Monday, August 29, 2011

Forest friends

 Blue Jay on the railing having some scratch. I am that close. The jays and other birds will keep a bit of distance from me and I can see why seeing this large animal coming around them, it's just a size thing. I do get to stand in one places as they fly over to me and as long as I'm relativity still they continue eating until they can't put any more in their mouths. They have to be the stunt fliers of the birds. I'll see them what almost looks like them dropping from the sky and land. I found that they will eat their fill of food then continue packing their mouths and take that off to a stash place where they hide what they have picked up. I believe crows also do that. Seeing them holding a larger seed with there feet and peck at it then eat the insides is amazing to watch. It's great to watch them in the morning. Soon as I walk out the door I'll hear calls from one jay to the others. They will see me putting out feed and call their buddies. No matter how cold it is I'll see them at the water splashing in it getting clean. Nothing like a bath in the morning to wake one up. Wonder if they would like coffee too. My railing has gone from that red to green now. Two coats of green enamel and a good sanding. Just have a little bit more to go one the front porch and it will be done. Was thinking of painting the roof a corrugated steel I put up last year or the year before. I reinforces it so it's strong enough to stand on. I figure a white or light color would reflect sun light and heat away. This might make it cooler under the roof.
 Kitties on the plank. I've made a sort of playground for the kittens and they really like climbing on things. I've never seen cats do as much climbing as these guys do. It's follow the leader all the time.
 Don't take my picture! Not the flash! My eyes. My big buddy didn't like flash photography. He's cool George from my first two skunks, George and Martha. He's very friendly and comes up to me when I call "Buddy." He also lets me pet him and I pick off the burs in his fur and tail. The cutest thing is when he stand up to get closer to me. Some time putting his hand on my leg. He's been here 6 or 7 years now and was this big when he got here. He's the largest of all the skunks. If I get up early and go up the hill I'll find him laying out in the sun watching the sunrise. Skunks do come out in the day time and do like the sun. They just don't like it when it's real hot. Out of all the skunks George is mister mellow and walks around with his tail almost dragging. It amazes me how clean they keep there hair. It's always clean and mostly bug free. I don't see flees here. I noticed that I did see flees north across the American river where it's much dryer. I've only seen a couple tics here in all the years here. Yellow jackets everyone hates besides the big house flies which are starting to show up this time of year. Since it's so warm out I'll find the skunks laying on the concrete or in the yard cooling off and cleaning. They lay at the edge of the porch with their heads poking over the edge looking out at the yard. Each skunk's got a unique personality too. I remember when I first started seeing them come around, their hair looked so soft. Then I heard companies back east raise skunks for the fur trade. You can also buy de-gland skunks in pet stores. Since they have bread them in captivity they now come in many colors beside black and white. PBS.ORG has a Nature show about skunks and it's worth watching because it will give you a different insight into them. There's a teacher that was doing show and tell about skunks and the kids were just amazed. She had a sling like shoulder bag on and at the end of her talk she pulled out a skunks, a full functioning skunk. The kids at first looked with wonder hearing it had it's glands and could spray them. She held the skunk and asked the kids if they would like to pet her. Of course the kids did and came right up. I think the first things out of their mouths was it's so soft.  The ferret like face looking at you really does grip you. They can have a meek look I found as they come up and a more happy look once they feel safe. It's real sad that people think skunks are carries of rabies because they aren't. They can get infected just like anyone else. In the forest they are the clean up machine. They eat bugs that people don't want to have around. Also get gophers and moles eating your gardens and making tunnels all over where when you step your foot goes into the tunnels and you almost break your ankle. I did that many times here until I had raccoons and skunks coming around then my gopher and mole problem went away. I still have what I think is someones escaped hamster tunning around here. I had a rat and mice problem but they seem to go away too with the owls moving in. I have two types of owls here. I don't know the types just that ones a big one and the others are small.
It's baby turkey with mom out walking and learning where the foods and water is. They come by every day walking the same route around the yard. They come down the hill stopping by the picnic table where bird seeds has fallen on the ground. Then it's a few feet more over to the water. They like going through leaf piles. They scratch at the leaves revealing the bugs below. There's one type of grass with a long center section where the seeds grow. The turkeys will grab the stalk and pull it tight until they get to the seeds and get them as they pull it through their beaks. Momma turkey makes little peeps and she walks ever so slow with her baby. As the baby grows mom with teach the babies where the best dry dirt is for a dusting of dirt to get rid of insects. I'm not sure why they lay in the sun, sort of one their side with one wing open. Then they flip around and do that to the other wing. They spend a lot of time taking care of their feathers. Little baby learns from a young age it needs to follow moms lead and start mimicking mom and taking care of it's new feather.

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