Outdoors when not writing …

May 31, 2009 § 13 Comments

Birdfeeder cafe takes care of several species, as well as entertainment!
Of course it all depends on time of day but there is often “rush hour” at the feeder, and the environs just below it.  It turns into Beatrix Potter meets Disney. No, really! Early in the morning and then again around 6 p.m.

You’d think I have something better to do, but  weekly, after 50 hours in corporate offices , 14 hours in commuting, no less than 7 hours in our own kitchen, 54 hours sleeping and at least 15 hours alone at laptop writing, is there something better than observing the ecosystems, the critters who inspire more than a get-out-of-here-you-rascally-rascal response? anything better than figuring how they live?

Here is Miss Dove….there are several of her ilk living in the red bushes on the far side of our house, yet she is the most curious, the most round and grey and plump and sweet.
DSCN6347and watches the feeding circus beneath her….

This is String, one of last year’s broods who made it through the winter. He’s skinny and lithe and matches the colors of the earth remarkably, yet his fur changes in the changing light…

He loves eating the sunflowers that sprout below the feeder. It’s a tidy system. Whatever the birds drop, sprouts. Whatever sprouts, the rabbits will eat. Whatever seeds lie “unsprouted,” the squirrels adore.


String is always blessedly hungry. He visits alone, though I’m sure he reports back to the Hollow.


And those ears! Nearly transparent in the sunlight. He’s listening to Archie, who is approaching.

And here is Archie. (Nutkin is a far better name but the venerable Miss Potter already took that name for her little character and I certainly respect that.)  Archie is nervous of course, patrols the edges of the feeder garden and then gets under the greenery for cover while he scratches at the dirt and sucks down every seed he can find or “pouch.” He fell in the pool last week as he was dashing away but hale fellow that he is, he swam the width of the pool and was so shot with adrenaline, he managed to  scramble up the slippery side of it and onto the patio, shook himself and dashed through the fence into the Bamboo Forest. We keep an eye on him and we have the pool skimmer net ready in case of having to scoop him or any of his kin from the water.

OK, no, I cannot distinguish Archie from the other three squirrels who tear ass through the trees along the back of the property.  I suspect with a bit of study, I likely could. Possbily by their tails, which are scrubby looking and not nearly as bushy as the red squirrels’ tails.

And here is Huck, the 15-year-old beagle.

He is not even outdoors. He has better things to do, though he’s a rabbit dog by breed. And one of those things he has to do is lie in the sun. This, he explains, is a nearly full time job. But it has to be the sun that pours through the dining room windows. (Note the tongue and the slightly distrubed expression. Nothing is more annoying to beagles in his position than paparazzi!)


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§ 13 Responses to Outdoors when not writing …

  • what a wonderful looking place! 50 hours a week!! and you still write, that is amazing! And very admirable.

  • Lovely tour of your Disneyesque backyard! It’s certainly a wonderful time of year.

  • anno says:

    I’m completely enchanted — so when will that children’s book be coming out? And what will be your nom de plume? Beatrix Oh?

  • oh says:

    Scarlet, I must say that the writing is often more junk than jewel!

    Jen – wish you could come over – just to have such weather is so “freeing!”

    Anno – Great nom de plume! you know, I’ve never thought of a children’s book. I really don’t know how. Maybe there is no “how” – you just do it?

  • laylou says:

    Love the photos of the rabbit. And Archie (cute name!) I can’t imagine what it would be like to have ears that are so transparent!

  • Arti says:

    Beautiful pics… and amazing that you can catch them before they run away. Sure looks like illustrations for B.P. Have you seen the movie Miss Potter? A delight to watch. You’ll really enjoy it considering you appreciate the little visitors of your garden.

  • oh says:

    Laylou – next time you stay over, get up early and come down for breakfast and enjoy the bunnies while you eat. they are hilarious but typically, early visitors.

    thanks, Arti. I snapped these pictures through the patio doors in our kitchen. In fact, I’d better get busy and clean the glass! I just love their little faces. Cute, huh?

  • jeanie says:

    Oh, how I wish String could come by my house! I’ve had a bunny shortage this year, seeing far fewer than usual, which makes me very sad. Lovely photos — he’s beautiful! I call my squirrel Scud after Scud Farkas and his toadies in the movie “A Christmas Story.” He’s rather a bully, and I need to move something (the feeder, maybe get a new feeder?) so he can’t eat all their food!

    There is most certainly a story in all this!

    Love seeing your wildlife, including that wild beagle boy!!!

  • Lys says:

    i miss having a big backyard with lots of “wildlife.” there were at least 15 bird species coming to our feeders in wisconsin, deer, rabbits, squirrels, foxes…it’s great that you name all of them and put them in a story!

  • oh says:

    Jeanie – few bunnies, eh? is there a hawk in your territory? hmmm… or maybe a clover shortage? actually, we didn’t have as many last year… guess they got busy. I had to stop and think about Scud Farkas – great name, isn’t it? and Scud for a squirrel? He should feel proud. Poor Gypsy, probably watching Scud from his favorite window perch.

    Lys, I may have to add a tiny little chipmunk to the mix. She’s such a wee thing. Makes Archie-the-rodent-squirrel look like a giant!
    I hear so many wonderful things about Wisconsin and have not been there – yet! But I understand that it would be a tough place to leave, especially when you have such space!

  • shoreacres says:

    I miss my feeders and songbirds – osprey and seagulls are nice, but… I do have a mockingbird this year who eats raisins with amazing delicacy, and TWO bluejays! They come from a wooded area really quite far away – I can hear them calling as they come, and if I’ve forgotten to put out their peanuts, I have time to run and do it before they get here!

  • Miss Dove is lovely, and String is a wonderful looking rabbit. How nice to have them and their friends to watch…

  • sandysays1 says:

    Looks like quite a wildlife family. We have lots of family here, too. Flyers include Blue Herons, Night Herons, Egrets, Ibis, Ospreys, Pelicans, Gulls, Doves, Mockingbirds (as in “To Kill A Mockingbird” one of my human’s favorite books, and lots of woodpeckers. There are rabbits, squirrels, iguanas, black snakes, and a ton of lizards. In the canal there’s Manatees, otters, and mirades of fish. It’s great to see others who enjoy wildlife like my human and I. Sandy

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