Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Creature Feature

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.

Zephyr nose
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.





white throat sparrow juvenile2
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.





rufie baby
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.





growing families
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.





hungry jay
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 on the dock
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.





nuthatch
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.





hey bub
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.





hunter atop cupboards3
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.




sweet little phoebe
I believe this was a young phoebe preening itself on our front deck a few months back.





flying squirrel cutie
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.





brotherly love2
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.

52 comments:

joeh said...

Waiting for a picture of Bullwinkle to go with the flying squirrel.

ADRIAN said...

A beautiful selection. I love seeing animals.

Bill Nicholls said...

I lov ethat squirrel

Gary's third pottery blog said...

GREAT cats but oh my, the look at Bennie :)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Hilary, you are so gifted! What amazing shot. I love the one of the chipmunk and also the squirrel :) I hope you have a terrific Tuesday.

Theresa said...

Well Bennie certainly is modeling for the camera, and keeping an eye out for any mischief no doubt! We have the little red breasted nuthatches too, and I think they are one of my favorites with their funny little upside down hops on the tree trunks and their cheerful chirping.
Handsome kitties all. Thank you for a lovely selection of creatures!

DJan said...

Oh, my sweet Benny! He looks quite handsome in that new collar. And your picture of Hunter shows all the mischief he's capable of. I hope Rufus will one day come back to say hello. All your pictures and wonderful, as usual, Hilary. :-)

Tabor said...

Your photos are so stunning that I am now sneezing my head off...I am allergic to cats. ;-)

Betsy Brock said...

Absolutely wonderful! I enjoyed each photo!

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello, greetings.

Amazing photos with interesting information.

Best wishes

SK Waller said...

Beautiful and warm. And I always love seeing photos of Benny! (My Nigel has the same color, but in red.)

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

ohhh...that was a sweet collection of shots. I'm jealous because I don't have geese, flying squirrels, or chipmunks down this way.

And for some reason, by shots of Blue jays never turn out well. I have no clue why. It's frustrating.

TexWisGirl said...

glad your boys have their peace back. and you have less 'trouble' to deal with. love all your critters, inside and out. buddy hackett made me smile! i love your little reds, too.

ellen abbott said...

such wonderful wildlife you have out there.

William Kendall said...

Cute shots, particularly the cats. I never saw flying squirrels until my parents lived up in cottage country for some years. They'd glide down to the bird feeders for some seeds.

Kerri Farley said...

This made me feel all warm inside.
A Wonderful post!

Ruth Hiebert said...

Love the Blue Jays. I know they can be noisy,but they at least add color to the winter landscape.Great set of pictures.

Kerry said...

What a great series you have here. I love the kitty pics--it makes me want to go snap some photos of our two felines. :)
Oh dear, I wonder what happened to Rufous...

Bob Bushell said...

I love them Hilary, the birds and the animals, they are precious.

Birdman said...

Animals are so much a part of our lives, domestic and wild.

Anita said...

I am amazed that you can tell the differences in the squirrels - enough to name them!

Love your description of Zephyr!

Nice post - It's like being invited to a family reunion.

ditchingthedog said...

Norbert (my cat) is neither intelligent or tender hearted. He is his own cat.

messymimi said...

Lovely critters you have around there. They look like wonderful company.

Red said...

One has to care very much for the creatures to get all these super photos.

Stephen Hayes said...

You really do a marvelous job of bringing these critters up close for us to admire. Thanks.

Mage said...

Bennie is a charmer as are your Fur People, but I do like that jay.

Thanks so much for that caring note. I understand how sucked in by her current life style she is. After years of struggle with a dying husband, she now feels free. Now she is trying to do everything aat once. Big museum retrospectives, a new agent, a new lover, et al. I just cannot hear her most of the time. LOL

Cloudia said...

Now I'm purring!




ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
=^..^= . <3 . >< } } (°>

munchow said...

Beautiful images of your critters. Such an abundance.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Wonderful photos from you, as always, Hilary, but tonight I especially enjoyed the commentary that accompanied the pictures.
The tale of Hunter and the ensuing chaos (oh, cat pee, how I smell it!) reminded me of when we fostered my mom's cat. Fiji is happily living with my cousin and Cleopatra had the house to herself until Moses turned up. (She only peed on the floor once -- so far! -- and I think she was simply scared.)

Michael Manning said...

I'm tempted to say that this is some of your finest work, Hilary. But, it's all great! I like the name Zephyr!

Anvilcloud said...

Your DOF is so good. The blurred background in so many of your pics sure enables the subject to stand out. You are an excellent photographer.

Cattails said...

I am visiting with you via Jackie's blog (Teacher's Pet). What extraordinary pictures. I have 6 cats, so I especially enjoyed your kitty pics....love the nose closeup! The chipmunk pic made me laugh - looks just like B. Hackett! lol
Have a great day.
Mildred

Bossy Betty said...

Hilary! You melted my heart with this post!

Rob-bear said...

Delightful pictures of, and comments about, your livestock. Everyone should be so lucky! We don't have much here, except for some House Sparrows and Black-capped Chickadees. I expect both White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches, so the feeders are filled. I used to leave peanuts out for the Blue Jay, but the Magpies kept taking them.

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Crabby McSlacker said...

You are such a talented animal photographer, you could make a fortune at pet portraits if you lived in an urban area. (Or if people were willing to Fed-ex their pets to you. Surely someone's figured that technology out by now?) You capture SO much personality in their faces it bursts through the screen!

What Karen Sees said...

I do love your VERY photogenic little creatures. My favorite is the chipmunk in mid chew. So cute!!!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Gloroius photos. I'm glad Hunter is harassing the harem any more!
Love the flying squirrels! I think our backyard is too open to get them.
Your puns are a hoot.
We have a killer vac, too. so silly!

Daryl said...

what a delightful respite reading this post was .. its nutzy to the max here at the office since we moved … and at home … well lets just say 3 cats is a lot of cats

Jackie said...

When I grow up, I want to be as good of a photographer as you are.
Sigh.
Your photos take me to another place, time, and world....and that's always a good thing.
Thank you sooooo much for sharing your talents with us through your blog. I love LOVE love being here!

Lisa Gordon said...

Hilary, these photographs are wonderful. I especially love the first one. That little nose is the very best!

Linda said...

Great shots! And he does look like Buddy Hackett.

Naqvee said...

Of course, the mid chew shot is excellent. My cat Litchi too has a spot on his nose and looks a lot like your cat (Maybe we are an extended family of yours) Haha.. enjoyed this lovely span of pictures.

ladyfi said...

Gorgeous shots but that last one is so wonderful!

photowannabe said...

Finally my comments are showing again. Something strange happened but all is now well.
Love that sweet nose and your fantastic bird captures.
Snow already!!!
That's just not right...frozen lake and all.
We are finally getting some spritzes of rain...good for the yard but not enough for the dams and snow pack in the mountains.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Rick Watson said...

I love critter pictures. I take them of our pets all the time.

When I meet some one I've never met, I usually wind up pulling out my phone and showing them pictures of my pets :)
R

Gail Dixon said...

Now this is my kind of post! Critters from top to bottom. What a cute pose you got from Benny. Sparky has a red paw-print collar like that. The chipmunk DOES look like Buddy Hackett...omg. Your posts always so entertaining!

Indrani said...

You take such lovely shots! Adorable creatures all. :)

EG CameraGirl said...

All are great animal photos! Zephyr looks very huggable.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

A first time visitor and wanted to comment on your great photography! Really enjoyed the post... especially the kitty massage!

ladyfi said...

Just had to come back and nominate these beautiful photos for Post of the Week: http://ozarkgrace.blogspot.se/2014/11/barley-loves-autumn.html

yaya said...

I'm late to this fun party but I'm enjoying this post! Our Squeak is a twinner to your Zephyr! Squeak is around 14..not sure since I saved him as a not so little kitty. Anyway, their personalities are different. Squeak isn't the loving, sit in your lap kitty...but he is afraid of the vacuum! I loved the Buddy Hackett chippy cheeked friend! (I'm quite old enough for that reference! Ha!) All your photos reflect your love of animals and your tender heart. Loved them all!

Linda said...

Hilary, I absolutely love that last picture, but then I'm a sucker for the kitties. Benny is looking handsome as usual, even though he appears to be giving someone "a look".