We had the most amazing thing happen yesterday. Denis and I were having tea in the backyard around 3:00, wondering if we might see the young deer again and all of a sudden a hawk swooped down and landed on a tree branch just 5 feet off the ground. He was right next to us! Maybe 25 feet away in a birch tree. The green leaves in the foreground are to top of a hydrangea bush. Before we saw him we heard his wings as he flew down. We sat motionless, afraid to even move an arm, knowing he’d fly away as fast as he landed. And I didn’t have my camera! “I have to try,” I said to Denis, “because the camera is just inside the door.” So I very slowly slid out of my chair and moved towards the door. I opened the door and it creaked a little and I was afraid to look back, knowing the noise would scare him away. But he stayed. I got my camera and slowly came back outside, in disbelief that he was still there and so close. I was so thrilled to get this photo. He stayed for about 5 minutes and then his giant wings opened up and he was gone.
Did you see my posting on May 16th when the baby deer got into the backyard? Well, mom and baby came around again today (not in the yard – just on the hill behind the house) and guess what? Its a boy! I wish I had a better picture but as soon as he saw me, he ran to momma! But you know I’ll be staking out the hill for more photos of this beautiful boy when his antlers start to grow. The way he was looking at me, I wonder what he was thinking… “Aren’t you the broad who was chasing me around the yard? Try and catch me now, lady!” Or maybe he was thinking, “What’s to eat? I ate all the flowers up here so… got any tomatoes?”
We are off to the Greek Theater tonight to see A Prairie Home Companion with guest stars Martin Sheen, Colin Hay, and Lily Tomlin!
My thanks to everyone for taking time to share your photos. This album is now completed and closed to any further additions. I hope you enjoy looking through three years of photos sent in from friends. (The Chat Room is always open!)
If it weren’t for the vile, putrefying stench, skunks are actually rather cute. But as afraid as I am of coming across a rattle snake, I was really scared when this skunk just walked up next to me in the backyard. It also happened a couple of weeks ago when a skunk walked right past me like I was invisible. They must have bad eyesight because this time it was around 7:00 pm and still light outside. I had just finished clipping some roses when this guy waddled out and acted like he was alone in the universe. I heard some rustling behind him and noticed another skunk behind some shrubs. I decided not to stay around. Not knowing what would prompt them to spray and not needing to find out, I slowly backed away into the house. I got my camera and took this picture from inside the house. He still didn’t notice me hanging out the window (maybe skunks need glasses!) but I was prepared to slam that window shut if he got too close. I wonder what would have happened if my rabbit showed up at the same time. Could they coexist? I wish I could pet all the little fuzzy animals that show up and bring them inside for a snack… except for the mangy, rat-faced, no-good, low-life, beady-eyed, scum-sucking, fruit-eating squirrel.
How did he get into our backyard? We were stunned this week to find a baby deer in the backyard. We’ve seen adults and babies behind our house up on a hill but never inside the gated yard. The poor thing was so scared he was trying to get out but the gate was closed. He kept trying to jump over an 8-foot chain link fence but he wound up jumping into it instead. As soon as we saw him, we all went out to help. We opened the gate and calmly tried to get him away from the fence he was jumping into but instead of going to the open gate, he panicked and raced, and I mean raced, across the yard in the opposite direction. I’m pretty sure he was going about 50 mph! He headed for another 8-foot fence, this one was wood and covered with ivy (in the photo) and he was getting ready to jump. This time we panicked because on the other side of the fence was a long drop to the neighbor’s concrete walk. We raced towards him to stop him, which scared him even more, so he raced back across the yard, flew over a 5-foot wall like he had wings, found the open gate, and disappeared up the hill. We were all relieved to help him get home but sad that he was so scared and didn’t realize we were trying to help. We still have no idea how he got in. I hope he’s back with his mom but I’ll be looking out for him, hoping to see this beautiful animal again on the hill, where he belongs. It was quite an ordeal for all of us.
I am reposting these photos from my sister in Canada that I started back in April because she just sent some new amazing pictures. I just found my second baby rattlesnake in the backyard and she has a family of robins in her kitchen window! If this is a bit of sibling rivalry… she wins.
(april 11th) Something really amazing happened at my sister Liz’s house in Canada. They had very cold weather this spring and I got this email from her on April 10th: “The robins have been back for quite a while, but frost doesn’t do anything for worms. But the birds are persistent. I was on the phone when I noticed a head bobbing on my kitchen window ledge. I always open my window in the spring and summer, even fall. But this year…not yet. Well, robins have started building a nest right where I open the window. Not over to the side, but right at the bottom right corner, over my sink where I am every day. When I start opening the window screen, I will be watching the blue eggs and then little chicks. If they don’t move on, I’ll take pics while the whole process is taking place. Like you did with the hummingbirds.” The next day, she sent me her first picture…
“She’s baaack! She was gone for days. I thought she flew the coop. She’s skittish…”
“Oowee mama! Now we’re talkin’ Not a lot of time between launch and landing, so far. I always thought it took longer to lay an egg.”
Needless to day, I’ll be sharing whatever photos she send me here. What a show we’re going to have! Thanks, Liz, for sharing!
“How did this happen??? There are FOUR, as of a minute ago. Where has it been hiding? Check out my next photo.”
“What a difference a day makes, only 4 little birdies. (Guess that tune.) I’m afraid they are gonna fall out.”
“It is SO cold and there’s no room at the inn! When they hear me coming, they all crouch down, so you should see them when they’re all trying out their wings. There are faces and eyes and definitely a pecking order!”
“That big one on the right is one of the babies! I think it’s leaving.”
“I need a shrink!! What do I do now? One by one they flew the coop, big and strong and healthy. I wish I could have put tags on them because I’ll always be wondering……are you one of Harriet’s kids?”
I’m giving away another cookbook with a fun contest. In case anyone missed my postings on the JennyCanCook site and on facebook, there’s still time to play. It’s in my new food blog over at www.JennyCanCook.com The winner will be announced tomorrow and will receive my cookbook in time for Mother’s Day! Some day soon, I hope the contests will be for my NEW cookbook. I think I’ll put those amazing Easiest Lemon Brownies on the cover. They are sooooo good!! Anyway, you still have all day to win my book. Click here to play.
Is everybody happy that spring is finally here? Me… not so much. I was happy until a series of events have put me on edge. First thing: There was a spider in the bathroom. Second: Last week there was a baby rattle snake in the backyard. The gardeners got rid of it but what if his mom, the big one, comes looking for her son?? Third thing: Denis and I were standing out in the backyard last night around 6:00 (it was still very light), watching the hummingbirds, when a skunk walked right past us – like we were invisible. I went for my camera but Denis said not to make any sudden moves – if he feels threatened, he could spray us. Mr. Skunk strolled away like he owned the place. Now I can’t just walk outside carefree any more. In the morning I have to watch where I step not to corner a rattle snake, and in the late afternoon I have to look over my shoulder for the skunk. And as if spiders, snakes, and skunks weren’t enough… the tomato plant came back! YES!! IT’S BACK!! In the exact same spot, right between the roses.
It’s just a little sprout right now but that’s all it was last year and I wound up picking over 8,000 tomatoes! I’m not doing that again! I don’t care how delicious and sweet those cherry tomatoes were…. oh, they were soooo good…. well, maybe I’ll just pick the first five thousand. The rabbit can have the rest.
Denis and I took a weekend getaway to the San Diego Zoo. We saw a lot of animals but nothing compared to seeing this giant panda in person. This was not what I expected. It’s much bigger than I thought – about 5 to 6 feet tall. We watched him for about ten minutes and all he did was eat, eat, eat. He stuffed himself on huge branches of bamboo. It’s no wonder he was lying back like that – just like us after Thanksgiving dinner… in a recliner, can’t get up, need a nap.