Sunday, August 26, 2007

I Finally Saw My Small Tenant...

...actually, just his tail. I'm talking about the little guy who's been living in my woodpile. He/she was just about to enter the pile when I showed up. Followed by Max Cat, who immediately gave chase. The chipmunk took off and spent about half an hour or so up in the trees, chirping the alarm or otherwise chatting with its fellows.

Max has been aware for sometime that Something That Smells Like Prey lives among the sawed up oak trees. I only became aware of the critter recently when I heard a gnawing sound while eating my breakfast out in my cool back porch/grotto. I now put out bits of fruit everyday; every night, they are gone. But note the carrot pieces in the above picture -- they've been there for a couple of days. The little guy turned up his nose, obviously.

Now to continue where I left off last night ... about my other big problem. Bird photography. Bought the new Canon Powershot for its 12x zoom lens, hoping to improve my odds at home despite 1) the lack of bird bath and feeder and 2) the overly wooded hillside. The birds are there, but I seldom can catch an entire bird -- even if one sits still long enough! I was lucky with the (I presume) house finch above. But the picture doesn't tell you much about the bird.

Why bird talk? For some reason or other, Thomasburg Walks tagged me as a birder, with a list of eight or so questions, most of which I can't answer because I'm not really a birder. Yes, my late husband and I spent a lot of time out in the field while he videotaped water birds, chiefly up at Sullivan Lake. But that was long ago. Today, birds are just one of many fascinating things in my immediate environment. However, one question did bring up memories of a recent experience:

What is the coolest bird you have seen from your home?
Easy to answer ... it was the misplaced great blue heron circling above my street, chased by a local raven who was shouting at him/her to get the hell out of the neighborhood. Fast. Mind you, I live a far piece from ponds of any size; all I can figure is that the heron had discovered that there are people who live nearby who have well stocked koi ponds. Nonetheless, he soon gave up. Our local guard ravens protect us well!

6 comments:

sheoflittlebrain said...

We've had no chipmunks here until lately. The developers working on the hills above us are stiring up their habitat, so they're out looking for new homes, poor things....

Granny J said...

One block away, there are squirrels, but none in the immediate neighborhood, I guess because we have many dogs and we still harbor a number of cats. But we have had chipmunks all along. Of course, it's a somewhat rocky hillside and there are plenty of haycors hereabouts.

Pamela Martin said...

Thanks, Granny J! I really was just looking for an answer to the coolest bird question; a good question, I thought for any place and/or nature blogger. Very interesting answer too--I would never have thought that ravens would defend against a Great Blue Heron. I've never seen our local crows, who are very touchy, pay the slightest bit of attention to a heron. They do ofcourse react strenously to the occasional raven visitor.

Granny J said...

Hello, Pamela -- The raven is Prescott's civic bird. Every dumpster in town near a food place has its resident raven or two. I don't think they'd allow crows into town, BTW. And they don't like other large birds -- I've seen them worrying a hawk once or twice.

k said...

granny j, there are a LOT of ravens here. Every time I see one I think of you.

Granny J said...

k -- get to know them; they are wonderful birds. An asset to any neighborhood.

 
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