrice Potter!
  6. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    The tail tits where back in the garden this morning.
    And the blue tit was checking out the birdhouse closest to my bedroom window and actually went in. I guess I'm not the only one who has spring on my mind.
    A great tit was taking a bath in the bird bath so all kinds where represented this morning.

    I reinstalled some more seating and lying areas on the terrace so have plenty of choice to sit and lay outside when weather and health permits. I feel so fortunate to have been able to move to a down floor house three years ago because of health urgency. I've been locked up on a overheated upstairs dark and no view appartment for so long and I won't likely forget how fortunate I am now to be able to see green and even get out without having to master any stairs first and without having to worry if I will make it back home safely. I feel so much more connected to the world now even though I'm still very limited in actually visiting people or having people visit me but just having landed on earth again after years and years of living in 'a tower' makes so much difference.
  7. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    Soul - I'm so happy that you were able to move downstairs, and have your garden, and birds, and wading pool. To be connected with the soil and growing things and the outside world.

    And that you share it all with us through your pics and words!
  8. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    OMG, Soul. That's wonderful that you're now on ground level. That must have been a nightmare. I agree.....a bird bath to watch and soil to connect to makes all the difference in our state of happiness.
  9. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    Freida: congratulations on learning something new today. I need to try those instructions also when I'm on our regular computer.

    Such a cute little bird.
  10. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    Congrats Leah, what a wonderful little bird, it reminds me of the blue tits we have here.
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  11. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    That one (one like that) was visiting the birdhouse closest to my bedroom window. They haven't nested in that house as of yet but I can keep hoping one day they will.
  12. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    They use mosses and hair and small twigs and grasses and such.
    [​IMG]
    They had started to nest in the birdhouse in the jasmin last year but stopped. It had a beautiful tapistry of bright green mosses in it.
    [​IMG]
    Those where the great tits by the way.
    I've had both great and blue tits nest on a community garden I had once upon a long ago.

    The one close by is probably not favored because of the direction of the wind blowing into the opening.
  13. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    This morning the blackbird males where having serious words with eachother chasing eachother like madman. I guess the boundaries of the teritories have to be set straight and last years young males will have to learn they are no longer welcome on their birthground. Poor boys :p
  14. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah that IS a nice thing about snow, I made footprint pictures in the snow a few years back of the bird highway and luring cats paws. We haven't had any snow this year.

    [​IMG]
  15. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    Today is the first strongly sunny day after months of snow, sleet, ice, and cloudy days.

    The sun is at a new angle getting close to Spring, but the sun is so strong at this in-between-the- seasons that my husband and I are walking around like vampires, closing the drapes and blinds. lol

    When the trees bloom the leaves will soften the light
    .
  16. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    Wind I so hear you on the light, I have the same thing, when the sun is so bright I have to put the sunscreen back up to keep it out of my eyes at least when lying with the curtains open.

    LOL Leah, haha, that's what I love about watching via internet. You can pause and rewind and fast forward and take screenshots at will. I don't have a tv so I only watch via missed broadcast sites and such. To me it's ideal, I never feel the need to stay up for a program but only watch when and what I want to watch as long or short as I want to watch it. We are not THAT far from Ireland, it's just across the 'pond'. Europe is so small compared to America so most countries are relatively close.

    I'm not sure yet but this time around it looks like the sparrows are nesting in the Ivy they keep flying in and out. I love the sparrows, cute little birds. We didn't have them around for quite a number of years and I really missed them. Time will tell if they are actually nesting or just visiting for the bugs and berries.

    Patti that is a great mindset, I prefer to see the lighter side of things too, makes life so much easier and enjoyable even though at times it is hard and confronting. There is always a silver lining and my hair reminds me of that ;p

    I love coming here too and enjoy both the reading and the posting of the wonderful posts about the beauty and humor in our lifes. Unfortunately I have a too hard a time to keep up with the Porch and such but that doesn't make me care less about everyone, everyones sharing is so valuable and the game and 'game' (aka wildlife) posts light up my day as well and I love being able to share the photo's that I collected through the past years in my facebook albums. I never had photoalbums being more actively used then these :D And it's so nice to be reminded of pretty scenes of the past by the things you all share.
    freida likes this.
  17. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    Mr. Blackbird decided today that my veggiepatch is a more interesting place to dig then the compostheap B)

    And they are ferocious diggers too... good thing I hadn't sown any seeds there yet. I will have to take measures to keep them out when I do plant or sow... On one hand I want to give them access to keep the snail damage and such under controle but if they dig up every seed and seedling I'm not sure who will do more damage :p
  18. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    I hear you on that. Not only do they dig up seeds but also do they plant their own. Regularly I find acorns planted in my garden on different places. The big birds like them and there aren't any acorn trees around here so they bring accorns to plant them. Nature is fascinating :D
  19. bct

    bct Active Member

    Well yes, birds can be a nuisance in the garden. If I have put out sprouts or young plants I'll often cover them with wire screen until they are established. And to compensate, I put the birds to work by spreading birdseed on areas that have lots of weed seedlings :rolleyes:.

    As for cats, I use the screen for them too, or else a good sprinkling of very hot chili pepper powder.

    As for slugs and snails, there is a product called Sluggo that is totally organic and non-toxic to birds, pets, other wildlife except for s & s's. It's made in Germany I believe, and I swear by it. It really works. ;)


    Hugs,
    Barry.


    Oh yeah, from my window I do see pink anemone....
  20. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    Ooooh Anemones are beautiful!

    Haha yeah I know there are many non toxic ways to get rid of slugs and snails but I can't get it over my heart to use the methods that will kill or harm the slugs or snails. If the birds catch them that's up to the birds but if I kill them that's up to my account. I might try the copperwire method some time if I can get hold of the materials. It's a challenge to find all the right methods and I don't have so much energy to put into that so I usually just end up waiting and seeing what will and won't grow. And trying tiny little things here and there with stuff that I have lying around the house anyways.

    When I feel up to it I'll try and find a good online gardencentre to see if I can order some things to try. It's a nice challenge to live with and not against nature haha, that's for sure. I don't mind they are there and I don't mind sharing even but i do like to have some for myself too :p Can't blame them for seeking out the best too instead of feeding on the scraps.