Category Archives: Nature (because my favorite place is outdoors)

Another skink friend

I saw this one today sitting very still smack in the middle of a public walk. I chatted to him/her a bit, fetched my tablet and took a few shots. It was an odd place to see a skink, in the shade no less. (Don’t they like to sun themselves?)
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Open space for one

On an unpleasantly humid but breezy day recently I spontaneously wandered into the middle of this ball field and stood. I was craving being alone outdoors in one spot if only for a little while. I had it to myself. The weather was too putrid to draw many people outside and I didn’t need to worry about anybody walking up on me unexpectedly in this wide open space.
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(Small) Happy things

A hummingbird turned up at the end of last week. This is early especially since it’s been chilly. I had pulled the feeder out of storage recently and it was sitting inside on tbe coffee table, so once I saw the little bird poking around outside I was ready to mix up its sugar drink and serve it. That they know to return to their former feeding territory, traveling hundreds or thousands of miles to do so, blows me away. Just the one has come so far. I don’t usually get many and the few that come around in season fight constantly. The early bird gets not worms here but the hummingbird feeder all to himself (males arrive first).


The Quince bloomed earlier in April. About two years ago I moved it roughly 2 or 3 feet from where it had been so it could have more room to grow. That’s worked out nicely. The thing I love about this shrub, in addition to how freaking gorgeous it is, is how consistent it is, always putting on a good show. It attracts bumblebees in particular although it’s always odd to see them in April – I don’t see them anywhere else that early in the season, just on the Quince. None of the bees really wanted to pose – I tried to get shots – so here’s the lovely blooms.

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On meeting a fox

Earlier today I approached the edge of a wooded area on foot and saw a fox, who was clearly surprised to see me. It turned tail and headed back into the woods a bit, then stopped, stood still, and looked at me. I just looked back, happy to see it, and trying to send “I come in peace” vibes. In this suburban area, foxes are not a wildly uncommon sight, but infrequent enough that I consider a sighting special. Plus, um, they don’t bother me or other people so far as I know – nobody is raising chickens or other livestock around here for them to attack and so forth – so I don’t have any reason to take issue with them.

The fox appeared to be an adult, in good health, not limping, bleeding, or frothing at the mouth. I mention all that because what the fox did next was very unusual in my estimation. It looked away from me, initially, nosing some low-lying vegetation and then trotted a bit further into the woods andĀ lay down. I mean it curled up they way they do on TV! (TV is my reference point for fox and most wildlife behavior. I’ve only ever seen real-life foxes running away; that’s what they typically do when they see me or other humans to the best of my knowledge.) I couldn’t help it; although I’d been silent till that point, when the fox curled up on the ground, I automatically said, “Awww.” Mind you, it was still maintaining eye contact, but that comfort level it had, both surprised and pleased me.

In time I went on about my business nearby and when I looked again for it, the fox was trotting to a little hill where it looked back at me.Ā  We made eye contact again for a moment and then went our separate ways.

 

That’s not for you

Two days ago I saw a beautiful moth drinking from the hummingbird feeder. I’ve never seen that before. Yellow jackets and wasps, yes, but not larger, more appealing insects. I ran back inside to get my tablet to take a photo. To my surprise the black/orange/white colored moth was still there when I returned. However, I stupidly let the door slam behind me, spooking my winged friend who promptly took off, taking the photo opportunity with it.

Disappointed, I went back inside and only moments later saw this instead.

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The little birds, especially the male goldfinches, prefer to drink out of the dirty “ant moat” on the hummingbird feeder instead of one of two clean water dishes I maintain year-round for the birds’ and squirrels’ drinking pleasure. (This makes me think of dogs that drink out of toilets instead of their nice water bowls.) Mr. Squirrel here – acting out I daresay – no doubt thought perhaps the birds were gettingĀ something good that he too would like.

Today I looked out the window, saw the lovely moth at the hummingbird feeder, ran for my tablet, and watched as a bee of some sort scared it, causing the moth to again vacate the feeder. This time I saw it fly around the yard in a herky-jerky moth fashion for a bit before disappearing.

Update: Here’s the moth a day later (where it flew after I, quiet & tip-toeing, still managed to scare it from the feeder).

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