Opossums at Our Bird Feeders

Tuesday Evening, November 14

We have an exterior camera – mostly to watch animals and hear the birds – that alerted me to the fact that something was rustling through the leaves on the patio steps.

I looked up at the monitor and saw two opossums walking across the patio. One larger than the other, so I expect it may be a mother and a teenager. The mother went to the ground feeder and the younger one climbed the dogwood tree.

I didn’t mean to scare her away, because opossums eat my junk birdseed.

Whenever I think birdseed in other feeders has gotten too old, I put it in this feeder – for the animals that forage on junk food – and opossums are best at that. They eat the shells of black oil sunflower seeds and will even eat moldy birdseed.

Our daughter Deb said they eat ticks, so I checked it out on Google – and they do eat lots of them.

I think we will keep them in our yard.

I went to the other door to photograph the younger one. I expect it was headed for suet that was hanging in the tree. I don’t often see them this close and was again surprised by its pink nose.

They must have come back during the night, because the “junk” feeder was empty in the morning.

A New Birdfeeder

This is what I brought home from the Steam Show in Berryville, Virginia. I had the hanging apparatus – from a secondhand store – for several years and was looking for something to fit inside it. I had been using baskets, but they rot after a few months.

I found this graniteware strainer at one of the antique vendors. It is a perfect fit.

The matching ladle came from the same vendor.

It didn’t take long for the birds to find it.

A moth even stopped by one evening.

I captured a few other pictures while keeping a check on my new birdfeeder.

I was delighted to find a pair of goldfinches feeding at the newest additions to my feeders.

“Hey, miss. May I eat at this feeder?”

“No, you are not welcome there.”

“Did I hear you correctly. You don’t want me at this feeder?”

“But I like eating here. The seed is fresher than at the ground feeder.”

“Please.”

“No, go back to your tree.”

“Okay, okay, I will leave.”

“Would you reconsider?”

“No!”

Playing It Cool

Thursday, March 30

When this squirrel saw me, it froze in place for a very long time.

Maybe he thought I couldn’t see him if sat very still.:)

Even when I moved a bit and he moved his head, his feet didn’t move.

I find God’s critters to be so interesting.

Birdfeeder Activity

Monday, January 23

Male Hairy Woodpecker

Female Downy Woodpecker

It’s easy to see the difference when watching them. The Hairy is about 9″ long with a long beak. The Downy is 6″ long with a short beak.

This squirrel was trying to keep another squirrel from the feeder.

This one eventually settled for the other feeder.

They sometimes irritate me when eating the bird seed, but this seed had been there for a few days and was wet from the rain, so I just enjoyed watching them gobble it up. ūüôā

Wolf Sanctuary

Saturday, August 27

This was part of our “Grandchildren’s Week”, but the¬†Saturday of that week – in the middle of August – and the next Saturday¬†did not suit us.

1On Saturdays and Sundays the sanctuary is open to the public. At other times you must make appointments – and it can be difficult to get an appointment.

We arrived at 9:15 and were the third car in line Рwaiting for the gates to open. They open at 9:30 and close at 10:00. That is the only tour time of the day.

2Our first task was to pay our entrance fee and get an arm band.

DSC_5385The grandchildren who went with me were Gloria, Ian, Jared, and Jesse. This is a favorite thing for them to do during our grandchildren week.

DSC_5377It is nice that this popular tourist attraction is only a few miles from our house.

DSC_5378The guides know each wolf and who is the alpha and omega in each pen.

The alpha always eats first and the omega wolf eats last. The beta wolves in the middle of the hierarchy may have a variety of ranks in the pack.

I learned that the omega wolf plays an important role in the pack because they help keep peace and are often the ones that do the discipline to the young ones.

DSC_5383This is the large pack. Most packs in this sanctuary have only two or three wolves.

There are a total of 46 wolves in the sanctuary.

This is mostly a rescue sanctuary, so it can be difficult to add a new wolf to a pack. At other times a new pack member is welcome.

DSC_5390The nice thing about being with the first tour group is that the wolves were hungry and eager for food.

There are about 30 people in a group and there were probably 5 or 6 groups. They were expecting about 200 people.

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DSC_5377I thought she mentioned that two wolves died since we were there last year, but the children thought she mentioned three. They have a few wolves that are 15 or 16 years old.

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DSC_5402When the alpha wolf in this pack died, they spent almost a year determining who was the alpha. There were three vying for the title.

I think this was the pack where the female won the competition. It is usually the scrappiest not the biggest or strongest. There are some who have no desire to be the alpha.

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DSC_5407Their fur was pretty this time because they are finished shedding. Last year we went earlier, when they were in the middle of shedding, which make them look a bit ratty.

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DSC_5412Some are full wolves others are part dog.

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DSC_5436Each pack is fenced inside double fencing. Only the tour guide gets close to the wolves.

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DSC_5446This one – from the big back – followed us down the path from the hillside.

It pleases me that our grandchildren enjoy this kind of a day. This was Gloria’s first visit. She said she wants to go back again sometime.

One of the Ever-Changing Days of Summer

DSC_2896Three squirrels!

Now I know why the bird feeders are being emptied so quickly.

DSC_2898Debbie, do you need any more pets!

DSC_3122When I noticed that rain was coming, I went outside with my camera and was surprised to be standing in sunshine and hearing the pelting of rain on my brothers’ barn roof just a quarter mile away.

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DSC_3130The rain is coming across the cornfield.

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DSC_3143It was interesting to be standing in rain and seeing a bright sky in the east.

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DSC_3147Then it was over – just like a large rotating sprinkler had gone through our woodlot.

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DSC_3118I have seen hummingbirds all summer but have rarely gotten a photo of them.

DSC_3117A male

DSC_3168A female

DSC_3170One of the beautiful, ever-changing days of summer.

Christmas Eve

Thursday Evening, December 24

Jere and Kristen invited us to join them and Roy and Deb in their Christmas Eve tradition of going to see a family movie at Penn Cinema and supper at their house.

Christmas Eve (1)Ian, Josh, Jared, Jana, Jesse, Allie

Christmas Eve (2)It was almost like having a private viewing, as it was our group and maybe six or eight other people.

Christmas Eve (3)Love unposed pictures! ūüôā

Christmas Eve (4)I gave them a second chance, and expect they will like this one better. However, they are still covering Jared’s face with the popcorn container.

Christmas Eve (5)This year they went to see The Road Chip – an Alvin and the Chipmunks movie.

Christmas Eve (6)Oh, what fun!

Christmas Eve (7)It was a combination of Roy and Deb’s house “The Nut Hut” and the movie Home Alone.

Christmas Eve (8)I didn’t even like taking¬†a bathroom break because I didn’t want to miss the action.

Christmas Eve (9)

Christmas Eve (10)

Christmas Eve (12)

Christmas Eve (11)When they discovered that their “dad” was dating this young man’s mother, they did all kinds of things to keep them apart – because they didn’t like each other. Buy the end of the movie they liked each other and did every thing they could to get their parents together again. ūüôā

The four got in all kinds of trouble in both situations.

Christmas Eve (13)This was the evening sky when we left the cinema.

Christmas Eve (14)

Christmas Eve (15)The drive to Jere and Kristen’s house.

Christmas Eve (16)

Christmas Eve (17)The sunset at Jere and Kristen’s house.

Christmas Eve (18)

Christmas Eve (19)Lighting candles before supper

Christmas Eve (20)

Christmas Eve (21)I brought homemade bread – cheesy/herb and wheat – baked by our niece Amy.

Christmas Eve (22)A pretty bowl ready for taco soup

Christmas Eve (23)

Christmas Eve (24)Frosty – a newly rescued animal at¬†Roy and Deb’s – was a highlight of the evening.

His mama gave birth to quadruplets – one died at birth and she made it clear that she wasn’t going to take care of the runt.

DSC_6194Of course, that is exactly the kind of animal Roy and Deb love to give a chance at life. He already has a lot of people asking to be his forever parents.

Christmas Eve (25)

Christmas Eve (26)

Christmas Eve (27)

Christmas Eve (28)Yes, he his calling for food – “baaaaa!”

That was a fun evening – thanks Jere and Kristen for inviting us.

Taking Inge to Visit the Nut Hut (Roy & Deb’s Place)

Saturday, December 12

Annie Oakley (2)When Inge mentioned that she would like to meet the Nut Hut animals, we made it happen for her.

Her first meeting was with Annie Oakley – the prairie dog.

Batman (1)She wanted to meet each one, but Batman was the one she really wanted to meet. I love the look of pleasure in Inge’s eyes.

Batman (3)Inge loves cats and has watched Batman grow up into a beautiful black cat Рvia pictures only.

He was a mangy, skinny kitten when he arrived at the Nut Hut.

Dale (Downs Squirrel)Dale was pushed out of the nest by his mother because he was born with something similar to Downs Syndrome.

Evan (1)Evan the possum is beautiful – for a possum.

Evan (2)When I asked Deb why she hadn’t released him in the fall, she said¬†because Dale has bonded with Evan¬†like a parent – and due¬†to being¬†special needs,¬†Dale needs a parent.

Harley (4)Harley knew immediately that Inge was a cat-lover and responded to her attention.

Harley (6)Deb said it is unusual for Harley to respond to people the way he did  to Inge.

PresleyPresley is a special needs raccoon – and must stay at the Nut Hut.

Skippi Rae (1)Skippi Rae is one of Deb’s first rescues and oversees the deck where many¬†outside squirrels come to eat.

Skippi Rae (2)One time she “warned” all the inside animals that there was a hawk outside.

Roy, Deb, and DaleRoy and Deb (our youngest daughter) truly care for¬†their rescues and love when they can release them – as they do with most animals –¬†but when the animal¬†cannot go back into the wild, they make sure they have a good life – with them or someone else.

I missed getting a picture of their flying squirrel and hedge hog – and the two skunks are hibernating for the winter.

Since we were there, they got a tiny baby goat. He was one of four, and the mother made sure everyone knew that she was not going to take care of him. I will have some pictures of him in the near future.

DSC_5829They live in an area where there are many Amish, so we usually see signs of them on our way to or from their place.

DSC_5834Holsteins in a field always make me miss my dad Рa dairy farmer.

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DSC_5831Thanks, Roy and Deb, for taking time to show Inge your animals.

It was fun for us to see each of them Рand meet Dale and Evan for the first time.

A Day In Court

Wednesday, August 5

This was the day I kept Reuben and Judi’s little ones while they were in court concerning Little K’s adoption.

Reuben and Judi's children (1)Our daughter Deb brought Lydia back to our house so she could help me care for the little ones.

Reuben and Judi's children (2)Deb rescues many orphaned baby animals during the spring and summer months (deer, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, skunks, and opossums), then releases them Рand usually brings something along when she comes to visit.

Reuben and Judi's children (3)Little K enjoyed the baby raccoon.

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Reuben and Judi's children (5)Eating a pop tart.

Reuben and Judi's children (6)

Reuben and Judi's children (7)Jesse was along as well, because he was spending the week with Roy and Deb.

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Reuben and Judi's children (10)Miss K wasn’t comfortable touching the raccoon.

Reuben and Judi's children (11)

Reuben and Judi's children (12)

Reuben and Judi's children (13)

Reuben and Judi's children (14)Gathering shellbarks for Deb’s squirrels.

Reuben and Judi's children (15)

Reuben and Judi's children (16)Uncle Cerwin is home.

Reuben and Judi's children (17)Miss K loves to play this game on one of my old computers.

Reuben and Judi's children (18)I’ve had this game since our oldest grandchildren were little.

Reuben and Judi's children (19)I like this game for little children because they can feed animals, plow fields, play songs, feed children, pick up toys, and help a dog find a bone by pressing the space bar on the keyboard.

Reuben and Judi's children (20)While they were in my office, Little K and I were in the living room.

Reuben and Judi's children (21)We learned to not put any trash in this waste can while they were here because he loved trying to play on top of it or throw toys into it.

Reuben and Judi's children (22)

Reuben and Judi's children (23)He was standing quite well while they were here, and taking a few steps. He began walking shortly after they returned home.

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Reuben and Judi came home with fairly good news – that the parent’s previous signatures to the adoption arrangement almost guaranteed that Reuben and Judi could keep Little K. The judge was going to look over everything and get back to them in a week or two.

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Update: I received a “Praise the Lord” email the other day informing us that the adoption has been approved, and will be finalized sometime this fall.¬†We are so excited for them.