Thursday, November 30, 2006

puppy door phobia

Pup 2 will be 6 years old next month. And for 6 years she's been going in and out through her puppy door. Until last week. Last week she decided that she's afraid of way only. She would go out, but wouldn't come back through. Instead she would whine until we opened the door.

We tried tempting her with ice cream ... nope.

Hubby removed the frame ... nope.

Not shown in photo - hubby ended up cutting a bigger hole. Even then she would whine instead of coming back in. It took us a few days to realize that she would go in and out just fine if we weren't around, but if we were home, we would lure her through with treats. Smart dog. Dumb humans.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Christmas cactus & the birds

My Christmas cactus doesn't wait until Christmas to bloom. I keep it outside on the deck all summer, then bring it inside when the fall night temps start to dip below 40F - usually early November. A few weeks later - voila!

Christmas Cactus

Here's a close up view ...

Christmas Cactus

Most summers, the Carolina wrens build a well-hidden (except from me) nest in the cactus. This photo was taken in July 2005 -

Carolina Wren babies

Now that it's inside, Honeycomb is enjoying it. He likes to pick at the spider webs.

Chrismas Cactus & Society Finch

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Snake haiku

I often check my Site Meter to see how people find my blog. Sometimes it's a referral from another blog that links to mine - (thank you Sharon, Laura, Lynn, other Laura ...) Often people find it through a Google search - usually the search terms are something like "Lake Gaston", "gouldian finches", "finch aviary" or "indoor aviary". Every once in awhile it's a little wierd like the person who searched for "snake haiku" and found their way to my blog. Hmm... yes, I had a post about a snake in our house last year and a totally separate post about my nephew winning a haiku contest, but alas, no snake haiku in this blog.

But in the event that another googler comes looking for a snake haiku - here's (a very bad) one about the black rat snake that we found in our house last year, who was kind enough to leave through the same little hole (now plugged with caulk) without eating any of my little finches.

Black snake slithered in -
And left with empty tummy.
My finches thank you.

I don't have a photo of the snake, but here's a photo of some of the finches that he didn't eat.

gouldian finches

Oh, and for the record, mine was not the only blog that showed up when I googled "snake haiku" - two of my favorite blogs also made the list - Julie Zickefoose & Dharma Bums. I didn't delve into them to see if they had really posted a snake haiku, but I suspect not.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wierd Bird

A woman from Wake Forest North Carolina sent this photo to me in July. She had titled the photo "wierd bird." Of course it did not look wierd to me - I usually have 20+ gouldian finches flying around in my indoor aviary. What was wierd, was that these birds were seen flying free near a resevoir in Wake Forest and not in their native country, Australia. A man at the museum told the woman that she had seen a gouldian finch, probably an escaped pet and that it probably wouldn't survive the winter. He's probably right. My birds really like warm temperatures.

gouldian finches in the wild

The woman who sent me the photo, never mentioned the bird on the right. I'm 95% sure that it's a juvenile gouldian finch, even though its beak looks a little strange in this fuzzy photo. So was there a breeding pair on the loose that raised babies in the wild??? or did Daddy & baby both escape from their cage or aviary???

Sunday, November 19, 2006


The sight of this dog in our driveway...

black dog

really got their hackles up!



Sunday, November 12, 2006

Lake Gaston views

I took these photos from our dock yesterday. November 11th - beautiful, sunny, and probably record high temp for this time of year - almost 80 degrees. It was also probably the last of this weather for the year. Right now - rainy, 50 and tonight's lows are supposed to be in the 30s.

Jetski - Lake Gaston

As nice as the day was, I still think the waterskier (above) and the wakeboarder (below) are crazy! That water is cold!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Monday, November 06, 2006

a little protein for the bluebirds

Mealworms are a popular snack for the birds around here. Titmice, Carolina wrens and bluebirds all love them. The bluebirds are the bossiest (most bossy?), so if they're around the others seem to back off.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Best friends

A couple of months ago Susan posted a comment on one of my posts about my tame society finch, Honeycomb. She was disappointed that her two parakeets weren't very tame, and thought it might have been different if she had gotten only one. She ended her comment with "But I wanted them to be happy".

Right then I decided that Honeycomb needed a bird friend. Sure, he was happy as long as he was out of the cage and hanging around with us, but what about the times when we weren't around? Enter Taffy... I hand-raised Taffy a few years ago. Like Honeycomb he was very tame and I kept him in the flight cage with my other tame birds, letting him and the others out each day for some play-time. Last fall his best bird friend died, and I moved him into the aviary so he could make some new friends.

Would he be a good companion for Honeycomb? After a year in the aviary, would he still be tame enough to hop onto my hand so I would be able to get him back into the cage when play time was over? Yes and Yes.
So now Honeycomb has a roomie. I think the motto for society finches is "love the one(s) you're with" and it took them about 2 minutes to become best buddies. Honeycomb still loves hanging around with us. Taffy's a bit more independent but he still loves his head rubs.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Web sights

I took these photos on a very foggy morning at Lake Gaston..

spider web

spider web

Close ups...

spider web

spider web