The Birds and the Squirrels (Plus a Cat)

150727_GaaawkJuly 27 – Lots more rain than usual if you can believe that. Lots more weeds of all kinds. Lots more flowers of various shapes and colors. AND lots more animals scooting around! When I was hanging out the wash the other day, I heard a bird laughing or scolding or using its voice in some way. Now this may cause you to think “Whoever heard of a bird like that? How could any bird make that kind of noise!” But time and again, with just a little silence in between, that bird sounded as if it were calling, “Gaaawk! Gaaawk!” I listened for awhile and then answered it back with what I thought it was saying. For a bit, when I called out, “Gaawk!” the bird did the same thing. Finally, after I had “gaawked” so many times that I thought it was time to go on to more important things, I gave up.

I told Dale about the bird just as he had come around to tell me to look down towards the creek for a surprise. There were three big female turkeys, probably the same ones we saw the other day with a little baby following them as best he could. We saw two more turkeys on our way back from the church. We hardly ever have cardinals put in an appearance during the summer, as they can take care of their food needs more easily than in the winter when well over a dozen come around to the feeder. Right now, though, we have a pair who come several times during the day, picking up snacks for mealtime, which means their kids eat whenever they get a chance. So many robins have been here lately, pecking and scratching around in the piles of heavy grass that the mower tossed out all along the way.

Baby rabbits

Baby rabbits

A little later in the day, a beautiful little baby rabbit scooted across the lawn right past the big window. It almost seemed as if he were saying, “Hey, guys, I’ve seen you before. Don’t you do anything but sit in front of that window? I have to work for what I eat. Thanks for what you plant in your garden, just for me!” At one point there were three bunnies hopping here and there, stopping to sniff the air and check out the area before moving on.

As we walked along in the pond area the other day, we heard a plunk as a really big frog jumped off the bank and into the water. Three times more that happened on just one side of the pond! The last one not only jumped in, but slapped its way on the water for several feet. In the same area, I noticed a small golden brown squirrel picking out some food. He was so little and cute that I wanted to see how close I could get to him. At first, he just continued eating, moving a bit here and there, and how surprised I was that he was just about fifteen feet away before he took off.

Flat squirrel

Flat squirrel

Since we don’t put out sunflowers at the bird feeder any longer (eight or nine squirrels came every day and cleaned out the food before the birds could make a dent in it), we have very few of these creatures in the yard. They have to scrounge around for real squirrel food away from the feeder now. However, there are two or three visitors to the little piles of millet lying on the cement by the feeder. They have learned, I guess, that if they can’t have the expensive seeds, they will have to enjoy the millet. Those squirrels look so strange as they plop right down on the cement with their body spread out flat while they lick up the millet as they have learned to do. A lot harder to do than just gobble up the sunflowers, but, at least they are eating!

Now and again, we see a vole scoot off the path and into the woods. Some of them are really big, maybe six inches long. They are the ones who get their food by moving under the ground and having a tasty meal on the roots of the plants. Around here, they seem to especially enjoy our artichokes.

Cat on the corner of the feeder

Cat on the corner of the feeder

Of course, the most important animal around our house is Kit Cat or Big Cat, or whatever we happen to call her from time to time. She knows all of the birds and animals that come around to make a visit. Although she is friendly and might like to become acquainted with a few of the wild animals, she doesn’t get a chance. Even if she lies quietly and contentedly, not bothering any one of them, they still don’t plan on admitting to others of their kind that they have a big cat for a friend!

Just this morning I saw her sitting on the cement with her eyes fixed on the feeder. Just looking and listening. Then, suddenly, in one leap she was up in the corner of the feeder, right in the place where a bird had been just before she jumped! After sniffing around a bit, Cat just lay down in her corner savoring that little experience. – CHRIS

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