Friday, December 5, 2014

Such Agreeable Friends

Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions - they pass no criticisms.
~ George Eliot

we want out
This is my son Jeffrey's cat, Hunter, sitting with Benny. The photo was taken from outside looking in through the sliding doors at them looking out at the various birds, chipmunks and squirrels which were busy snapping up seed on our deck. Benny wanted to be outside chasing squirrels and Hunter wanted to be outside catching whatever he could. In order to give the outdoor critters some peace, that door remained closed. Hunter is now staying with Jeffrey's dad in order to restore some peace in my older cats' lives.





autumn across the bay
At just about any given time, you can look outside and see at least one bird flying through your line of vision, so it's not much of a surprise when one flies into a camera shot. It might be a surprise to see all of these autumn colours since we're well into snow season. But these photos were taken quite a few weeks ago so that explains that.





gull
This one was a little more expected. I watched it soaring for a while before snapping an image.




bye bye birdie4
This one was very unexpected. It flew a little too close to the house and probably thought that the lake and sky in the glass reflection was just more open space. Sadly, or thankfully, it died instantly. We're thinking it was a juvenile Pine Warbler.





little yellow bird in gentle rain
Here's an adult perched on our hanging basket a few days later. Hopefully it wasn't the mama missing her baby.

A couple of days later, we had another collision incident. Frank's son Francis was visiting and he was all the way down into the bowels of the basement watching television. I was at my desk a few rooms away from the living room. And Frank was napping a little bit closer to the source but his door was closed and his fan was running for white noise.

BAM!

stunned kingfisher2
I got to the deck first and saw a large feathered body lying quietly but clearly breathing. Francis, who had heard it from his distant location came up to have a look at what happened, as did Frank.





stunned kingfisher4
The bird was the generally very shy and elusive Belted Kingfisher, and he was recovering from the blow by resting on the deck with his mouth agape. Not five minutes later he tested his wings and found them to be reliable. He flew off toward the lake. I hope that all is well in his kingdom.





flyer5
Flight is amazing. Although their means of getting around doesn't qualify as true flight, these adorable visitors to our feeders every night are Northern and/or Southern Flying Squirrels. I've learned that the latter have made their way up north and might well be breeding with our Northerns. They don't fly but actually jump and glide, and they do it so incredibly quickly, that you'd think they were every bit as capable of flying as the birds.





flyer4
They're also incredibly friendly (although the smaller ones are skittish) and will take peanuts from our hands. I had the camera lens (without flash) about six or eight inches from this little face. At last count Frank has seen up to seven of them at one time. They're a joy to watch and be watched by.





eat your heart out
And back to a couple of our domestic creatures. I couldn't help but notice that Hunter was showing his love for us by eating and removing his food from the bowl in the shape of a heart. We love you too, Hunter. And miss you (Except maybe for Skitty and Zephyr).





skitty box pounce
And Skitty, like any self-respecting cat enjoys being in a box. I can't remember if I was scratching on the cardboard or if I had the laser pointer but he was going full speed ahead with those sweet little front paws.

And that's it for this creature feature. I'll have more images for you coming up soon.

45 comments:

Jackie said...

Gorgeous creatures. Your photos of them are splendid.
I love birds and all photos of them.
And seeing the photo of the kitty in the box makes me miss our sweet Sammie. He was our fur baby and LOVED chasing flashlight beams and couldn't resist any cardboard box or paper sack. He died several years ago, and I still shed tears about his passing.
Lovely photos, Hilary. Thank you for sharing your talents with the camera and with the pen.
Hugs,
Jackie

June said...

So nice to see sunshine and leaves of any color! Not to mention the sweet fuzzies.
We get birds flying into our windows, too. Most often, they seem to knock themselves senseless for a few minutes, and then fly off, as did your kingfisher. It hurts me when their mistake turns out to be fatal.
And now you've explained why your chipmunks are so safe: Benny's indoors! I had never noticed the little white ring around his nose. He looks very much like a stuffed toy!

ADRIAN said...

I always enjoy the photographs of your menagerie.

Tabor said...

I worry if you hand feed those squirrels that they will nest in your attic in the spring... Hunter must be well-named if he is a bit stressful on your own cats. He is very dramatic looking. We also can see birds flying across the river often and I have been lazy in trying to get photos of them.

Anvilcloud said...

Never seen a flying squirrel that I know of. Glad the fisher recovered.

Out on the prairie said...

Sad to loose birds to a window. We had a pair fly into the lab window when it was new and kept them in the freezer as models to draw until we had a funeral for them.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Loved your creature feature

Lots of nice shots...loved the color shot across the lake.

We've cut about 3 fourths of our window collisions by placing applicaes (oh how do you spell that) on the glass. A tad tacky, but it has saved lives. They still collide, but I think the stickers (ha) alert them soon enough they accomplish a glancing blow in the last second.

DJan said...

I don't think I have ever seen Benny so still. And to see him right next to Hunter like that made me think he knows how to make friends of all kinds, including Hunter! I don't miss hearing the sound of a bird hitting the front window: I did everything I could to keep it from happening, including stickers of raptors on it! I also think those flying squirrels are adorable. :-)

Linda said...

Love the photo of Benny and Hunter. Friendship in the animal world is a beautiful thing. As for the box, yes, I've never seen a cat that doesn't love a box or paper bag.

ellen abbott said...

I love all these photos! you have such adorable creatures up where you live. We had a red shouldered hawk fly into the screen door a couple of weeks ago. we heard a loud crash (the door was open, storm door which is glass/screen on top, metal on bottom was closed), I was in the back room of the house. Marc and I went to the door and he looked down and saw it. It looked me in the eye, spread its wings and flew off. the door is protected by a porch and hidden somewhat by a big yew tree so we have no idea how it managed to fly into the door unless it was chasing a smaller bird.

Gayle said...

Ever the morning treat to pop in and find your critters. Love the Bennster and his kitties. The birdie photos are spectacular!

TexWisGirl said...

loved them all. i'm always sad when a bird 'bams' against the sliding glass doors. glad the kingfisher survived! what great shots you were able to get!

sweet kitties and benny, too. :)

Barb said...

We have floor to ceiling windows in the great room and the birds sometimes forget. I've seen some crash hard but after resting for awhile, fly away. Since the pine marten made residence in our woods, the squirrels are keeping a low profile. Is it cold here Hilary?

joeh said...

The first picture is why I love dogs and respect cats, Benie looks like he wants to play, Hunter looks like he wants to KILL!

Can you put tape or something on the window to have the reflection not fool the birds? I know it upsets you to have them fly into it.

joeh said...

Window bird alert product

http://www.duncraft.com/Modern-Square-WindowAlert-Decals

Betsy Brock said...

We had a Robin crash into our window a few weeks ago. I hate it when that happens! :(

I just love that first picture...what sweet buddies!

Marie Flutterby said...

So sad the birds are flying into your windows I hope it has all stopped now.

Beautiful photos and love the pup and kitties absolutely adorable.

A Cuban In London said...

I loved the expression on the cat's face in the first photo. Those animals come alive in your photos, even that poor dead little bird. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

William Kendall said...

Hunter and Benny are a cute pair.

My parents tended to hang things on the windows to break up the reflection of the glass. Every once in awhile one would hit. I remember sitting near a woodpecker that needed a few minutes on the deck to get himself reoriented after a knock.

Rita said...

This is the best kind of creature feature!! I'm so glad the kingfisher made his way off into the sky again. Love the flying squirrels. What a life you have. :):)

sage said...

Great photos, but your son's cat in that first photo looks like he is angry that he is not outside. The kingfisher photos are incredible!

lindaakacraftygardener said...

awesome critter photos .. such a shame about the young bird but glad the kingfisher survived and you had the chance to get some up close photos

Michael Manning said...

Benny and Hunter have such personalities and you can see it in these photos! Skitty is a new one for me. I don't think I've seen this cat before. They all look happy!

Ruth Hiebert said...

Love seeing the beauty around you. What a surprise to see a Kingfisher so close.Glad he fared ok.

photowannabe said...

Hilary, you have done it again. Your critters are amazing.
Poor little bird. I'm glad it was a quick demise.
Somehow birds and windows seem to find each other.

Stephen Hayes said...

I always enjoy your pictures and commentary. Thanks for sharing. i hope you don't have anymore bird mishaps.

Red said...

You're right about your birds. they see the reflection in the window and think it's open space. most are like your kingfisher and only need a few minutes to recuperate. they do need protection from predators at that time.

yaya said...

The look on Hunter's face really cracked me up. Benny's looking for fun or something interesting...Hunter is giving you what I call "the hairy eyeball" look. He looks mad but is going to be cool about it. So catish! Your other pics are so sweet..even the poor baby bird that took a window hit..poor thing. I enjoyed the autumn shot too...I miss those colors! We don't have snow anymore...cool and rainy..and muddy! Have a good weekend!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

How sweet, except for the warbler. You take wonderful photos!

Suldog said...

I'm usually all about your cat photos, as you know, because you take the best cat photos of anyone. But the winner today, for me, the shot of the lake. So clear and full of color!

Shammickite said...

My previous house had a big glass sunroom at the back, and there have been a few cases of birds flying into the windows. I put dark paper hawk outlines on the glass, but it didn't do much good. I've never seen any flying squillies, they look so sweet.

messymimi said...

Beautiful creatures. And there's a kind of glass you can get now that has a tint to it that we really can't see, but birds and bugs can, a type of UV tinting. If your glass is that clear that you get a lot of collisions, you might look into it.

Rob-bear said...

I never cease to wonder about all the critters you have around your place — such fun all of them. Sorry to hear Hunter is a bit stressed out, but I'm sure you've done your best to make him comfortable.

Blessings and Bear hugs, Hilary!

Dianne said...

I loved the eaten heart
Hunter is very soulful looking
and of course it is wonderful to see Benny

Magia da Inês said...

❀⊱•.
Fotografias impressionantes!
Amei a primeira e a expressividade da última foto.

Bom tempo do Advento!
Bom início de semana com tudo de bom!!!
•.✿⊱
Beijinhos do Brasil.♪♬° ·.
❀✿❀⊱•.

Pauline said...

Love watching the critters through your camera lens.

Daryl said...

i think you need those so called distraction thingies that go on glass doors so your feathered friends don't fly into them …

love the cat in the box shot … such a handsome dude

joeh said...

For you consideration as a "Post of the Week"

http://tabordays.blogspot.com/2014/12/walking-in-someone-elses-shoes.html

Anita said...

That must be startling when a bird crashes into your window. I'd never thought about how they can be confused by reflections.

Benny and Hunter definitely have the angel/devilish look.

Barbara Shallue said...

What a sweet menagerie, although my heart is still aching from that poor little bird. I'm glad King Fisher recovered! I love that first photo of Benny and Hunter, and how sweet that Hunter left you Valentines in his bowl. Thank you for sharing your world and your critters with us, Hilary!

Country Girl said...

Amazing and beautiful post full of wonderful images, Hilary. Just wow.

Betty Manousos said...

what a wonderful post full of fantastic pictures of these adorable creatures! the kingfisher is such a cutie! and that squirrel made me laugh.

xoxo

Betty Manousos said...

lol! i envy you...

what a life you have!!
xoxo

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

We've had birds crash against our windows here -- some to fly away again and some that perish -- but I cannot claim it is due to shiny, clean glass. I wonder if some of them are busy texting while flying?

Indrani said...

Such a lot is happening in the animal world around. It is nice the way you record it. Great pics.