Sunday, March 28, 2010


We are replacing our roof and the noise has been very disruptive. The little creatures are getting plenty of food and water and play in the mornings before the workers arrive, but I do miss watching them in the afternoons.

Chewy the chihuahua was almost nipped by the garter snake who hangs out by my bedroom door. I saw Chewy chasing something and knew it had to be the snake judging from the way Chewy was moving, sort of jerking and jumping. I grabbed him as fast as I could and tossed him into the bedroom.

There are so many wildflowers blooming right now the air smells like perfume and it fills every room of the house. The wysteria is in full bloom and its scent blends nicely with the huge patches of bluebonnets. There are short bouquets of white flowers that look like baby's breath and tiny pink pinstriped flowers, and flowers about three feet tall with bunches of three purple or blue flowers. The crimson clover is just starting to come into bloom, as well, providing a nice contrast.

I haven't see the red parrot-like bird lately, the one who tried to kill the cardinal, but I have seen a large blue bird that I don't recognize hanging out with the sparrows. He has a loud, lovely song and seems to get along with the other birds quite nicely.

I set up the plastic owl on the fencepost, put two small trees in pots and blocked the view of the sparrow feeding station in the den patio, then moved the grill to block the view, as well, and I haven't seen the hawk all week!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hawk Action

The hawk is back and he's starting to make me...well, angry. I was sitting in the den today listening to the sparrows and he swooped down onto the patio and frightened the birds so badly that two of them flew into the window. I was talking to my sister about the situation and she suggested moving the fake owl to the den patio, which I did. The sparrows and squirrels don't seem particularly concerned by the owl, but I'm hoping it will intimidate the hawk a bit. Only time will tell.

They changed the forecast last night from 100% chance of rain to 70. It's been raining all night and morning. We are building an Ark right now. We have five squirrels on the bedroom patio, trying to avoid the rain. Actually, they're pigging out on sunflower seeds and corn. They keep chasing the baby squirrel off, and he runs a few feet, turns around, and runs right back in to the foray. He's a keeper.

The baby squirrel has been so funny. It was 85 a few days ago and he was on the back porch playing while his mother ate seeds. He kept running up to the door and putting his paws on the glass then peeking inside. He's absolutely adorable. His fur is so golden its almost white. The belly fur seems to take on a reddish color as the squirrels get older.

Uno, the one-eyed squirrel, has decided he likes the dish of food I fill by the second garage. He takes the seeds into his teeth, climbs to the top of the fence post then nibbles on the seeds while my chihuahua barks hysterically at the door. I think Uno likes intimidating the dog.

Chewy the chihuahua has decided he is not a morning person. After we wake him up for his walk, he climbs back into the big dogs' bed, buries himself in their blankets and sleeps until noon. He's still running off on walks. Now, he hides behind trees, waits until I pass, then races back to the house and sits by the door... with one paw raised like he's saying hello, pretending he was there all along.

I was watching television and noticed a tiny bird outside the den window so I went to look and sure enough, it was a hummingbird! I read on the Travis Audubon site that some early birds have been sighted, but they're in my yard! We ran to the garage and dug out the hummingbird feeders, cleaned them and filled them. Now I'm waiting...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Weather Rollercoaster

It is raining, then the sun shines, then it rains once more. According to the NOAA, we have set an all-time record for the coldest, wettest winter in the Hill Country. The animals are feeling the chill. They are eating far more than ever before.

The sparrows still spend their days in the mustang grape vine outside the den, then fly off in groups of five or more to sleep in the trees at night. They are very routine creatures and we have learned that they love to be spoken to, so my husband and I stop to talk to them every time we pass their perches.

There is another flock of birds, very tiny birds, like finches, that is spending time on the bedroom patio now. They share the space with the sparrows and the squirrels. They are so tiny, they look like miniature figurines. I have been tossing extra seed onto the ground for them.

I walked into the backyard and spooked a large hawk yesterday, one of the largest I've seen. It wasn't big enough to be a black vulture, though I know black vultures are actually in the hawk family. Nevertheless, it was a very large bird. Interestingly enough, I believe it was taking a bath in the bird bath I set out for the sparrows.

I figured out the mystery of the sunflower seeds in my garden shoes. Uno, the one-eyed squirrel is not only the squirrel filling my shoes with seeds, he is also the squirrel that likes to run across the driveway, and the squirrel that eats the seeds I leave on a tray beneath a tree just inside the forest. I was pretty surprised when I figured this out. I knew he was bold, I just didn't think he was bold enough to walk up to the back door where the dogs sleep. It's so amazing to me to think that he was the runt of the litter, at one time the tiniest squirrel on the block. He's come a long way...