Animals, it would seem, are the photographic subject we have most of around here. Whether they're our own pets or one of the birds or mammals which look to us for daily feedings, or those which will have nothing to do with us at all, there is no shortage of creatures around here. Hence this creature feature. I hope you enjoy our critters as much as we do.
My beautiful Zephyr. He (along with his brother Skitty) is fifteen and truly hasn't changed much since the day I brought him home at 10 weeks. He's fearful (mostly of that killer vacuum cleaner, unexpected sounds, strangers, a cough, his shadow, his thoughts and just about anything else), gentle, loving and sweet. We won't get into his IQ, but let's just say that his tender heart more than makes up for what might be lacking in that department. This is his kissable nose.
This little cutie is a juvenile white throat sparrow. He was hanging out on the decorative (lichen covered) bird house outside of our kitchen window. It was through that window that I snapped this photo several weeks ago.
Oh yes, I know. You've met him before. Our sweet little red squirrel ex-regular, Rufous. He pretty much believed that he owned the place. He kind of did. We've not seen him for quite a few weeks now but Noivus (a very nervous red squirrel) and Sprout (or Little Red as Frank calls him) have taken his place.
Every now and then, through the summer and early autumn, a couple of families of geese would wander by our dock. Sometimes they'd hop onto the shore and nibble on grass. Other times they just peacefully paddle past our place. The young ones were growing nicely. They've all moved on now because that lake is now frozen over (at least in our bay) and it carries a few inches of snow on top. Winter happened very quickly around here. Much quicker than I was able to get these photos out to you in a timely fashion.
The always-present blue jay, snacking on some seed. They're a handsome but very noisy bird. Last winter, they were quite destructive - picking and eating the finish off of our house, in search of the calcium citrate found in paint. This year, we're ready for them with cooked, crushed egg shells.
Benny semi-recently got a new collar and he's proudly modelling it for you. Doesn't he look fetching? Oops, did I say fetching? He'll be running off in search a stick now.
The sweet, little red-breasted nuthatch has been a regular visitor to our feeders all summer. They are truly a joy to watch. Even with the snow, they've stuck around and have recently been joined by the larger white-breasted nuthatch.
I think I caught this chipmunk in mid-chew. He reminds me of Buddy Hackett in this photo. And you might have to be bordering on old to know who he was.
This is Hunter, my son's beautiful trouble maker. You wouldn't think by looking at those innocent green eyes that he has caused my old guys such stress and angst and frequent emptying of bladders throughout the house - but he has. And yet, despite it all, I love the beast and miss him terribly now that he's moved on to Jeffrey's Dad's place where he is the only feline and gets all of the attention he loves and needs - without causing trouble. It would have been so much easier to see him go if he wasn't also such a sweet cuddler and purr machine. In this image, he was lounging atop the kitchen cupboards. He thinks he's a wild cat - see those furry ear tips? Just like a lynx. If he was here right now, he would be hiding behind my monitor and attacking my hands as they move around the keyboard. My cats do not miss him, however. They are much more relaxed, not fearing surprise attacks, eating better, not afraid of using the litter box and not peeing inappropriately any more. It was the right move but I still miss you, Hunter.
I believe this was a young phoebe preening itself on our front deck a few months back.
Most nights, we get visits from not one, not two but up to seven flying squirrels. We once believed they were a family - some of them are considerably smaller than the others. Now, I'm coming to realize that the larger, more friendly squirrels are of the Northern variety. The shyer, smaller cuties are Southern flying squirrels which have been making their way up north through the years. They're all quite sociable with one another. This image was taken with a flash and I have re-darkened the eyes in Photoshop.
And last, but not least, my two boys together, lounging on the kitchen island. Zephyr is enjoying his kitty massage. Skitty is happy to preen his brother. Can't you just hear the purring?
That's all for this post. I'll have more photos for you before too much longer.