“Much of human behavior can be explained by watching the wild beasts around us. They are constantly teaching us things about ourselves and the way of the universe, but most people are too blind to watch and listen.”
I love this quote, as it explains perfectly why I love to watch nature. And for the last 7 and a half years on this blog, I have enjoyed sharing stories about the wildlife I have observed in and around my garden. Always fascinating, our critters bring us daily joy. So I thought I would share a few recent stories with you…..
In August, around the time of the solar eclipse, our weather was finally dry which was good news for my saturated garden. But not great news for the birds, especially the smaller birds looking for a bath. But birds are resourceful, and can use dirt or sand instead of water to bathe….isn’t that cool!
This Common Wren, was observed on the patio twisting and turning for at least 20 minutes or more as it rubbed its body in the sand and dirt.
Not only was he spinning his head 180 degrees, he seemed to really enjoy the experience. They say birds perform this grooming ritual to clean their feathers and remove parasites. Birds sure do enjoy dust or sand-bathing as much as water bathing. I am always amazed at the resourcefulness of animals, as they remind me that the most important thing is to take care of our basic needs.
This winter we have observed more deer than in recent years. A few harsh winters killed a great many of them, but a couple of mild winters now seems to have helped their numbers much to the chagrin of communities around our area where they are hiring hunters to cull (kill) large numbers because of the damage they are doing to gardens.
I don’t believe we should interfere as nature seems to take care of her numbers if there is a balance. Of course as we take habitats and predators away, we get large numbers of deer in our gardens, unchecked.
Early as winter began, we saw 3 very young deer wandering around front gardens trying to find food. It is unusual to see these young ones without mothers. So we assumed they were orphans now fending for themselves. It is tempting, but we do not feed deer, as it is illegal to feed them here in NY.
And the larger groups of deer in the area have been seen chasing these orphans out of their territory unwilling to share food and shelter especially this winter. Recently we saw them. They are still growing and surviving.
We are hopeful they will make it on their own….homeless, trying to find their way. These deer remind me that connections are so important. The connections may not be immediate family, but instead may be those we can trust and rely on in our most vulnerable times.
And finally we observed some strange squirrel behavior recently. On a very frigid day, with temps in the -20s, I saw this squirrel hanging from one of our ash trees.
It’s not strange to see a squirrel hanging onto a tree, but this one was spread eagle flat against the tree bark.
After about 15 minutes, I watched it adjust itself and spread out even more.
And it hung on for at least another 20 minutes. So what was this squirrel doing? My best guess is he was warming himself against the tree bark that had been warmed in the sun. A pretty good problem solver….of course I often find squirrels to be pretty ingenious.
What do you think this squirrel was doing? Have you ever seen a squirrel do this?
Do you enjoy observing nature? What lessons has nature taught you recently?
A Memorable Vase
I really am enjoying the Hippeastrum bulbs I purchased this year. This one is called, ‘Cocktail’…great color. I paired it with a stem of Dragon-wing begonia foliage.
It had 4 blooms or so I thought. These have lasted for a couple of weeks, and a surprise 5th bloom recently formed to use for another vase.
I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful In A Vase on Monday meme. The pictures shared here were created with my iPod Touch camera and two free apps, Pixlr and Prisma.
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