Category Archives: Wildlife

Home

It is always nice to come home after being away.   Home is familiar and comfortable, just the way one likes.   And we have the many sayings that reflect this “there’s no place like home” or “home is where the dog is”, etc. etc.  My house is not only home to me, but there are a few others that share this address, although they do not get much in the way of mail.

A Pine Siskin (a sort of sparrow with a bright  red head) decided that right by my front door is a great place to put a nest and raise a family. The spot is sheltered from the sun and rain.  I usually go out the garage door, and that is okay with this bird.   But the siskin gets vexed when I peep out the window to see what it’s up to, so I try not to do this.

Out in the back yard, the ‘esquilos perversos’ or evil squirrels have made themselves at home.   They need to enjoy it now, because the hot tub is going away this summer, so they had better load up their tiny furniture and move.

This hole doesn’t look like much, but I’m pretty sure that it has a comfortable lining of soft dried grass and fur (I did watch her constructing this).

And this is the architect of said hole, the bunny former know as Pete. Because the bunny hides the entrance whenever she leaves, I suspect that there is a baby bunny living in there as well.   None of them pay rent, but they all make this home a better place to live (well maybe not the squirrels).

 

The gang

I think that Rosa has become the matriarch of the neighborhood herd.  She is certainly the friendliest and least fearful of the local deer.  That is Adele standing in the background, she is a little skittish and is ready to bolt at the slightest thing.

Adele does have a sweet face to go along with her shy disposition.

 

Tamara (the lame) used to be the matriarch of the group.  But she has a crooked leg, so she is just not as swift as the other bunch.  She has been hanging around for a couple of years, so I know she is older than the other does.

This is one of the youngsters of the group.  I call her the angry deer because of the eyebrows, but she’s not really angry.  She’s the oldest of the youngsters, I think and the offspring of Tamara.   She’s medium skittish, but always glad to see me.

This was the view out my front window one day last week.  The herd makes the best sort of lawn ornaments!

 

Lounging about

I have always thought that the deer in my neighborhood have a rather sweet deal.   There’s not a lot of traffic (once they are on this side of the Interstate [motorway]).  There’s lots of delicious landscaping to eat.   And they can stroll down to the creek for a drink.   But then I saw these deer, and thought that they definitely have the best spot in town.

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They look so graceful and contented just lounging about.

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And why not?  They are lounging about on the premier estate in town.  Formerly owned by the founder of a luxury hotel, these grounds are part of the foundation that he endowed.   These deer live in splendor in a very exclusive and desirable neighborhood.

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He’s not really angry about anything (except perhaps the papparrazi), it’s just the way his eyebrows look.

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And here are some of his harem.  They don’t have to go to the creek for a drink when there is this lovely fountain for them.  It’s all pretty posh.   But when I woke up this morning, Bob the Stag was resting on my tiny front lawn, so perhaps my house is a desirable address too.

Bunnies

It all started with “Tales of Peter Rabbit”.    Yes the lovely story of the misadventures of this mischievous young rabbit was the start of a love affair with the family Leporidae.   And Easter is their holiday, starting with their chocolate representatives who bring us both hard boiled and candy eggs.   Who wouldn’t like such a splendid species (other than gardeners, farmers,  Australians, Elmer Fudd, etc.)

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Here’s my copy of the story, it’s not actually the one I originally read, I’m sure that was a library book.    Accompanied by my porcelain rabbit that I bought when I worked in a toy store about 30 years ago.   I had a Peter Rabbit, but my last dog decided it was too tempting  a treat to go untasted.

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Here’s my newest rabbit, it is a “velveteen rabbit” from the story of the same name.   It is actually some sort of plush, but that is a minor quibbling detail.   Next to it is an Indian rabbit, made out of a Pendleton blanket, I bought this at March Pow-Wow some years ago.

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This bunny belonged to M, and he got it when he was a small child and first came to America, so that would make it close to 60 years old.

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These are my new bunny salt and pepper shakers.   It’s not anything I needed, but they were too adorable to resist (note to self:  you must try harder to resist things).

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Here is one of the actual bunnies that lives down by the mailbox.   I took this picture the other day as Miss P barked madly at her.   Today we are having a spring blizzard, so I expect that they are all snug in their rabbit holes, eating blackberries and cream like the siblings of Peter Rabbit.   Poor Peter, he had to go to bed without this treat.

 

AirBnB or is it DeerBnB?

Well the neighborhood deer have gotten pretty comfortable with hanging out.   They are part of the herd of God’s cattle, and they mostly go wherever the mood (or food) takes them.   Sometimes I don’t see them for weeks, which makes them the perfect sort of pet (unlike Miss P who is constantly seeing one or another of her vets).

This week I have had a lot of visitors, and they made themselves right at home.

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This fellow had lost a fight, he had only one horn, and no harem.   Maybe next year.

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This one is a fellow bachelor, they were no doubt relaxing together and talking about sports.

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The ladies were standing, but the young buck (I think he’s a buck because he has antler buds) was laying down.   Maybe it’s a guy thing.

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Yes, it is definitely a guy thing.   Here’s yet another buck just relaxing on the lawn.   My lawn is the perfect place to survey their domain and keep an eye out for predators, just in case.   And the front window is the perfect place to survey these deer. (And they’re not even bothered by Miss P madly barking at them from inside the house.)

 

 

 

Big Snow

The local tv reporters love a big snowstorm, they get to drive around town on mostly deserted streets telling you how awful it is.   It’s news, and most everyone is home watching, so that they will know how soon life can get back to normal.   This weekend they predicted one, and it followed the script.   It was warm and lovely on Saturday (perfect dog-walking weather), then it started snowing on Sunday, and it kept on snowing all day on Monday and into Tuesday morning.

I sort of like them when I don’t have anything important to do (not that I have anything important to do now).   Everything gets covered in a fresh clean blanket of white, transforming the familiar landscape into a mysterious place.   I’ve laid in supplies, so let it snow!

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I took this photo at midnight.   I’m not using a flash or photoshop, it was just that bright from the snow reflections.

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I love the patterns made by the rabbit tracks, they’re taking advantage of the shoveled areas.

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And there sits said rabbit, enjoying a bit of sunshine at last.

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I decided to try and dig out my car from it’s thick blanket of snow.   I measured 15 inches in the back yard, and of course our street has not been plowed.    Someone, (Miss P) is extremely bored and ready to resume the daily walk, and perhaps we will be able to do this later today.

Trail

Today after Miss P got her acupuncture we went walking on the trail by the creek.  It was a beautiful day after the recent snow and cold, perfect for a stroll.

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Here’s a view of Pulpit Rock, with the new free standing (not attached to a hospital) emergency room that’s being built in front of it.

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The trail is a wide paved path, with this inadvertent art created by nature and lazy builders.   There are miles of trails, and one can go all the way to downtown from my house.

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It’s prettier when the trees are green and leafy.

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But I probably would not have been able to spot this fellow.  (Okay Miss P spotted him first).

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Or his doe.   They were just hanging out by the water, then they got up and trotted down the path with the rest of the joggers.

Spiders

Yes, it’s that time of year again.   Once more the city is being invaded by giant spiders.   I don’t think anyone really enjoys being around spiders, even though they do eat other bugs.   I got bit by a spider recently and my doctor was too busy to see me.   So I was at the veterinarian’s and had the vet take a look.  Not poisonous, so it was all good (except it did hurt).

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This young woman seems completely unaware that she is being menaced by a giant spider.

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You need to be careful not to get caught in their giant webs.  This one’s web blew down in some big winds, so the neighborhood is safe for now.

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Some are relatively harmless.

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Some are art.

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And then there are the delicious spiders.

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Some spiders look harmless, but are very dangerous to be around.

 

 

 

 

 

Birds about town pt.3

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Yesterday some handsome birds from the Pueblo raptor center showed up at a store to flog birdseed.   And I was there to snap a few photos, up close and personal.   This lovely prairie falcon was showing off his beautiful wings.

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Guffey the Great Horned Owl (from Guffey, CO) is your classic  owl.   One can tell that he is a male because the females are much bigger.   I do occasionally hear them hooting, but in the 23 years that I have lived in my house, I have only seen them twice.

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This barn owl is from out east on the prairie.    They sound rather otherworldly, not your standard hoot.

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This Barred Owl was larger than the Barn and smaller than the Great Horned.

All of the birds at the Pueblo Raptor Center have been injured in some way.    Those that can be rehabilitated and released back into the wild are, but these particular birds can’t.   So they act as ambassadors for their species and try to educate people.

hawk

This is a picture from my yard of the hidden hawk.   The hawks live behind the house and I frequently see them flying around.

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Here is the the last hummingbird of the season, everyone else left a month ago.

Antlers About Town

A beautiful denizen of the mountains is the elk, known as wapiti to the natives.   Majestic and delicious (yes, I hate myself for liking it, but it’s awfully tasty) elk are a popular artistic image around town.

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They are the symbol of a social organization as well.

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They are thick as fleas up north in Rocky Mountain National Park, we have to make do with their statues.

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Some are naturalistic, and some are not.

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And then there are the ones that are totally fake.

antlers