Sunday, May 11, 2014

Soft and Huggy

You know, sometimes the world seems like a pretty mean place. That's why animals are so soft and huggy.
~Bill Waterson - Calvin & Hobbes


As promised in my last post, below are just a few of them many creatures which have crossed my path in one way or another over the past few months.

moo2
I was really MOOtivated to get them posted for you. I saw this lovely beast when I was out driving, one afternoon. The farmer to whom it belonged seemed a bit alarmed to see a crazy woman stop the car to photograph his cattle.





beaver road
This one goes back to March when I met up with a woman whom I hoped would be making curtains for our new addition. On my way back home, I saw this little guy taking his time, moving on up the road with his small tree branch. He was taking the scenic route, as the sign says.





beaver tail
The beaver eventually waddled over the the left and climbed up the snowbank, leaving his prize behind. Most evenings, we see one or two of them in our lake, depleting our neighbour's brush pile, one stick at a time.





little red guy6
Closer to home, we have Rufus.. or Rufette. Cute as a button and bold as brass. Gotta love red squirrels (even though I know some of you don't).





deer in garden
This was one of the last times we saw deer in our yard. He was checking out our garden. He must have been disappointed with its lack of growth which is probably just as well. They'll be back after hunting season in the fall. I hope.





northern flicker yard
This Northern Flicker was new to me. Frank had seen them before but I had not. He reminds me of a confused woodpecker, as he spends his time pecking for ants in the ground instead of trees.





yellow bellied sapsucker4
Here's a woodpecker that understands what he has to do. It's a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Handsome little guy.





red breasted nutchatch4
Our feeders attract a number of birds. Among them these darling Red-breasted Nuthatches.





red breasted nutchatch7
Funny little acrobats.





northern flying squirrel
This little cutie was a bit of a surprise. Frank's son Francis was visiting us and he saw him feeding on the deck railing. He was confused as to what he was. Frank had spent some evenings sitting out there in the dark and assumed it was Rufus getting a midnight snack. Now that the light was on him, it was clear to see that he wasn't one of our usual visitors. Those big black eyes (which I tried to return to their original state as best I could with Photoshop, after they were reddened and washed right out from the flash) gave him away. Frank correctly identified our nocturnal visitor as a flying squirrel. He was unconcerned about our presence, the light, the camera and our chatter. Of course, he felt otherwise about Benny who eventually scared him off.





back to back4
Last but not least, my own handsome guys who turn 15 this month. Here, they were practising hard at being bookends.

That's it for now. I should have some more photos coming up soon.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms!

51 comments:

Glo said...

What an amazing variety of country creatures :) Must have been a bit of a shock seeing Justin beaver in the middle of the road! I wonder if it went back for its stick later on. The flying squirrel is a new one to me. We have the Northern Flicker here, too, and other than pecking ants out of the ground, they seem to love attracting attention by pecking on my metal chimney...it sounds like an alarm system going off as the sound resonates throughout the house! Anyway....loved the photos, all wonderful as usual. Happy Birthday to the Bookends, and a Happy Mother's Day to you!

Birdie said...

We have all sorts of flickers in our yard. They feed off the millet feeder and make a huge mess!

Tabor said...

I have a small flock of flickers that de-grub the grass for me in the very early spring after a rain. I can hear the yellow-bellied by have not seen him. That beaver, the engineer of the woods, is so interesting just waddling down the road! And, your cat photo shows the love you have for them!

Theresa said...

Oh such wonderful pics! Love the beaver
and the flying squirrel! We have the flickers also, but ours do most of their mining for food in the trees, although I have seen them on the ground hunting insects of other sorts. Quite a showy bird in flight.

from Madrid said...

It is that you have a life shared with animals you want.

Tomás.

DJan said...

I've never seen a beaver out like that before. I see lots of evidence of their presence, but you are very fortunate to see them like that! And I love all your pictures. :-)

messymimi said...

Happy Mother's Day!

If i weren't jealous before of you living in such a nice area, i am a bit now! Beavers!

Red squirrels do not come out at night at all. As soon as the sun sets, they drop off to sleep. Any time you hear nocturnal nibbling, it's not Rufus or Rufette.

Red said...

You've put together a great series of animal shots and managed your play on words with moo-tivation. Nice one. Go out in the forest at night . Find a clearing, look up. If you're patient you will see a flying squirrel floating across the clearing.

Lynne with an e said...

My favourite is the woodpecker who clearly displays his confusion in his mix of polka dots, stripes and squiggles with that adorable little red "fascinator" on the back of his (her? more evidence of confusion!) head.
And your bookend cats hold up beautifully under scrutiny as well!

CiCi said...

The acrobatic bird is a charming shot.

Cats are my favorite so the twins and the lighting in the cat photo would be favorite in this series.

Happy Mother's Day!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

It's so much fun, I adore your creatures!

ellen abbott said...

I love the squirrels even though one of them finally knocked the tea cup feeder off it's hook as it was leaping away and broke the saucer. and the flying squirrel! what a treat.

TexWisGirl said...

i love all your critters! wild and domestic! the red squirrel portrait is adorable!

Stephen Hayes said...

Great pictures as always. I've long been fascinated by beavers. I live in Beaverton, Oregon, but I've never seen one in the wild. Happy Mother's Day.

ADRIAN said...

What a grand selection.
We have Green Woodpeckers here and they hunt ants on the ground.

Cloudia said...

Smashing images that gladdened my day! Thanks and happy mums day to you, H

Linda Wildenstein said...

What a lovely gathering of creatures you have given today. I love the beaver tail picture. The only time I've seen one in the wild is when we used to camp. They are funny critters. And a Happy Mother's Day to you as well. Oma Linda

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Fun shots. Hope you will have a great week.

Out on the prairie said...

Hope your M Day was good

Betty Manousos said...

wow hilary! i love all your critters! they made me smile. fantastic shots as usual.

happy mother's day!

xoxo

Anvilcloud said...

I love how you do your themes and save your photos for just the right time. I am more of a one and done sort of guy -- snap, post, move on.

Slamdunk said...

Great variety Hilary. Thinking about your descriptions, I am sure the beavers think they are boss in your area. Their cousins the groundhogs are the same way here--not much makes them hurry along, well other than big dogs like ours.

Brian Miller said...

ha. cool capture of the beaver...see their work more often than i see them...we have a woodpecker in the tree by our tree house...i was watching him...listening to him the other day...

Stewart M said...

What a splendid set of pictures - I'd have to spend about 20 hours on a plane to be able to see any of these!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Eddie Bluelights said...

'Mootivated' lol
You were an eager beaver with the camera. Great shots Hilary.
Hugs

Sharon Wagner said...

My parents had a pet flying squirrel once. Good catch.

Kat said...

Wonderful catches! I love both of the squirrel pics. Well done!

ladyfi said...

Awww - what a great post! Your two guys are looking good for their age.

Friko said...

This is a wonderful series of animal shots. So clear and sharp and still soft enough to make my heart melt.

Beautiful creatures.

Indrani said...

Great captures and perfect timing in a couple of them. :)

Gail Dixon said...

What great photos to share with us!! Loved the 15-year old "bookends." Have to admit I'm a little jealous of the flicker and nuthatch. One day....I hope.

Daryl said...

its like wild kingdom in your back yard … i love being able to share vicariously

Rita said...

This was just wonderful! I gasped when I saw the flicker! When I was a kid I endlessly caught bugs for a batch of baby flickers in a tree hole for two weeks until they were old enough to fly off. A neighbor kid informed me the mother had been killed and there were babies crying in the tree in the field. (I think someone in that BBgun family had shot the mother--and possibly the father because I never saw any adult bird come to the nest even from a great distance.) They are pretty birds. Can peck hard enough to draw blood when they are hungry. ;)

Lisa Gordon said...

Your creatures are wonderful, Hilary, especially that beautiful deer!

Mage said...

I can understand the farmer's pause. Folks don't usually leap out of cars to photograph cattle. Love the fuzz and fur. What a gift for those of us city bound folks. Thanks.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

I don't think anyone does squirrel portraits better than you do. Love the Northern Flicker photo, too; and the sweet kitty bookends.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

I don't think anyone does squirrel portraits better than you do. Love the Northern Flicker photo, too; and the sweet kitty bookends.

sharon said...

wonderful charming,just what i love to see adortaable creatures of the wild..than you

Lady Lilith said...

You have some wonderful animal shots.

photowannabe said...

Dearly love your "bookends" and your amazing array of critters.
What photo ops.
I love the acrobat nuthatch too.
In fact I love them all.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Loved looking at your soft and furry critters. Thanks!

Mandy Southgate said...

What a super post! I loved the beaver and the cow but my favourite was the red squirrel. I don't know why people might not like them but in England, grey squirrels have invaded and chased all our red squirrels to the north so I would love to see one with my own eyes.

I love your cats!

Bob Bushell said...

Oh that photography, it is beautiful. Hilary, your one of a million, love it anytime.

Joanna Jenkins said...

A belated Happy Mother's Day, Hilary. I hope it was a lovely day for you.

That's some collection of animals you've run into lately. I've never seen a live beaver before!

Hope Spring is on the way in your neck of the woods!

xo jj

Merisi Vienna said...

What beautiful collection of encounters with nature's creatures!

I felt pity with the beaver who has to cross a road to reach his lodge!

Great image of your cats, love it!

Linda said...

All lovely photographs, Hilary. We see, or rather hear, Flickers around here. They will get on the gutters and sound like a hammer drill. I frequently wonder if they suffer from headaches.

I love the bookends. I'm so glad we have digital cameras. I can't imagine taking pictures of every cute cat pose with film. Thanks for sharing your corner of the world.

Bossy Betty said...

Hilary! These are wonderful! The lighting on the cow is fantastic and I love that squirrel! Aren't kitties just walking works of art? Thanks for these great pictures!

HappinessSavouredHot said...

Phenomenal photos. We seem to have the same kind of wildlife. :-)

Suldog said...

Honest to God, you know I love all your work, but your photographs of cats are the absolute best I've ever seen anywhere. Every cat you show I can fairly much feel their breathing.

Stacey Dawn said...

I read the word "huggy" and saw the horns on that cow/bull and thought "hmmmmm - I'm not hugging that!" ;)

Although I would like to meet it to take its picture!

Great job as always H.
SD

Barbara Shallue said...

I didn't realize flying squirrels looked so different from regular ones! Makes sense, though, since they're nocturnal. Your kitties are doing a fine job of being bookends!!