July 10th, 2013

One of the pleasures of living in the woods is the ever present wildlife.  I keep several bird feeders in the front yard, which always gives me a little entertainment while relaxing on the front porch rocker.  Cardinals and tufted titmice are a year round presence, while seasonal visitors include several different finches, painted buntings, Carolina chickadees, redwing blackbirds, spotted towhees, and many smaller birds that these old eyes can’t see well enough to identify, and this old butt is too lazy to go find the binoculars to get a better look.  Also have a resident coopers hawk family, and some hummers from early spring to late fall.

Prior to fencing in the yard, I would sit on the porch and watch road runners and wild turkeys walk (run) through the yard within feet of where I was sitting—once, a good looking red fox trotted right through the yard also, stopping to check out the fire pit, but paid no attention to me being there.  Now, with the fence up, I don’t have those sort of up close and personal visits, but for a couple of weeks back in June, a wild turkey hen would walk from where she sitting a clutch of eggs (I’m assuming) along the drive in front of the house towards the tank where there was still some water at the time.  I’d see her almost daily either coming or going.  And of course, the squirrels are fond of foraging under the seed feeders—sometimes there might be 3 or 4 on the ground at once.  They seem to love teasing Bert & Ernie when the fence is between them, and they spend a lot of time scolding the cats from the safety of the trees.

I keep a corn feeder up for the deer, but they don’t make their presence known during the day.  Neither do the wild pigs which I have a couple of running around the place.  The kids gave me one of those infrared game cameras that I set up by the feeder.  Here is a sample of what the night holds here on the Hunker Down.

1-12-12 008 1st night at feeder 003 at the feeder 016 at the feeder 038

There are at least 3 coyote families in the area.  You can hear them talking to each other, mostly right at dusk.  I suppose they are letting each other know where they are hunting that night so that they don’t run into each other.  Several times, their calls have been real close – right up to the property perimeter fence, and before getting the LGD’s, I would find scat, and big old canine paw prints while out on my daily walk abouts.   Still find the occasional scat up in the woods on the far north side of the property where the existing perimeter fencing is old and not nearly as good as the fencing I put up on the unfenced west and south sides.  But, Bert & Ernie do their job, and I have yet to lose a goat. (knock on wood!!!)

Anyway, it is July, so it is hot and dry.  Seems like there is always a forecast of rain in the extended forecast, but by the time those dates roll around, any chance is gone.  I guess they do that just to get our hopes up.  What we really need now is for a tropical system in the gulf to track just right so it dumps it’s load on us, but any moisture would be more than welcomed.  Still have a bit of work to do on the chicken pen, so best get at it.

JVC

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