Archive for the ‘outdoor creatures’ Category

Pictures from the past two weeks

May 24, 2012

Flowers are popping out all over our development. Most of the rhododendrons are a fuscia pink but then you come around the corner and one bush has the most delicate pink flowers. I love this color!

A few weeks ago, we noticed that a morning dove had made a nest in the bushes outside our kitchen window. She placed the nest very well because there were days you couldn’t really tell if she was in it or not. Then, the other day, Helen said she was pretty sure the babies had hatched.

You can only see one here with the mom but there were two little chicks in the nest. However, they didn’t stay long. This morning, they were gone. I’m so glad I got a picture before they left.

While she was sitting on the eggs, another baby bird fell out of a nest close by. We left him alone knowing that his mom wouldn’t help him if we touched him, but he didn’t make it through the night. I wonder if the morning dove was tempted to go help him, but couldn’t leave her nest? Do birds feel the need to come to someone’s aid like humans do?

Dru doesn’t go into the full corgi position very often which is too bad because I love it when she lies this way. She brought me her buddah ball and wanted me to throw it for her. The fact that I had just gotten out of the shower was of little consequence to her. I was present and should therefore be playing with her!

Picture compliments of my sister-in-law

And then everything stops while I admire the rolls on my nephew’s legs! And the smile.

These are the nursemaids who sat vigil over the baby birds. That’s Tabitha on the left and Dudley on the right and the bush below is where the nest was. It reminds me very much of another older cat taking the baby under his wing, only we won’t go there because I’m at work and I can’t cry here.

I am repurposing my mouse candle holder as a staff for making bracelets that I’ve volunteered to make for Red Bank’s Girls Night Out event. A mother came into the store and was showing it to her daughter calling him the mouse king from the Nutcracker. I never thought of him coming from the Nutcracker. To me, he’s the crown prince from a far off land, not necessarily attached to any one piece of literature. My imagination is a bit more active than many other people’s.


January 27, 2011

Last night, we got another foot of snow dumped on us. Have I mentioned recently how much I HATE snow? and winter? Really, I’m much MUCH happier with warm balmy temperatures and green leaves all around! But winter does provide the opportunity for a good picture or two. This is the river in back of our house, completely frozen over, with one lone goose standing in the middle of the ice. See, it’s that little black speck. I’ll show you …

Let me get a little closer so you can really SEE him.

All right! Now we’re getting down right intrusive!

Let me just say, he was way over yonder which is technical speak for I was standing inside the house (did I mention I hate cold) and I didn’t have the zoom lens on the camera. But you can definitely tell it’s a goose, right?

January 28, 2010

I love taking pictures, and with my nifty Nikon camera, I’m taking lots and lots of them. I’m don’t like spending a lot of time “fixing” the pictures – I prefer a quick crop of two but that’s about it. I need to get into the mind set of a photographer, remembering to grab my camera wherever I go and whenever I leave the house.

This past weekend,  I was throwing bread for the birds. The ducks had already moved on but there were two gulls in the air, just circling around. It is absolutely amazing how quickly two can turn to 50 where gulls are concerned. I swear, they multiply in mid air! I’m flashing back to Hitchcock’s The Birds!

I love watching them sweep down to grab a bit of bread from the water before taking off again. They were so close this time, I could see individual feathers! And since we had a some remaining ice in the river, watching them misjudge their sweep and have to land on the slippery surface was quite amusing:)

Taken earlier in the week


October 27, 2009
I think we just got our 5th star in the Michelin Guide, or at least as far as the ducks are concerned. We had over 20 ducks in our yard at one time this weekend.

Obviously word has passed that kind hearted women (translation: complete & utter suckers) live here.


June 18, 2009
Meet the newest member of our outdoor crew. We’re not sure if it’s a beaver, a muskrat, or a groundhog. He looks a lot like a groundhog but he keeps disappearing into the river. He first showed up Sunday afternoon when we got back from the beach. I managed to snap a couple of pics before he slipped under the fence and left. We were wondering if we’d see him again and then this morning, during our exercise time, he showed up again. I think he’s a baby because he has a very short, stumpy tail – which is one way I can tell them apart.

I’d also like to introduce one of the newest members of our indoor crew …

This is Rupert, the proprietor of our new store, Fragile Earth Stuffed Animals. We’ve been spending a lot of time trying to get his blog up and running. He’s also on Twitter, if you want to see what hedgehogs think during the day. We’d love to have you follow him and spread the word to anyone who might like stuffed animals. God knows we do!


April 23, 2009
Driving home last night, I saw two enormous birds hanging out behind the old Pathmark store, which has been empty since last May. I wanted to catch them smoking and drinking beer but by the time I got my car turned around and had my camera in hand, they’d disposed of the contraband and had disappeared.  Knowing their penchants for hiding in high spots, I looked up and there they were, on the roof laughing at me, knowing they were out of my range. 

Silly birds, what they don’t know is that I brought my good camera with me and I had a zoom lens. Not enough zoom to see the butts and booze, but enough to get a clear ID should I hear about vandalism at the empty store.

You know those turkey vultures – juvenile delinquents never up to any good!


April 7, 2009

About half a mile from our house, on a tributary to our river, someone has erected an osprey nest. They have a pole with a platform sticking up out of the river. We first noticed it a few weeks ago and then yesterday, there were two ospreys just sitting in it. They were still there several hours later when I brought my mother and Helen to see it for themselves.

We’re pretty sure the one on the right is the male because he started yelling at us once we pulled the car over and didn’t stop til we headed back. As we were leaving, he flew off across the river, but by the time I got the car turned around, he was back. We think he might have been getting take-out for the female – it was dinner time. The bird on the left never moved except to crouch down after we’d gotten back in the car. We’re hoping she’s laid eggs and we’ll be able to check for little ones in a bit. I have to read up on ospreys – see how long their gestation period is. Hopefully, Helen will post her pictures soon – she has a much higher zoom capability and you can count the feathers on their chests in some of her pictures.


April 1, 2009
We put our scraps (apple cores, tops of veggies) outside for the wildlife. There are some people who dislike having squirrels and such in their yards but we get a tremendous amount of pleasure watching the ducks, sea gulls, et. al. when they come to see what’s on the menu for the day. Who knew squirrels liked tomatoes? Although he didn’t like it nearly as much as the whole apple we threw out because it had gotten soft. He ran off with the fruit in his mouth, which was difficult because it was nearly as big as he was.

HOUSE RULES – Brought to you by Monday Mission, and the letter C

May 19, 2008
The house rules for the Riverside Cafe are as follows, and should be adhered to by inside and outside denizens …

1. If you are eating at this establishment, you need to start contributing. No more free rides (you hear me sparrows???) Payment may be made in the form of entertainment or, dare I mention it, a monetary donation. Songs work well. Views of ducklings would go far in depleting your tab ducks, so you might want to get busy. Squirrels – What can I say? You’ve got a long way to go!

2. Everyone, and I mean everyone (cats), cleans up after themselves. No more of this casually leaving clumps of fur that then multiply into dust bunnies where ever the mood strikes! You’ve got tails! Start using them! And Andrew, seeing a large pile of fur does not mean you can jump on it, especially since it usually is attached to poor George.

3. All visitors are welcome, whether they have two legs or four. Which means, when the gents arrive, you are to treat them kindly, not throw a hissy fit and go stamping upstairs, or sit on the counter and just stare at them until they feel so uncomfortable, they have to leave.

4. You are our last line of defense, so I would appreciate you getting yourselves into shape for the summer. Up til now, I feel your work has been adequate. When it comes to the bug or mouse variety, it has been exemplary, since we have seen nary a one of either species for quite some time. And considering our location (and our housekeeping skills), that’s saying a lot. However, I would really love it if I didn’t have to find leftover legs twitching on the floor. As mentioned in #2, clean up after yourselves. Men, there is a slight problem of our safety when the doorbell rings. That is NOT your signal to run upstairs and hide a) in the bathtub or b) under the covers of the closest bed. Learn from your female counterpart … Stand up – be brave and you will be rewarded since, those highly infrequent times it does ring, it usually heralds the arrival of good food.

5. Everyone is allowed their own possessions. This whole What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine too attitude does not sit well with me.

6. The big chair is mine. You are free to sit in it while I’m at work, keeping it warm for me. But when it’s time for me to relax, the chair is MINE! I don’t want to hear any more lip about it. Besides, you know the minute I sit down, there’s a lap ready and waiting for the closest one.

7. And finally,

… what? It’s time to eat again? So I’m supposed to stop what I’m doing and feed you? Well, if you’re going to put it that way ….

This week’s Monday Mission was to write your blog as a set of rules. Head on over to Painted Maypole and see who else is playing (and please keep the May Queen’s godmother in your thoughts and prayers – she’s having a rough time of it as you’ll see.)