Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Noisy Night

It is two in the morning and there is a bird on the bedroom patio chattering away. Unfortunately, the noise also woke up my cat, Niblet, who is now standing at the patio door, watching. The bird seems rather upset about something, but I can't see any sort of threat, or threatening situation. It is supposed to rain tonight, but there's still no sign of lightning or thunder. Perhaps it's another bird. Maybe there is a nest nearby.

I had a pear tree in the front yard that my husband and I bought on sale. It was rather small. It went into shock as soon as we planted it, though, and its leaves turned black and fell off whenever a matter of days. I did not want to return it because, when I touched its branches, I could still feel warmth, so I convinced my husband to move it to the backyard next to my raised garden where I could give it special attention, and when I returned from Houston, it was once again covered in leaves! I have named it Emma. Emma does not seem to be struggling at all now, but there are some black spots where the branches leave the trunk and I suspect it was fire blight that caused her initial distress. I'm not sure how she recovered, but she has.

I think I have discovered the source of the constant bickering that goes on in my backyard between the squirrels. It appears as though most of the squirrels are males. In fact, of the seven squirrels that now play in my trees and eat off the back porch feeder, five are males. One of the twins from last year seems to have bonded with a baby from this year. They are inseparable, though they do chase each other about on occasion.

The squirrel with the injured eye seems to be recovering. I pray for his health daily, and for the recovery of his sight. I am concerned about his ability to protect himself from predators. His eye is now open, but it still looks a bit blue and I'm afraid he may be partially blind.

There is another male with an injury on his back, but this, too, appears to be healing. This male is older, larger. I think it is the male who used to stay in the front trees and would only venture back this way to drink from the ponds, but lately he has been climbing the back tree to nibble on the corn.

I am certain the birds whose babies flew the nest are using the nest again. I didn't realize they could have more babies so quickly, but apparently, they can. We also have a nest in a box in the garage that now has eggs and one on the porch by the driveway. I saw a bird flying in and out of a box in that area and I was concerned that it was going to build a nest in a box of seashells on the porch. I was bothered by this idea because the box is very low and within reach of the raccoon, who does not appear to be in any hurry to find another home for its nightly visits. So, I set a birdhouse in the box and the bird has built a tight, secluded nest that can only be reached from a top hole.

The raccoon still comes to my patio each night, even though we bring the food in now. We bought more food and left it on the driveway patio by accident. The raccoon found it and ripped the bag open. I now keep the food in a covered box in the garage. There is always enough corn left on the ground from the squirrels to keep it busy, though. The raccoon is the smallest I have ever seen, and I have only seen the one raccoon on our porch. It is so tiny, it must be less than a year old.

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