Monday, July 12, 2010

Never Dull In My Back Yard

I love to sit on my back patio with a good cup of coffee, There is just so much to see. First of all, the turtles; I have two box turtles who love the plums that have fallen on the ground. Our tree was so loaded this year that the branches literally bent to touch the ground. The turtles gather there daily and take their time to munch on the succulent fruit. I have walked up to them (they appear to be used to my watching them.) One stood there and stared back at me, a large scrap of plum skin hanging off his cute little beak. I so wanted to clean off his face but I knew he would retreat into his shell and likely take the piece of plum with him and i wasn't sure that would be a good thing. My dog Abby is just totally perplexed by these turtles. She will slowly mosey up to one, as curious as can be, but each time the turtle retreats into its shell and Abby stands there, ears cocked forward in confusion, nose almost touching the turtle, trying to figure our where the hell did its head go??!! I laugh each time this happens.

The squirrels love the plums too. This morning, I sat out back with my first coffee of the day and watching these three squirrels eyeing the same plum. One finally took the lead and went over, picked up the plum and sat back on his haunches, chomping away. A second squirrel timidly watched but a third squirrel, much smaller than the other two, bristled his back fur into a perfect mohawk, jumped and twisted in the air and did a full fledge attack on the squirrel with the plum. They got into quite the physical assault on one another, twisting, turning, chirping angrily at each other. Finally they broke up, the little one chasing the bigger one across the yard and into the lower branches of a nearby dogwood. Now the third one might have been timid but he wasn't stupid because he watched this all happening and when he realized they were off and running with their conflict over that plum, he slowly crawled over, almost on his belly, picked up the plum and began to leisurely munch on it, never once taking his eye off the nearby dogwood.

I'm sure there's a lesson from which we can all learn, in all of that.

Anyway, speaking of squirrels, we have a new event beginning to recur daily. Our grill is set right next to our patio. On both sides of the grill's hood is a round hole about the size of a tennis ball. Some wise-ass squirrel has realized he fits, though tightly, in those holes. Yesterday morning I was out there doing my coffee and nature thingy, when there was a crashboombang behind me. After I made a quick attempt to wipe spilt coffee off my chin, I turned around and there, about three feet behind me, was my grill, and a squirrel's head was sticking out of one of those side holes. He looked at me and I looked at him.

"You got yourself into this mess and you can get yourself out of it!" I sternly scolded!.

He struggled to get out of there but all he did for quite a while was cause a lot of loud noise. Finally, his body shoved the lid open enough for him to escape, and he tumbled to the ground, making a fast and furious retreat.

"Serves you right." I told him.

We have fairly regular visits from fox and armadillo. Our yard abuts a large section of woods where they live.

But there are new neighbors in those woods; this Spring, a pair of red tail hawks made a nest. The rather large babies fledged a week or so ago and they have been flying (and sometimes falling) from treetop to rooftop and back to treetop for days now. I've gotten fairly close to them and tho they seems a bit wary, they are not really scared of me. They have been a joy for me to watch. I saw one of them approach a squirrel (yes, here we are back to the squirrels) but the squirrel must have sensed it was a youngun because he began to stalk the hawk. That hawk was scared witless, began to scream the way hawks do, and literally fell off the branch and onto the ground before he gathered his senses and flew to our roof.

I love all this wildlife. As you can tell, there's never a dull moment in my back yard.


  1. Hey, go check out my blog- I FINALLY posted pictures of my humble abode.

  2. Arent you going to miss all this when you move?? I know I would..

  3. I don't really have a back yard, my place is right on the back property line. Helen's old plum tree doesn't produce much anymore. I don't expect much for an apple crop this year cuz I trimmed it back a lot this spring.

    Put little bars over the holes.

    I've had an interesting few days, met a man that has followed my blogs for a few years and was in this area, we had a great time, I'll post about it tomorrow.

  4. Tweetey, Florida has even more wildlife! I am very excited about moving!

    Billy, I read your blog entry and enjoyed it a lot! They aeem like really cool people.


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