Some of these pictures I took yesterday afternoon, peeking through the windows; a few I took this morning on my early walk of the "grounds." And by "grounds" I simply mean the small side yard I like to call the Critter Corner - the place that has the shade, the shelter, the feeders, and all the action. :)
A little tour:
This is Tough Nut, the female gray squirrel who lost most of her tail last year to a neighborhood cat. As I type this now, she is sitting in our tray feeder helping herself to the black oil seed I put out this morning. I am entirely OK with that. There are plenty of feeders out there (eight in all at last count) and the birds have plenty to choose from while she eats.
Here's a better view of her tail:
I read that squirrels use their tails to help them jump, but surprisingly Tough Nut does jump pretty well, despite the lack of a full tail. I also read that squirrels in the wild live about 3-5 years. I have no idea how old Tough Nut is, but I hope she is with us for a good while longer. The boys just love her, and exclaim, "Oh, look who it is!" whenever she makes an appearance (which is usually at least once, if not twice a day).
And another furry mammal we like to keep a close eye on ...
Above you see the first chipmunk we've spotted this year! Last year we had an entire family of chipmunks whose tunnels criscrossed underneath our house and emptied (quite ingeniously) into critter corner. We've only seen this one so far this spring. I'm sure there will be more before too long.
Now, onto the birds ...
This is the male goldfinch, so handsome in his bright yellow coat. I love the squeaky little sounds goldfinches make, so distinctive.
And this little lady peering out from the shadows ...
is none other than the female cardinal. A few minutes later she met up with her mate on a nearby branch:
Aren't they dear?
Below you see the failed "jelly experiment." We were hoping to attract an oriole with the orange marmalade. The only critter who went near it was one curious squirrel who dipped in his nose, got it all sticky and spent the next ten minutes frantically cleaning his face.
Can you guess who this is? Can you make out the bird in this picture?
It's a well-camouflaged mourning dove!
And finally ...
The catbird. He sat very still as he serenaded the rising sun, not minding my presence at all.
Well, I'm off now to get the day rolling ... thanks for letting me share these pictures with you! I've started collecting Field Day submissions - hope yours is next! :)