Thursday, August 04, 2016
I seem to collect a lot of photos when I haven't been here for a week--LOL!
I haven't seen the bigger ground squirrels around lately, but this young high-stepper has been around all week.
He walks almost like he's on tip toes for some reason.
Very glad to see him.
There's also recently been another young one who is the opposite and sometimes lies down on his belly to eat--LOL! I never know exactly how many there are because it is impossible to tell them apart except by size or mannerisms.
When McFamily dropped off the car they also dropped off a zucchini and some broccoli from their garden! Delicious!!
When I went over to feed Sammy and Annie and scoop cat boxes I finally got to see the landscaping they have done in the front yard. Yes, I have only been to their place once or maybe twice since I moved here just over a year ago. Has been a rough year for the old body--LOL! Well, an apparently tougher on the old brain than I thought, too--ROFL! Nice to feel better, that's for sure.
These huge pots by the garage are beautiful!
They have put in bushes along the front of the house with rocks around them...
...two small fir trees and that big area with a ring of rocks around it and a couple small boulders.
The bushes are all looking perky on a sweltering day.
And the three garden boxes in the backyard...
...are looking pretty lush.
I didn't spend much time outside as it was hot and sticky and they had a thunderstorm warning out (turned out it came later in the evening).
I snapped Miss Karma sleeping in the sun one morning.
Did I get a look!
How she can hear that tiny noise the camera makes is beyond me.
Caroline brought groceries and I ordered some actual bird seed.
Has that ever been a hit!
The grouse came and stayed for a long time--which they've never done before. They love the small seeds. Couldn't seem to get over the shock of finding better goodies here--LOL!
And the blackbirds and sparrows went nuts! Weren't even doing much of the usual squabbling.
Do you notice the young ground squirrel on the right?
Once the sun is gone in the morning, though...all the critters on CatTV are old hat to Miss Karma now.
The only thing that glues her to the window these days are ground squirrels and birds bathing in the water saucer.
Yes. My one loaf of stale bread has transformed into a plan to feed them year round. I had been hesitant because I know how much work would be involved and that it will cost me extra money...but they won me over in no time. Bread turned into sunflower seeds and oatmeal...and now real bird seed (and often still a little oatmeal). If I was going to feed them this winter I needed to come up with a plan.
Naturally I consulted Leah, our tool girl. I asked her if she could figure out a way I could put up a removable bird feeder for the winter months? And she came up with a plan to hang it with five chains hooked to the balcony above me. The chains would have clip-hooks (I forget the name of them) on either end so they would be removable from big eyehooks screwed into the boards above in the four corners of the balcony. One chain would just come straight down.
I wanted the birdhouse to hang over my patio so that the excess seed would fall down on to my patio and it needs to be low enough so that I can reach it for refilling. I'll have to show you this fall, but the reason for all the chains is to keep the birdhouse from smashing about out there in the terrible winds we get here.
It's so windy that Leah even came up with the idea to velcro the metal glider chair's legs to the base to keep that chair from rocking back and forth so hard. It was scooting about on the patio and even tipped over that one time, remember? I am ordering a small bird feeder that has some kind of grate on the bottom that is supposed to help in the wind and rain, but if you just hung it from a chain low enough for me to refill it would be smashed to bits out there in no time.
I'm excited about the birdhouse! Made by hand in Michigan and won't arrive for another month or two. Has a wooden inverted V inside the hopper to help the seed get out so it doesn't clump up in the middle, too.
To save myself a little money I will keep this feed bin in the garage.
I can then buy 20 lb. bags AND when the seed is frozen it kills a lot of the little grain bugs and moths that always show up in seed. I can just go out to the garage every so often to fill up the smaller container I'm using now in the apartment.
And, of course, you knew if they had one that I'd find a big red feed scoop--LOL! ;)
Oh, and now that there is small seed out there I am seeing the mourning doves regularly, too! There were two of them but you can see the one on the left more clearly. They love the small seed, too. The sparrows go for that first, too.
The bird brigade gobbles down everything but the whole corn...which gets pocketed by the ground squirrels as soon as they arrive. There are no black sunflower seed shells or anything at all left out there when they are done--except poop--LOL!
But the ground squirrels hibernate over the winter, so I don't want anything with corn in it once the snow flies or the ground squirrels quit coming, whichever comes first. Right now, though, I am giving them a combination of three packages. A no waste bird seed, a regular bird seed (black sunflower seeds in that one), and a critter food package (for squirrels and the like) that even has a few shelled peanuts in there, I think, and that's where the whole corn is from. Makes me wonder--which birds eat those small black sunflower seeds whole? They were gone before the ground squirrel arrived?
Anyways, for the winter now I have my feed bin and scoop--ordered a bird feeder--and all that's left is to hang the feeder and get a lightweight snow shovel so I can clear the center of the patio. I'll need to be able to get to the bird feeder to fill it and to be able to spread some food down on the ground that doesn't get lost in snow for the grouse and possibly for doves. (It says online that most mourning doves migrate but a few never do--more likely males.) And for the grouse and doves--any food falling out the the feeders will be welcome, I'm sure. I wonder if the jackrabbits will come to eat, too? Time will tell. I wonder if they eat whole corn? Nope, I just googled that and not whole corn because they can't chew through it to break it up and it passes through the poor things still whole--LOL! Well, that answers that. ;)
Yesterday McFamily stopped by briefly on their way back home so they could pick up the car. Ian seemed as glad to see Gramma as I was to see him! I have gone from Ma-maw (rhymes with Gramma) to Gamma with a hint of an r in there--LOL! He wanted to watch more "Africa" but there wasn't time for that. It was snack time at the table with peaches and then puzzles and books for a little while. A surprise visit--so I forgot all about the camera again. I am really terrible at that.
Okay--that's it for today. I was locked out of facebook right after I posted my blog there last time because somebody in Tokyo tried to log into my account. I avoided facebook for the whole last week because I was afraid that if I made a new password like they wanted me to that it might be a scam of some kind. But I finally did that now today so I can post this on facebook for those of you who only catch my blog over there in that still-alien-to-me territory--LOL! If I get another person trying to be me on facebook this time--I might just leave altogether. We'll see.
It's actually only 76 degrees right now and I've been able to have the patio door open--whoohoo!! We have to treasure these days this summer. We actually might not have rain till next week and low 80s. Depending on humidity there may be some more open door days. Nice! Have a good weekend, everybody!! :) :)
"Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again."
Sarah Ban Breathnach