Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nutwood Critter Day

We're approaching 60 degrees here at Nutwood, and it's been raining off and on all day. Much of the snow has melted, leaving the driveway and roads a slushy mess. If it freezes up again tonight, the roads will be terrible tomorrow. I'm glad we don't need to go anywhere!

I put a roast in the crock pot earlier. I've had this recipe for a while, and decided to finally try it: Coffee-Sauced Rump Roast. It sure smells good, but I'll let you know how it tastes. I got my workout in today (after being a slacker for the past couple of days) and we've been working on changing over one of the upstairs rooms into an office. Ken did most of the work, but I helped carry stuff. He's looking forward to having his desk upstairs, and I think we'll have room for the rocking chair my Mom gave me. It's a great chair for reading. It felt kind of good to start tackling that project, and I have another bookcase to hold the book overflow! Maybe we should just convert all the walls into built-in bookcases and be done with it.

This morning I saw a band of 20 or so wild turkeys crossing the back yard. It was great to see them, because they've been pretty scarce lately. We saw one lone turkey the other day, and I hope he found his turkey brethren.

The squirrels have been enjoying the seed I'm putting out. My intention is to feed the ground-feeding birds, but I can't keep the squirrels away. I can't help it, they're really cute--I love their little ears!--and I'd rather have them eating the cheaper seed I throw out on the ground than get into the suet and sunflower seed feeders!

The Tufted Titmouse is one of my favorite birds. They're cute little guys, and they always seem very cheery to me. I suppose it's because of their's almost as if they're wearing a jaunty chapeau. "Oui oui, Madame, I like zees seed vairrrry much. Eet has a certain...I don't know now to describe ne sais quoi."

A couple of days ago, I glanced out the kitchen window and one of our hawks was sitting on the deck railing! I've seen a little sharp-shinned hawk come up here, but I've never seen one of the bigger hawks get that close to the house. When I tried to take a picture of him, he flew up into a tree and sat there for a solid hour. Another one (his/her mate?) was in another tree, so it was cool to see a pair of them. I'm not 100% certain, but I believe this is a red-shouldered hawk. None of the other hawks really fit his coloring and size (about 18-20 inches, so he's fairly imposing) or the time frame of the time of year that they would be here. Sorry it's not a real sharp picture, but I had to use the max zoom to get a close enough shot. He's a handsome fellow, isn't he?

In the fine tradition of my coming up with fanciful, creative, and imaginative names for our critters (Groundy the groundhog, Batty the bat, etc.), I named him Hawky. Ken said, "Hey, you're a hawky mom!"

Hahaha! Get it?


It really IS Critter Day, and the critters are cooperating! Right after I posted this entry, four deer showed up in the back yard.


  1. I am happy to hear you don't do mean things to the squirrels!! So many people do nasty things to keep them away. The poor squirrel is just eating! We have so many hawks around here and they are freakin huge, Red Tails. They get their share of rodents which doesn't make me happy but it's the cycle of life I suppose.

  2. I would have loved to have seen all your critters. I'm a nature nut.... Thanks for sharing the photos.

  3. it's 61 freakin degrees here.....apparently it will be windy and snowing tomorrow. gotta love the midwest and our wacky weather.

    the bird shots are nice.


  4. I sometimes wonder what all the critters say about us! I'm sure they feel we are infringing on their natural habitat...because we are! Great pics!

  5. Hawky mom! LOL!

    There is something seriously twisted in my head. First I laughed at rump poast; next I cackled over titmouse. Yes, I've heard the words before, but for some reason I kept gigling, "Beth said titmouse and she's cookig a rump roast!"

  6. you are reminding me of Jack Hanna from the Columbus Zoo and your enthusiasm of animals! XO

  7. I SOOOOO wish Momma Ginger was still alive- by now she would've figure out computers and digital photography, and you could have shared nature pics for DAYS!! She loved to sit by the window with her knitting and watch the birds and squirrels! Fab pictures!
    It's bout 6o degress here, too. How weird is that?! We all have the same weather- that won't last long!

  8. Hi Beth,
    Wow ... between you and Ken you really are spotting a lot of critters today. I've seen a bunch, too ... the Yellow Bellied Loudmouth, The Warbling Cell-Phoniac and the Unemployed Actorsaurus to name a few! Anyhow, enjoy the nature show!

  9. Our temps were in the low sixties today too! I don't think we're expecting a freeze any time soon, though.

    Great pictures!


  10. You know, you'd think squirrels would be really soft. I mean, they LOOK soft and squishy. They're not. Their fur is rather coarse and they don't really appreciate being petted. ;) We got three babies in at the shelter I used to work at (they took in orphaned wild life as well as cats and dogs) and one day I got up the cajones to pet them. Definitely not soft or squishy.

  11. Hi Beth, Good morning from a cold and frosty Box (the name of my village!!) what a great set of pictures. I would love to see these gorgous wee red squirrels we mainly have dull grey ones here..unfortunately they have killed of the red ones in most places !
    Much Love Sybil xx

  12. haaaahahaha....I love your French accent.

    Last night, I fell asleep early, and when Jesse came up, I heard him say "What the hell? Are you Sheena of the Jungle or something?" I opened my eyes and saw two cats on top of me, one dog laying on my feet, and the other with his nose under my neck. LOL That's right...he better not make me mad or I'll send the animals to do my bidding. LOL


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?