Friday, June 30, 2006

Better than a Roomba

Pup2 loves dog food prep day - she gets to lick up the spillage...


For those who have dined here and are now wishing they hadn't, let me assure you that this:


is my next step.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The allure of Lake Gaston

Um, I mean lures of Lake Gaston...

Lake Gaston fishing lures

Apparently I'm not the only one who has trouble casting. Most days you can find someone fishing from the bridge crossing the Pea Hill Creek section of Lake Gaston. Looks like the power line sometimes gets in the way.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Inspired by Julie Zickefoose's Virtual Garden Tour, I thought I'd post of few photos of what we have growing around here...

mushroom photo

mushroom photo

mushroom photo

mushroom photo

mushroom photo

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Calcium for the lactose intolerant

I don't know about you, but I hate it if I come across a piece of egg shell when I'm eating a muffin. But if I bake muffins (and I sometimes do) for my gouldian finches, I crush the egg shells and throw them right in the batter. Or sometimes I skip the batter altogether and just serve them the egg shells...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Titmouse dinner

titmouse eating worm

Everyday I put out a bowl of mealworms on our deck. We always hope that the Carolina wrens will show up in time for a snack, but the titmice usually beat them to it and they don't seem to like the idea of sharing.

titmouse eating mealworm

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The literate squirrel

Well, maybe he doesn't read the words, but he likes looking at the pictures, and he knows a red-bellied woodpecker when he sees one...

the literate squirrel

Friday, June 16, 2006

A sense of style

My sister is very fashion conscious - when she saw the photos of the Oreo Cows, she commented that they are committing a "Glamour-don't" by wearing white around the widest part of their body.

Oreo cows

And she's the only one I know that dresses her strawberries in tuxedos...

strawberry tuxedo

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Stranger Danger

Monkey has been out on his own for three weeks now, but he still stops by each day for a handout.
As per the advice of most wildlife rehabbers, I didn't introduce Monkey to any other humans while I had him in my possession, so I am his only human friend.
Last weekend my sister and I were relaxing on the deck when Monkey paid a visit. At first, he wouldn't even look at my pretty sister (which was a first for any male), but he started to pay attention when she picked up the jar of walnuts.

Mommy - I'm sure she's friendly - she has walnuts!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Oreo cows

Oreo cows

The Oreo cows - seems like they should be dunking in a great big pond full of milk...

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Two hummingbirds peacefully sharing the feeder - I don't see that very often.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Gouldian finch babies

The nest boxes in my aviary are mounted high, requiring a ladder to do nest checks. Consequently, I only check them about once a week. Here are some photos that I took last week of gouldian finch babies in their nests:

The babies in the above photo are probably 6 or 7 days old. I can already tell that the two in the middle will be yellow backed and the two on the outside will be green backed.

The four larger babies in the photo below are all green backed. They are probaby about 2 weeks old. Gouldian finches usually fledge when they are 21-24 days old.

The next photo is a close up showing the distinctive blue mouth markings of gouldian finch babies. These markings will start to disappear shortly after fledging.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Just hanging around...

The above photo shows Monkey hanging on our screen looking in while I was sitting at my desk. The photo below shows him hanging upside down as he eats his handout (walnuts are his favorite). Not shown in the photos are the 2 chihuahuas which were below him barking their fool heads off.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Where have all the bluebirds gone?

bluebird babies in nest

These babies belong to the pair of bluebirds that we've been serving dinner to every evening. I took this photo two days ago. Sometime this morning the babies fledged. There were 3 or 4 of them. I never could discern more than 3 when I checked the nest, but my husband thinks there were 4 of them. We haven't seen them since they fledged, but this evening there was a pair of bluebirds inspecting the recently vacated nest box - no babies in sight. Did the parents lose their babies in a matter of hours???? or (I hope) is this a different pair??? We gave them some mealworms which they ate in a matter of seconds, but I saw no sign of them delivering any worms to nearby babies.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Squirrel update

For the first 5 days of his freedom, Monkey's life followed a routine - spend the day climbing trees and foraging for food, show up when I called for him in the evening, climb aboard my arm, eat a bunch of walnuts, drink a lot of water, move back to our screen room for the night and sleep in his cardboard box filled with strips of fleece cloth. Each morning I would give him some walnuts, some water, then take him back outside. Usually he wasn't anxious to leave me, but eventually he would hop onto a tree and disappear for most of the day.

Night 6, he didn't come "home". Night 7 either. I spent much of those two days approaching and talking to every squirrel (and we have a lot of squirrels here) that appeared at our squirrel feeders, holding out walnuts. They all ran away as I approached. No Monkey. Thank goodness we have no close neighbors, as I'm sure I would have been labeled "that crazy lady who talks to squirrels".

By Day 8, I was quite worried. Sure, maybe he just didn't need me anymore, but I didn't think that was the case for my little Monkey who was freakishly attached to me. Well, that afternoon he reappeared, very hungry and very thirsty and from what I could tell, not really doing very well. I brought him into our screen room and he had no interest in doing anything. He just wanted to be close to me. I hadn't seen him so mellow since he was just a "wee baby". Of course it might have had something to do with the fact that it was 90 degrees and he wears a fur coat. The photo below shows how he spent most of the afternoon - draped on me as I read a book.

squirrel napping

By evening he seemed OK, and the next morning he was as playful as ever. That afternoon he showed up for a handout, but he didn't come back for the night. Today I found him at one of the feeders - seems to be doing great. He took the walnuts that I offered, let me pet him, but didn't seem to care when I walked away. I guess my little boy is growing up.

squirrel at feeder

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Gouldian finch breakfast

This mixture doesn't look that apetizing to me,

gouldian finch egg food mixture

but my gouldian finches fly right in when I serve it each morning in the aviary. The secret recipe - hard boiled eggs (with shells), broccoli, meal worms and some oats.

gouldian finch breakfast

gouldian finch eating meal worm

Most breeders find that their gouldian finches won't eat meal worms. Mine learned to love them (usually only during the breeding season) by watching society finches gobble them up.