Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

A Cat Is Watching Me

This very cat is watching me,
And not just on this day.
He’s always somewhere close, you see.
I wish he’d go away!

It’s not that I am anti-cat.
Or I would tell you so.
It’s just that he is always there
Wherever I might go.

I step out front to do a chore,
And there, beside a tree,
Across the street, there sits The Cat,
Intently watching me.

I stand out on my balcony,
Just taking in the air,
And there he is, as usual,
With his unbroken stare.

What does he want?  What have I done?
HE certainly isn’t talking!
I only know I’m victim
Of his furtive, feline stalking!

If I should disappear and
No one knows where I am at,
Please tell the cops to question first
That solitary cat…


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Moles…and More

If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, then you’re well aware of My War With The Mole.  If you’re new here, welcome!  Let me just say that this summer I have been having a battle of wits with a persistent and unbelievably annoying mole who haunts my yard and that of my neighbor, Marcia.  I am determined to keep him from destroying my yard, while his goal in life is to create sort of a “mole Disneyland” of tunnels, mounds and mud.

My latest counterattack of a month ago seemed to have discouraged him, or so I thought.  Then yesterday, as I was walking back from the mailbox, I noticed that he had established a “trial tunnel” on the little patch of grass right in front of my porch.  The nerve of this guy!  Anyway, I pushed it down with my feet and stomped on it a bit and figured that was that.  Imagine my fury, when only an hour later I looked out again and saw that the tunnel was back! Now this was a new one!  Usually when I destroy a tunnel, he doesn’t try in that area again.  But then, that is when I use my trusty rubber mallet to pound it down.  Of course!  I grabbed the mallet, stooped down by the tunnel and started pounding it like there was no tomorrow!  I wouldn’t be surprised if people down in China didn’t feel little pieces of dirt dropping on their heads, due to the violence of my pounding!  This time it stayed pounded and I think he got the message:  GO ELSEWHERE!

So today I went out to water my hanging plant, and what did I see in Marcia’s yard?  This.

And these tunnels were just some of many.  I kind of felt guilty.  It’s like he had a temper tantrum in her yard!  Just to give you an idea of why I’ve become so manic in pounding down the tunnels in my yard, let me show you a close up of one in Marcia’s.  See how BIG these things are?  And once he’s done that, no grass grows there again, unless you plant some more.

But, you know what?  I’m not going to feel guilty.  So far, I’ve managed to keep this damned mole from destroying my yard, but I can’t fight the battle for everybody.  Maybe if Marcia’s yard becomes a big enough mud pit, she’ll go out and buy herself a rubber mallet!

The “more” in this title refers to a critter other than a mole.  One of the main streets through a shopping district near me, Barry Road, is undergoing a lot of construction work.  Once you get on, you’re subject to two lanes becoming one and lots of delays.  I was sitting at a stoplight there when my eye caught movement in front of the car in front of me.  At first, I thought it was a rat, but then realized it was a baby opossum!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me, but he looked a lot like this.  What was really fascinating to me is that this baby opossum wasn’t “dashing” across the street like you’d think.  No, he was walking very sedately, like a little kindergartener  who had been taught to cross with the light.  Here he was, completely unaware that the eyes of maybe 20 drivers were fixed on him in amazement.  And then, when he got to the other side of the road, he didn’t run and hide.  No, he slowly started to investigate huge hunks of concrete the workmen had pushed to the side!  When the light turned green, we all reluctantly started to go.  But I would have liked to track his progress.  With his attitude, I wouldn’t have been surprised if his next stop wasn’t McDonalds!

Have a great day, People!

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My Hoppy New Friend

I know so many people who seem to have lost touch with nature. They give the excuse of living in the city.  But, in my mind, that’s not a very good excuse.  Any time you step outside, you are surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature.  The key is to learn how to be still and listen and observe.

I went out this morning to water my hanging plant on the porch.  I was standing there watering when I saw something dart across the sidewalk and into the neighbor’s flowerbed.  It was this little fellow.

He’s a baby and quite obviously new in town.  Here’s a little closer look.  Check out those adorable little ears!

When I saw that he intended on sticking around, I very slowly put down my watering can, cautiously opened my front door, and, once inside, dashed for my camera.  When I emerged, I stood very still until I saw him again.  He was so interesting to watch!  It was like the whole world was new to him and he wanted to check out every single thing as fast as he could.  He’d munch on some dead flowers, then dart across the sidewalk again to a tree and check it out.  Then he’d head back. He went through this again and again.  Finally, I just sat down on my front step and I noticed that with every foray, he was getting closer and closer to me…until he was right in front of my feet! I could have so easily reached down to pet him and, oh I wanted to, but I was afraid of spooking him.  So I just enjoyed his trust. And he didn’t even run when he heard the camera click.

I think he was testing me.  And I think I passed.  Now he knows that I’m not a predator.  So here I am  in a house facing a pretty busy street, and yet, I have my own private little nature habitat!  Something like that is really special.  And now you probably think that this is the end of this tale.  But no, I have a far better “tail” than that!  Check this out…I’ve never seen a bunny tail droop like that!

Oh, and by the way, I’ve named him “Benji.”

So, maybe you should go look out your own front door right this very minute.  You might be surprised at what you find!

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Tracking Winter

Yesterday morning, I was taking a card out to the mailbox and I was struck by how quiet the neighborhood was.  It’s as if, with the snow and the cold, people stay bottled up in their houses, only leaving through necessity.  But, as I was walking back, I suddenly became aware of all kinds of tracks, evidence that the night had been very, very busy.  Right in front of my house, I saw the tracks below . The  deep ones are deer and I think the tiny ones on the right are rabbit.  See the one on the far left, with the claws?  It’s times like this I wish I was a naturalist.  But I’m gonna guess those are raccoon tracks.

Then I started looking around more closely. It looks like the deer were attracted to the vines around my porch rails.

And, in the vast expanse of ground to the right of my townhouse, I saw these interesting tracks, which resemble a partially-opened zipper.

I had more pictures of tracks, but as I was writing this post, I looked up and, through my window, saw two deer emerging from the woods out back!  I dropped everything, grabbed my camera and ran out the front door.  Here’s one guy debating whether or not to cross the street.

While I was watching them, I saw the smaller of the two look up at me.  I whispered, “Come on!  Just come a little closer!”  Well, guess what? 

He did!

I don’t know about you, but the wonder of this magnificent creation of God just about made my day!

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“Danger Cat!”

In the little strip of woods behind my house, there live all kinds of creatures – opossum, raccoons, birds, deer, and the occasional woodchuck.  But, without a doubt, the fiercest, most hostile, vicious, most savage of them all is…DANGER CAT!  Danger CatI don’t know if you can tell by this picture, but he has devil eyes and most of the side of his face has been torn off above his eye.

Danger Cat is most likely feral, but judging by how beat up his body is, he has mastered the art of survival.  He can often be seen dashing into the woods with some poor squirming creature in his mouth.  Once he has taken it to his lair, I often see him later, swaggering down the driveway, gazing to his left and right, as if daring some other animal to take him on.  He has obviously been in many fights and is the worst for wear.  Also, living in the woods has taken its toll on him, as evidenced by this picture of the back of him.  You can see mange and, what I fear are parasites on his back.Cat parasites

Once I saw a woman walking her bulldog in back.  The bulldog thought he was hot stuff, judging by the ostentatious spiked collar he was wearing, and looked pretty tough.  From the corner on my eye, I saw Danger Cat make an appearance, walking straight toward the bulldog and woman.  I remember thinking “Oh no!”  But I shouldn’t have worried.  Danger Cat got to within four feet of the dog and then sat down and stared straight at him.  The dog let out a couple of harrumphs and then a couple of mournful whines.  The woman guided her dog around Danger Cat, while he sat and basked in his victory.

Here’s a picture showing a rotten banana he killed.  dead banana

Like any predator, he played with it for quite a while before he put it out of its misery.  After this picture was snapped, he hauled it away into the woods.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a whole pantry of dead things stocked away for winter in his hideaway, along with a fifty-two inch flat screen TV!

He’s become such a legend to me, that I wrote him his own theme song, called, quite appropriately, “Danger Cat.”

Danger Cat!  Danger Cat!
No one knows where you’re at!
Slinkin’ ’round, never still,
All you do his stalk and kill!
Danger Cat!  Danger Cat!
Eating mouse and snake and rat,
Danger Cat, I must surmise
If you could, you’d eat my eyes!
Danger Cat!  Danger Cat!
Pouncing like an acrobat.
There he goes, tough and grim,

(Of course, I could wonder where he came from and if he’s in pain.  But, something tells me that he’d absolutely hate that.)

Star Signature

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