Friday, April 29, 2016

Generation Z

This week, the newest generation of Eastern chipmunks have emerged from their dens, 
and they are discovering a bright and beautiful world.

From the time they are very small, they seem ready to work, eagerly digging on the patch of ground they call home...

...until they have replaced the green decor (so '80's) with some good Ozark dirt.

After all that redecorating, a pause by the air conditioner is in order.

 They are curious about everything; a blade of grass warrants investigation.

Their mother sent them to her favorite haunt from last summer, the raised garden, to make sure the grape tomato had been planted. (It had.) 
This year's plants are still small, and the young chipmunks thought it was a great place to play soccer, racing around the field like Mia Hamm.

Their cousins have a place on the other side of the house. 
After a stormy night, a timid peek out of one entrance to their fortress reveals downed sticks and oak tassels.

young eastern chipmunk

"Better grab my hard hat!"

Linking with Saturday's Critters

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Don's sort of a sucker for superhero shows.  In 1990, there was a pretty silly one he watched called The Flash.  (OK, I watched it, too.)  The hero would put on a red suit, and then they'd show him in fast forward mode, doing heroic things.  (Actually, the best thing for me was watching him clean house.)

About the time we watched that show, we started seeing a chipmunk near the house, and he was so fast that we dubbed him Flash in honor of our superhero.  The next chipmunks to appear were indistinguishable from the first, so they became Flash, too.  Since then, several subsequent generations of chipmunks here have all had the same name.

For several days now,  a young Flash has been helping himself to snacks on our deck.  Most winters, chipmunks stay snugly tucked into their dens in the ground, and we don't see a sign of them for months.

Flash has been here on frigid mornings, his hair standing on end, and when long blue shadows cross the deck, he stuffs his cheeks 'til they can't hold another sunflower seed. Then he's off to hide them away, only to return and repeat the process.  It makes us wonder if someone raided his family's cache, and true to his superhero nature, he's out gathering provisions for the larder.

In the basement this morning,  a small mouse was caught in a trap.  My first instinct was to holler for Don to help.  Of course.  He loves dealing with wildlife.  The frightened mouse was scarcely damaged, so my own personal superhero took the poor thing outside and set it free. Who needs a red suit?  (Uh, don't let this get around.  My man and protector has his reputation to think about.)

At last report, the little mouse has been eating sunflower seeds, drinking from the birdbath, and hanging out in the woodpile, so we think he's ok.  And The Flash is still hard at work, saving the world from hunger.

Well, at least his family.

First published on January 1, 2014

Linking with Saturday's Critters

A couple of the little superheros have made their way on to a mug for Mother's Day, available from Zazzle:

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Morning Glory

Sunrise over Bull Shoals Lake

Being married to a real estate broker has it's perks, and one of them is getting to see some really nice property. I often go along with Don to shoot pictures for his business, and this morning was among the best. This was shot from the deck of a beautiful home overlooking Bull Shoals Lake.

For more information, click here.

Linking with Skywatch Friday.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Woody in the Tree

I'm not used to seeing ducks in trees. When I was a kid, the only ducks I can remember were firmly planted on the ground as they waddled off behind the cow in the Farmland Coloring Book.  But on a foggy morning this week a drake Wood Duck perched in an old oak tree down the hill from us. Glancing from side to side and stretching his neck and tail, he looked very much at home in the limb high above the ground.  For a moment, the sun broke through the gloom and spotlighted his bright breeding colors, and then the fog closed in again, and were it not for his movement, he would almost have faded from sight.

Wood Ducks, unlike other ducks, have claws that can grip branches, and they nest large tree cavities or nesting boxes. We used to have a box nailed to a tree by the pond, but the Wood Ducks didn't come and squirrels moved in and wrecked it. Now six of the colorful ducks float the pond and we're hoping there are enough tree cavities left over from the squirrels for all of them to stay. 

Linking with Wild Bird Wednesday