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Monday, October 31, 2016

This & That - October 2016

October has turned out to be mostly about animals in our yard.  First it was these two bucks that I saw one morning outside my desk window. . . .

The next day I received an e-mail from my neighbor wondering if we had any bear visits.  Her birdfeeder in the front yard was missing and the pole it had hung from had been bent to the ground.  I wrote back that it explained what we found earlier in the day--a chair made from a huge log had been toppled over in our woods.  It is much too heavy to be knocked over by an animal any smaller than a bear.  We put our field camera in that part of the woods, but the bear has not come through that area again.  But we did capture this one night later in the month. . . .

It is the fox we've captured on the camera before on the other side of our property where the ground hog was living under our red shed (the premises has been vacated by the ground hog, by the way).  We've also seen the fox running across our driveway early in the morning and I found his scat in our lawn near the shed last week.  I figure it was the fox's because of the hair found in it (ground hog?).  I'll spare you a photo of that.

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On another day when I had Gabriel off-leash in our unfenced area I saw two deer near the red shed.  I started videotaping, but Gabriel was too busy with the squirrel to notice the deer.  I finally stopped....and THEN he noticed the deer.  So this little video will be all over the place at first while I try to locate the action through my viewfinder as I zoom in on Gabriel. . . .


               

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I've also enjoyed the visitors at my mini-birdbath outside my desk window.  Besides the various birds this little fellow comes for a drink frequently. . . .

I've seen a red Cardinal visit the birdbath and as soon as he left a Blue Jay flew in.  My neighbor reported seeing a Bald Eagle fly at tree-top level last week as she and her husband walked down their lane.  A few years ago I saw from my living room bay window a huge white owl sitting on a branch in our woods.  I would dearly love to see it again and capture it in a photograph.  I did, however, capture this Red-tail Hawk with my camera a few years ago sitting on our deck railing. . . .


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I've already written about the Take Joy Society get-together on Mayan Yucatan foods (chocolate and guacamole) which you can read about HERE if you missed it. . . .

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I've also written about our leaf-peeping trip to the Laurel Highlands HERE, but wanted to share the story behind this statue in the Green Gables Restaurant that I hadn't included.   There are two like this used as support columns.  They came from the estate of steel magnate Charles Schwab in Loretto, PA and were created by the French sculptor, Henri Crenier.  After Mr. Schwab's death the estate became a Franciscan monastery.  That is when they came to reside at the Green Gables. . . .


.•*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•
Take Joy!



24 comments:

  1. It's fun to see the wildlife in your yard as well as Gabriel. The deer are so beautiful, even though they eat our flowers and plants. So stately and graceful even when running away. Very interesting about the statues in the restaurant. Well it's hard to believe November is upon us and that means cooler weather and the holidays. Happy November!

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    1. Our leaves are finally starting to turn, but some trees, like our Ash, have lost their leaves. The forecast is for a much colder end of the month.

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  2. Well, go get them deer, Gabriel! Such bravery when faced with two, much bigger than him, animals. You have such a wonderful variety of wildlife I would be watching all day long. We get foxes and badgers ~ that's it. Since the badgers moved in the hedgehogs moved out!
    I guess it is time to say bye bye October and welcome November! Winter is nearly here.

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    1. After a shirt sleeve day yesterday, today was a coat day! Yes, I think winter is finally upon us. Gabriel will chase the deer just to our property line and stop, as you saw. Today, however, he heard my neighbor's sheep across the lane and he ran across to their electric fence--me yelling for him to come back hoping he wouldn't go up to the fence. Thankfully, he came back once he saw me. There is a barrier of wild roses and bushes that he can get through, but not me so well.

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    2. I've seen one of my own dogs run into an electric fence. She was very, very shaken and not something I would ever want to repeat or see again. Thank goodness you got little Gabriel back in time!

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    3. This is good to know. I didn't think it would be a pleasant experience, but didn't know it would be so bad either. I hope your dog was not traumatized by it!

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  3. We have the same wildlife as you except no deer. It's much too developed for them here. Even though a few years ago we had one lone buck galloping fast down the street. Last winter I watched a pair of fox across the street from our home. They were quite beautiful as they went about their business. It's hard to believe we must say goodbye to October and hello to November. The year is passing quickly. ♥

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    1. That must have been a sight--down the street! Are you saying you have had a bear there? I've seen a bear twice next to our house. It's rather exciting actually because I was inside. I'm not sure what I'd do if I was in my woods and saw one.

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    2. No bear on our property, but there have been sightings a few blocks from us. I've seen bear a few times on hikes on the Skyline Drive. One time there was a bear up in a tree gazing at us! I understand they are nearsighted and often climb trees for better viewing. ♥

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    3. Martha Ellen, I'm glad I've not met a bear on our hikes!

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  4. You are certainly blessed with lots of visitors to your garden. The deer were a delight to see. I would not be so keen to have a bear in my garden...

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    1. As long as I have a window between me and the bear it is a delight and wonder to see it up so close.

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  5. Good Dog Gabriel! Bad Dog Molly would have been long gone! She loves to chase the deer, and there I go chasing after all of them like it is going to do any good! Our first Golden NEVER chased the deer, but she was a model dog. Molly is a rescue and some things just are what they are. Our yard is fenced in so usually she just runs the fence line when she sees them down by the creek or feeding out by the stables, but we have had some adventures! We also have bear in the vicinity. The owner of the company I work for has a picture of one at his game feeder and he is straight south of me about 10 miles. I know we have mountain lions, so I really don't need the bear! The mountain lion was one of the reasons I stopped running on our road years ago. I love wildlife but I like to keep my sightings of things like raccoons, fox, deer, etc!
    Still hot dry and dusty in this part of Texas. It looks like no Fall this year. Most likely a front will move in and bingo, it will be winter!
    Enjoyed your post!
    Chris

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    1. Hi Chris! I would not care to meet up with a mountain lion either! The fact that Gabriel ran off our property for the sheep, but stopped at our property line when chasing the deer perplexes me. His curiosity must have gotten the better of him wanting to see what was making the noise and since they weren't on our property he had to go investigate.

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  6. There have been sightings of bear and bobcat in the area. We have 'resident' coyote, deer, groundhog, possum, and raccoon that wander through the yard. It is quite wild!
    Deer like to "talk" to me sometimes. They huff and snort and paw the ground. I wonder if Gabriel has had that "lecture".

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    1. Yes, Elaine! They have snorted at him before. Bobcat?! I wonder if they're over this way and I've just not heard about it. We saw a coyote years ago--it was very mangy looking. I've seen a raccoon and a skunk, but no possums yet. And of course rabbits and chipmunks.

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  7. Wow, you really do have an abundance of wildlife in your area, Cathy. Even though you frequently write about your "encounters", today's stories are some I've not heard before. No idea you have bears, foxes that came so close to your house. Or at least PROBABLY have a bear. As you said, what else could make off with a birdhouse, or knock down that log chair? We're seeing deer here a LOT closer to populated areas than we used to - I've seen many deer at night, munching along suburban residential streets - but nothing like foxes or hawks or bears yet. Thank goodness. I do have a goose couple that live along the pond in my complex. They come back every year like clockwork and are ALWAYS together. The pond is very near my building, just separated by a street and a sidewalk and a small expanse of grass. Some years they have babies, some not. I'll see her, walking slowly along the grass bordering the sidewalk, nibbling at the ground, sometimes with little goslings lined up behind her. So cute. And he'll follow right behind them, never once looking at the ground, always looking around him and I swear, with a suspicious look on his face. He always makes me think of Secret Service agents, in their dark suits and sunglasses. Deadly serious, always on watch. Once or twice a season, back when I was still working, I'd go out to my car to leave for work, around 6:30/7 am, and see the Goose Couple on the roof on the building across the parking courtyard from mine. Just sitting up here - very weird. Had NEVER seen geese sitting together on a roof before. I love seeing Gabriel in your videos too, charging across the lawn chasing whatever. He has so much energy. I love how he can stop on a dime too, and pivot his whole body in another direction - in a single move. Very easy to see this in your video of him out in the snow. He's clearly having the best time! Hope you had a nice Halloween - not too cold. So much nicer when little kids don't have to freeze or be bundled up on Halloween! ๐ŸŽƒ

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    1. Janet, that's funny about your goose couple (are you sure they weren't a duck duo ๐Ÿ˜?) I will try to take more videos of Gabriel running since you like them so much! He really is amazing for being 8½! I wish I could clock him. I just hope he slows down as he keeps older or he might pull a muscle or put his knee joint out of place, which Westies can have a problem with. I've been giving him glucosamine since he was a puppy when he first had a problem and he's not had any more problems with it.

      You must not heard about my bear encounter last year. It came running up our wooden walkway. I heard what I thought was a deer out my opened window--it was dark so I couldn't see. So I ran to the back door to the deck where the walkway ends, opened the door and came face-to-face with a very large bear on the other side of the gate! The gate was really a baby tension gate so the bear could have knocked it down easily--but when he saw me he turned around, breaking the thin railing we had that led up to the deck. I'd opened the door, but closed it as soon as I saw it was a bear and not a deer! I was speechless for at least a minute--couldn't get the words out to tell my husband what had just happened. I so wish I'd grabbed my camera as I ran to see the "deer".

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  8. OMG - a bear that close??? No, I don't recall that. Did you post about it? If you did, I should have remembered that story! You should try to clock Gabriel too - LOL! I don't know how one would go about doing that, but he is incredibly fast, so it would really be great to know HOW fast. A teeny white speed demon. Gosh, I just think he's the cutest thing. I probably mentioned it before, but my best friend's childhood dog was a Westie [Teddy] and I just loved him. He was a character, just like Gabriel. It must be indicative of the breed - lots of personality!! PS - tell Gabriel I take glucosamine too - helps my knees. LOL. ๐Ÿ’›

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    1. I can't remember whether I did or not--may have just mentioned it in a comment since I had no picture to go along with it. We got a Westie because we'd seen one on the TV show Hamish MacBeth. They DO have loads of personality!

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  9. Do you often have bears in the area? The close encounter you had before sounds quite frightening !It's amazing Gabriel didnt see the deer sooner!I didn't realise you fell in love with Westies through Hamish Macbeth. Sarah x

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    1. Yes, we do! We live on a small mountain ridge that passes through two state parks north of us. I think they travel down our way for easy food in trash cans and birdfeeders. Yes! We've read all the Hamish Macbeth books and have the DVD of the show.

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