Good Bye Summer

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Manny at 5 months
It has been over 3 months since I posted. Manny had been with us two weeks and my Mom was still with us. A month later on May 27th a bear sauntered into the yard. I usually don't remember the exact date bears visit us but it was the day after my Mom passed. Manny was about 14 weeks old. Since then life has been like a time machine. I have seen folks that I have not seen in 30 to 40 years. I have helped my sister (a bit, she and her family do the heavy lifting with all of this) sift through the time capsule Mom left us. The time capsule contained over 150 years of family history; maybe more, we (my sister mostly) are still sorting. I am making some career transitions. Life is truly a roller coaster but I would not trade my spot on the ride.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Training Manny

The past couple weeks have revolved around training Manny and a bit of Manny training us. I haven't been taking many pictures of our bird visitors. When you are accompanied by two dogs every time you are outdoors the birds vanish. So I have been taking pictures of Joey instructing Manny about boundaries, showing him where to look for chipmunks, and when to take a break. She has also been working with him on dog etiquette. She has trained him on when it is okay to steal a toy from her, how long he should expect her to romp and wrestle and when he needs to just go away for a while.

Manny has been doing independent investigations. He has located the toilet brushes in both bathrooms and is doing his best to keep them coralled. He barks fiercely at them and drags the bathroom rug out to show he means business. Who needs rugs in the bathroom anyway? He is mystified by reflections. When we walk up to the back door he looks pleadingly at my reflection begging to be let in even though I am standing next to him. He is learning to walk on a leash. It was fun to watch his reactions when I took him to the park down by the lake. We didn't do lots of walking because it was necessary to sniff things thouroughly. We'll get to the walking thing eventually.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Joey Meets Manfred

We are on day four with the newest member of our family, Manfred, a.k.a. Manny. He is 8 weeks old today and the Grandson of our 11 year old girl Joey. They are American Water Spaniels and the breed is Wisconsin's state dog. The initial meeting went well but by the end of day two Joey figured out he was staying. She wasn't sure she liked that and showed her displeasure by banning him from the toys. That didn't last long because I put them up. He continued to try and charm her by pouncing at  her, yipping, following her around whenever he could and snuggling up to her when she sat still. I think he has won her over. She is still having to rumble at him now and then to keep him in line. Things are heading in the right direction though and they have the toys back.

Taking a break after a romp outside.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Tangle of Deer

It has been a chilly first week of spring. Frost on the ground every morning and single digit temperatures to start the day. We even had snow in the northwoods this past Wednesday. That has kept the feeders busy all week.We had not been seeing the Quartet regularly since early March but they made several appearances this week. Thursday I took a series of shots that show them crowded so close together that you have to look closely to determine how many are there.

 Joey came looking for me and noticed the intruders in her yard. That accounts for the last picture with the blur of deer fleeing. The coming week promises to be warmer. We can't wait.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mourning Doves and Investigative Squirrels

I have been taking interesting pictures on the days I am not traveling. I was lucky to catch two Mourning Doves milling about a tree just off the deck yesterday. I also got to witness a pair of squirrels discovering a feeder in the tree that the doves are at the base of.  The birds had that to themselves for a little over a month. Oh well, spring means you should not expect having food sources to yourself, right?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Where have All the Colors Gone?

It's that faded looking time of year. The snow has melted leaving all the treasures it was hiding exposed. Flattened grass that looks like straw, sticks, last year's fallen dried leaves that got missed in the fall and for those of us with canine family members..... I picked up a lot of that yesterday. I also took a few pictures. The temperature was nice but things seemed pretty monotone. I saw hints of the colors that will be popping to life soon. The squirrels are coming around more too.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Day Light Savings Time

Today's pictures are late afternoon/early evening on the second day of Day Light Savings Time. I scared one of the deer visitors off around 6 AM this morning. I thought they would come in and clean everything out when I left. When I got home later this afternoon I could tell they had not been back. They strolled in this evening but just nibbled a bit with the exception of the button buck who consistently is the last to leave. This week is full of travel and meetings so I probably won't be posting again until next week sometime. I wonder if my backyard pals will notice the lack of photo ops.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Finches and Blue Jays

Finally it seems we are getting some warm weather. If the predictions are correct it will just get better throughout the coming week. The birds can feel it coming too. The finches have been thick around here most of the week and the blue jays look like they are settling in.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hello Spring

Spring is right around the corner but I did not know it would manifest in the backyard within minutes after my last post that included images from early last May. I looked out my back window and saw several pairs of purple finches among the many small birds at the feeders. I caught a few pictures of the finches. 

Spring Dreams

It was -23 at 4:45 AM in our corner of the northwoods this morning. Temperatures in the 40's are predicted for this time next week. That is a hopeful thought. I hope we are seeing rose breasted grosbeaks and red wing blackbirds soon. These pictures are from early last May. We did get snow that month but you know when it comes that time of year it usually won't last long.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Snowy Day Blue Jays

I finally managed to get blue jay pictures and I discovered we have a pair. This picture is just after the one on the left gave a seed to the one on the right. I wish I had snapped the image a second sooner but I enjoyed watching their antics today.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Signs of Spring

Even though there is snow on the ground the days are getting longer, buds are trying to emerge on the trees and I saw a group of Mourning Doves today. Unfortunately they have not conversed with my deer pals so the group startled and took flight when I tried to take a picture. Fortunately for me one brave little soul was more intent on sunflower seeds than joining her skittish friends.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Everyday Magic

I took way too many pictures today, actually I don't mean that. When I was perusing the shots this one was a surprise. Anytime I discover I took a picture of something I couldn't see it gives me pause. It makes me think about all the magic going on around me everyday. Hope everyone's week is filled with noticeable magic.

Lone Blue Jay

I saw a couple Blue Jays towards the end of the day yesterday. This morning after I filled the feeders I saw another one but he didn't stay around long.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Early Morning Hungry Birds

I went out to fill bird feeders around 6:30 AM this morning. I stuck a couple ears of dried corn for the squirrel feeder in one pocket and the camera in the other. It was a crisp -12 so by the time I turned around from putting the corn in place the birds were getting down to business. That was what I had hoped. It's nice to be able to stand a few feet away watching them and listening in on their bird conversations. Happy Saturday.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Photo Fatigue

I got some early morning shots today. The Quartet came in slowly one at a time. None of them seem to spook or startle anymore when I show up at the back door camera in hand. In fact one of them gave me a little attitude.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

About This Blog

Winter 2013 I got a new camera. I had fun throughout 2014 taking pictures of the parade of critters that congregate and pass through our backyard. I shared them on my Facebook page and that generated nice comments and sometimes short conversations. Another bonus was hearing from friends I haven't seen in person for years. It made them feel a bit closer. With that in mind I thought it would be nice to use a blog format to organize some of my old favorites as well as share them with folks who aren't on Facebook. I will be adding current pictures too. I hope you enjoy them.