Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Happy SWEET 16 Birthday!!

Time is flying that's for sure!

It's easily put in perspective when you realize that both my daughter and my niece are now turning 16!

Where has the time gone?  I swear they were just toddlers.  Wasn't it just the other day they needed to be changed...Oops strike that.  I wasn't supposed to mention that, hehehe.  Now they're hitting a big milestone, sweet 16, and before you know it they'll be 21 and wanting to learn how to drive.  Fortunately, dating is off the table!  I'm not sure I could handle all these milestones occurring around the same time.

Wishing the best daughter in the world and the best niece in the word a great big Happy SWEET 16 Birthday!!

I love you both!

Friday, February 02, 2018

It's A Murder I Tell Yeah...

...a murder of crows!

We've had oodles and oodles of crows hanging around this winter.  They seem to tolerate the frigid temperatures well and not bothered by single digits.  They're a skittish bird and typically take off when startled AND they're a God awful noise bird too.  However, it's nice to see some activity outside during these cold, drab winter days.

Mass Migration or Stampede, You Decide!

It looked like an animal mass migration, one you might typically see on the Animal Planet or the National Geographic channel, but right outside our window, CRIKEY!

The young'ns were leading the charge and headed for the busy street but you could see their apprehension as cars passed by.  One of the moms finally took charge and instead of crossing the street she lead them through the neighbors front yard and eventually into the wooded area and out of harms way, PHEW.

There were a total of six deer.  I believe two trios - a mom and twin does.

Save The Bees!

Speaks for itself

Find The Critter

Can you find the critter in the below picture?!

She's a stalker...

Get Off The Furniture...

Meet Tanner!

Tanner is my daughters dog, a rescue, and a resident of Chicago.

They were home for Christmas and spent a day with us - to Trixies dismay.

Blue Screen of Death

Computer issues - blue screen of death, fatal errors, system crashes.  Doesn't matter what they call it, they're generally not a good thing...

Fortunately for me a simple reboot, of both machines, and I was back on the air.  For now anyway. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Think Spring!!

Mid-January and our faithful Gerber Daisy is rewarding us with sign of things to come...

Slow But Steady

 My anniversary Amaryllis, which I planted on 12-22-2017, is sure in no hurry to make it's appearance.

It took about one month before there were any signs of life.  There's about 1" of growth poking through.  Perhaps, now that it's started we'll see better results.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Diner Time At The Holly Bushes

Here are a handful of pics showing the Robins and Waxwings gorging themselves on Holly berries -

Visiting Cedar Waxwings

Here's a handsome shot of a Cedar waxwing perched in our Dogwood tree.

We had oodles of them on Monday, along with oodles of Robins, all vying for the deep red berries from our Holly bushes.

Although, skittish frequently darting in to grab a berry and then off, collectively the birds have done a pretty good job removing and devouring the berries.

Since we're on the subject, did you know that only female Holly bushes produce berries?!

A Family Affair

Before the extreme cold set in the deer were frequent visitors to our leaf compost pile and the abutting neighbors arborvitae trees.

The arborvitae trees have look funny for several year now.  They're bald as can be from about 5 feet high and down to the ground.  Everything 5' and above is foliage, nice and dark green.  You see the deer have eaten all the greenage 5' and below - they can't reach any higher.  Ah, however, that's changed with the recent snow storm.  It was a heavy and wet snow that weighed the tops of the arborvitae down to where the deer, even the youngsters, could reach.  Today's there not much greenage remaining.

This youngster is atop the leaf pile -

Here mother and daughter enjoying some now reachable arborvitae -

Oops, I've been spotted -

Mother and two youngster daughters lying down resting -

Bang Bang, Bang Bang. etc.

Here's a Northern Flicker, a member of the woodpecker family, foraging in the knot hole of this Boxelder tree.

It's my understanding that the Northern Flicker is one of the few woodpecker species that migrate.  Someone might want to clue this dude in, it's a cold - brrrrrrr - one this winter.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Bottle Caps

I started and completed this 1000 piece puzzle while watching the final weekend of footballs regular season.  First puzzle I've done in a couple years.  Think I'll start another soon.

Braided Cookie, Yum!

JoAnne baked Koulourakia (Greek Easter cookies) for Christmas.  She used my mothers recipe.  It was her first time making them and they were delicious!

The aroma reminded me so much of my mother and brought me back in time.

Merry Christmas 2017

Our awesome 2017 Christmas tree!

I Have My Very Own Stalker...

and her name is Ms. Lucy!

That's me in the red flannel all the way across the street from Ms. Lucy.  I was out working in the yard, putting the final pieces and parts in place for the long winter.  Ms. Lucy was keeping a close watchful eye.

It wasn't too long ago that I had a different kind of stalker.  A pre-teen from the same family as Ms. Lucy.  This lad was gunning for me, literally! He was wanting to shot me with a paintball gun SO bad.  I had to watch over my shoulder whenever I ventured out in the yard.  Fortunately, that's all behind me.  I think I still have a weld in my chest, right between my breast bones, but it's over.

I much prefer the safety of Ms. Lucy watching out for me.

Sooie! Sooie!

The pigs sure do love their grain!

However, they also have a sweet tooth and always jockey for position when the day old bakery items arrive.  I think donuts are their favorites.  Weird, mine too!

Too many to count, oodles!

Sit! Good Cow.

Here's a unique site and not something you see very often.  A Hereford cow sitting like a dog!  This elderly lady had a full belly and basking in the sun.  It was a very cold day, single digits, when I visited my farmer friend.  She was as content as content can be.

There's No Hiding With Fresh Snow

Some random animal tracks in the dusting of snow we had several weeks ago.  I took these while visiting my farmer friend just before Christmas.

Fox -

Rabbit -

Turkey -

Always interesting to get a peak at what wild critters are lurking about.

Rodent Bath Time

Oliver and Trixie had a bath the other day.  Neither were happy about it but they sure do smell so much better!

Good Dog!

Speaks for itself!

Thank You Santa!

Santa arrived early at the office and brought me two, brandy-new 27" displays for my desk, replacing an older 19" display

Before Santa -

After Santa -

Not too much desk space left but boy am I more efficient!

Hard-Disk Drive Failure, UGH!

Hi Folks, I'm back!

Back on December 10 our home computer crashed with a Hard-disk drive failure! 

There was no saving it, nor the data.  I had a backup from February but all data and pic afterwards are sadly gone.  I was offline as I waited for a new hard-drive to arrive, then the time to install and get the OS back up and running.

Good news is I'm back!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Find The Critter

Can you find the critter int he above picture?

8-Point Buck Visitor

We've bought our house back in 1999, so about 17 years now.  In that time we've had many, many visitors, two-legged, four-legged and even some without legs.  However, in all this time we've never had the pleasure of, or at least "seen", an adult White-tailed deer buck.  Of course they're out there, if for no other reason than all the spotted fawns we've seen over the years but the buck has been stealthy.

That all changed on November 18 of this year and what a treat it was.  For not only was there a big handsome 8-point buck calmly hanging out in our backyard, he was also hanging with a doe!

He was definitely smitten with her and didn't stray too far from her.  They were both contently nibbling on leaves and branches but oh so vigilant at the same time too.

He spotted the neighbor getting into his car -

He had some itches, prolly ticks -

At one point a black cat even ambled by to join the photo op -

They both hung out for well over an hour but eventually as the neighborhood awoke they were driven off and into the thicker, wetland underbrush they went.

The Last Remaining Blooms of 2017

Back on November 5, before our first killing frost, I took the below pictures of flowers still in bloom, or at their end, around our yard. There were only a few but surprisingly there were still some.

Lamb Ear -

Hydrangea -

Holly Berries -

Anise Hyssop -

Montauk Daisy -

Bachelor Button -

Till next year...