Friday, June 4, 2010

Animal Experiences or should I say Adventures

It was 4:30 a.m. this morning and the eastern sky was just beginning to get light. I know this because some of my bedroom windows face east. Because we live in the country and our closest neighbor is a half mile away I don't close my drapes because I love the sunshine in my windows in the morning. Also, it was such a beautiful night last night that we slept with the windows wide open. All that fresh air is so wonderful.

One more thing - we have three very large blue spruce trees situated at that corner of our house. These trees have made wonderful nesting for the last several years for a pair of mourning doves that return every year. Did you know that mourning doves mate for life? You gotta give that ole male dove a lot of credit for sticking with the same girl dove forever (chuckle). Anyway, I figured they must either have an egg or two in their nest or were in the process of making that egg because as it began to get light this morning they started their "cooing." Right outside my bedroom window.

By 5 o'clock it was light and I knew I wasn't going to go back to sleep so I grabbed my camera. I stepped out of the house in my slippers and jammies (it was still chilly - 46 degrees) into the wet grass and tried to sneak over to the spruce trees. Here's what I found. Isn't she pretty? And I'm sure she's going to be a wonderful mother. Unfortunately I can't see this nest from my bedroom window so I'll have to sneak around every once in awhile to keep track of the happenings in the Dove Home.

Then - yesterday as I was working outside trying to pull the weeds that are thriving in my flower beds I got buzzed. And buzzed again. We must have had a half dozen humming birds that took possession of my back yard. They love my trumpet vine and spent a lot of time investigating that. Unfortunately, I didn't see any male hummers - just females. I thought that was kind of strange.

They visit every morning about nine and again in the afternoon about five or six o'clock. I wonder where they go in between those times?

I have an orchid cactus that has put on a particularly spectacular display this year. I have it outside right now and the hummers absolutely love it. The bright red flowers are about as big as my hand and each flower drips honeydew faster than the hummers can keep up with it. So that's a BIG attraction in my back yard.

June is also Turtle Time on the Ole and Lena Ranch. Our yard becomes a freeway of traffic consisting of mama mud turtles coming up from the river, digging holes and laying their eggs, then wandering back down to the river leaving their eggs for someone else to take care of. We're used to seeing all kinds of muddy, sludgy spots in our yard where the turtles have made their deposit, but the strangest location was on the concrete floor in our screen room. I went into the screen room to clean several days ago and there in the middle of the floor on a fluffy rug were deposited 5 rubbery turtle eggs. Mama must have gotten confused in her travels or just couldn't wait and had to drop her load right then and there.

Now what is a person supposed to do with a clutch of turtle eggs? I couldn't leave them there and didn't plan to babysit them until they hatched, so I gently carried them down to the river bank where the dirt was softer, dug a shallow hole and buried them. There. I've done my good deed for the day. Just don't call me grandma to a bunch of baby turtles or I might have to hit you!!!

Talking about good deeds - Ole and I completed another one a couple of days ago. As you know, we're both animal lovers. Can't stand to see an animal hurt or lost. We were headed into town the other night about 5:30 p.m. and noticed this little black dog running down the railroad track - headed south towards the river. We both noticed it, commented on it and didn't think much more about it other than it was strange. The little guy looked like he knew where he was going - but then who knows.

Later that evening when we arrived back home about 9:30 both my cats, Simon and Lucy were out on the deck - arched backs, tails fluffed up and growling. We've had a stray tom cat hanging around and at first I thought they had him cornered. I looked again and there hiding behind the grille was the little black dog shivering and shaking, terrified of these two cats. I immediately went over and picked him up and he snuggled right up under my chin, relieved I'm sure that these two cats weren't going to attack him. Both cats are bigger than he was. Fortunately the little dog had tags on, although they were so worn they were extremely difficult to read. We finally made out a last name, looked it up in the phone book and made the phone call. It was an older couple that came to pick up their little guy, so grateful that someone had found him. They offered money, which we immediately declined and suggested they spend it to buy a new name tag for the little guy.

We both slept good that night.

Daisy went to the beauty parlor yesterday. I think she came home 5 pounds lighter and so soft she feels like silk. German Shepherds are notorious for shedding and she certainly does her share. Ole said he had to PRY her out of the truck when he dropped her off, and when we picked her up she came running and tried to jump in his arms. She's 90 lbs. and just a bit on the large side to be a lap dog. But I guess she can always try.

Love you all,



Anonymous said...

I check your blogspot every day to see whether you have found the time to entertain us again. I understand your cultural background so well and and I always look forward to your next adventure. You have a way with the camera that captures the essence of what you are describing in words. You are special and I hope that you will continue to captivate us with your stories.

Marge said...

Lena dear, you don't even have to leave home to have the same things we have here in the state park! We have birds and trees and turtles too. This morning a huge turtle had dug a hole and deposited her eggs right in front of the sidewalk to the women's bathroom. One dug a hole in the middle of the road. They are interesting, aren't they! Can I come work in your park next year?