Saturday, June 25, 2016

All Living Things

Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace. ~ Albert Schweitzer

As the above quote might suggest, this blog post will feature some of the creatures I've encountered when out walking in the last little while. Despite their seemingly perpetual presence, there's an absence of dogs in these photos because I have enough of them to fill up their own post at some time.

What greater gift than the love of a cat. ~ Charles Dickens
Let's start with my little buddy, Oliver. He belongs to my neighbours Carol and her son, Evan but he's an occasional resident at my place when they are away. Zephyr is still at the stage where he hisses at Oliver from time to time but he allows him to lie down beside him, and is somewhat surprised to find that Oliver usually greets him with a quick nuzzle. Zeph has been a very different cat since my beautiful Skitty died in September. We both miss him intensely but Zephyr's whole personality has shifted from loner to clingy, and from quiet to excessively vocal. Even though he still treats Oliver like an intruder, I think his presence soothes him a little. It also irritates him when Oliver is in chase mode. He is a young cat, after all. Time will tell with these two.

sign sparrow
I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn. ~ Henry David Thoreau
I was passing by this storefront when a sweet little song caught my attention. I looked up to see this little cutie watching me from its perch atop the letter 'M.'

Swamps where cedars grow and turtles wait on logs but not for anything in particular; fields bordered by crooked fences broken by years of standing still; orchards so old they have forgotten where the farmhouse is. In the north I have eaten my lunch in pastures rank with ferns and junipers, all under fair skies with a wind blowing. ~ E.B. White
This guy was sunning himself down by the lake, about a month ago. I am uncertain what type of turtle he is. I had a quick email discussion about it with Karen at Living in My Valley, who is a former Peterborough resident. We figured it might be a map turtle.

sweet boy2
Cats are connoisseurs of comfort. ~ James Herriot
I've seen this sweetie on my walks before. He always offers up his belly for a rub and of course, I always oblige.

red canary
His idea was to pluck the genes from a red siskin - a relative of the canary from South America - insert them into an ordinary yellow canary and turn it red. ~ Tim Birkhead - The Red Canary: The Story of the First Genetically Engineered Animal.
This lovely songbird is the Red Canary. It was enjoying the fresh air and sunshine of the late spring day. It wasn't the least bit wary of me or my camera. I am not keen on the idea of birds in cages but I do have very fond memories of my childhood pet budgies. There must have been about four or five of them through the years - all of them blue and every one of them named Vicky. Yup, no score for originality but top points for tradition. ;)

squirrel baby2
Ant Prune was holding one of the squirrels in her hand. 'And once a day, we have ta clean their little private parts with a Q-tip, so they'll learn ta clean themselves.' That was a visual I didn't need. ~ Margaret Stohl
How cute is this little gem? It was a questionable "rescue." I'm not sure that he was in the best of hands (aside from the hand in the photo, which is my own), but he seemed healthy and active. And I learned that he commandeered his own release just a couple of days later.

squirrel baby3
Not much goes on in the mind of a squirrel. Huge portions of what is loosely termed "the squirrel brain" are given over to one thought: food. The average squirrel cogitation goes something like this: I wonder what there is to eat. ~ Kate DiCamillo
I hope he is still doing well.

take off eh
"How do geese know when to fly to the sun? Who tells them the seasons? How do we, humans know when it is time to move on? As with the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within if only we would listen to it, that tells us certainly when to go forth into the unknown." ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
This was actually snapped back in my old haunts in Mississauga, in April, while I was walking around the neighbourhood lake.

front porch kitty
The smallest feline is a masterpiece. ~ Leonardo da Vinci
A porch kitty watching the world wander past her door.

frog dog afraid2
The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that you will not come back when you go out the door without them. ~ Stanley Coren
Okay, so one dog. I'm including this guy because he has no idea how big he is. I watched him standing by the water's edge, slowly creeping up to something. He was both curious and fearful, and the latter won out. His people had to take him away to recover from the scary monster he'd encountered. He continued to watch it nervously from a distance.

frog buddy3
I'd kiss a frog even if there was no promise of a Prince Charming popping out of it. I love frogs. ~ Cameron Diaz
This handsome specimen was his fierce nemesis.

More photos coming up next time around.


Karen said...

Our Miss Kitty is now a singleton after being part of a trio until this spring. I've noticed her personality change too. She is a little more social than she was when the other two were around.
Oh gosh, I could be taking photos of toads around here lately. One is living in the raised bed where the radish and beets are planted. The little devil keeps uprooting them! LOTS of toads around here!

TexWisGirl said...

a sweet array of pets and critters. the little squirrel was beautiful. hopefully he's doing well. beautiful, petable kitties. sweet (scary) frog. :)

i was able to load all photos today without any issue.

Marie Smith said...

Love this post! There is such a variety of animals living around us for sure.

The poor kitty must really miss her friend.

sage said...

Great photos and that is a cute squirrel that you're holding

stephen Hayes said...

Great pictures, and I love the quotes, especially the one from Albert Schweitzer

Red said...

Animals...nice theme and super photos.

Theresa said...

Your last two pics had me chuckling. Oh those fierce frogs! The stuff puppy nightmares are made of. Beautiful pics of the regulars on your route. Lucky you.
I hope you are loving your new home as much as I love seeing it.

SK Waller said...

I love this post!

Linda said...

Wonderful critters! I was not familiar with the red canary. How striking!

DJan said...

Your pictures are as always, awesome. I could gaze at these beautiful creatures for hours. Thank you for the gift of your eye. :-)

Cloudia said...

Your post made me smile and cry, Hilary. Very sweet work

Anvilcloud said...

Although I am per-less these days, I am kind of a cat guy, so this was nice. Was also a budgie guy at one time.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos. I have never seen a black squirrel before. I wasn't sure what it was in the first photo!

Kat said...

Oh how I love critters. That red canary is gorgeous! I would love to have a pet bird but like you I just don't think they should be kept in cages. It's too sad. That squirrel is adorable too! Glad he made his escape. :)

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Your photography is just a marvel to me. These are all so crisp and beautiful. I'm glad you and Zephyr have found such a sweet kitty neighbor and hope Oliver can help assuage some of Zephyr's grief. Love the scary frog and frightened dog.

OmaLindasOldeBaggsandStuftShirts said...

Been awhile since I've commented on your wonderful art. Hands are nasty critters at typing lately. Love these photos of nature's finest. Love your keen eye for photos. xoxo Oma Linda

thecrazysheeplady said...

Love it!

Rick Watson said...

we love our fur and feathery friends too.

Rita said...

What a wonderful post!! I had to scroll back through again just to look at the pictures a second time. :)
(I would feel pretty special if a sparrow landed on my shoulder, too.)

Birdie said...

These are all great. I especially like the cats. And the squirrel. And the frog. Okay, they are all great!

Out on the prairie said...

A good selection, love that frog

messymimi said...

You have beautiful critter friends on your walks!

Terri said...

Lots of cute critters out and about. Love the kitties...I have a special fondness for cats.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

A black squirrel, wow!

Daryl said...

what a great post ... of course Oliver is my favorite photo, i am a sucker for ginger boys, they are always so sweet ...

William Kendall said...

The cats are definitely my favourites here!

photowannabe said...

You capture the critters personalities so beautifully.
I love the pooch's nemesis.

Mage said...

I am so remiss in leaving you notes after you leave us these lovely images. What a great adversary in the green and purple toad. I used to bring them home in my pockets. Mother would get so pissed at me. LOL

Thank you for the fuzzy critters. I so love them.

yaya said...

Very sweet pics Hilary! I love the black and white kitty. Those tuxedo cats always seem so friendly. We have lots of toads around here. I like them because they eat bugs! It will almost be a year since our Squeak passed. I'm not going to get another cat but I welcome the neighbors cats over any time to catch a mole or two!

Maggie May said...

You take lovely photos no matter what you snap!
You capture the personality of the creatures. That parrot looks cheeky and is a vibrant colour!
Maggie x

Anonymous said...

Each one of these is precious. You have a knack for bringing out the personality and beauty in everything you photograph. Oliver is precious. It sounds like he's good for Zephyr, whether Zephyr likes it or not. Isn't a budgie the same thing as a parakeet? We had four or five parakeets, all blue, and all named Pete. Lots of originality in our house, too. :)

Linda said...

Such sweet critters, especially the kitties. Always enjoy your photos!