Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Come on over to critter country again!

I could have filmed a nature documentary here today.

First, my three friendly new deer visitors came looking for a late lunch and I gave them some water. This spring we have a Mama doe and two yearling bucks visiting regularly.

I went in the garage to get another saucer for some corn. Just as I was reaching for a tray, a Carolina wren flew out of the shelf, not more than a few inches from my hand!

I screamed (not uncommon for me here in critter-land), and realized she had just flown out of a nest right above my hand.

The wrens have been in and out of the garage lately, so I've been keeping it 1/2 closed, thinking I had deterred them before they started a nest.


(Remember, I am NOT in charge!)

There it was -- a sweet little nest inside a blue and white pot, with 7 tiny speckled eggs in it.

I waited a while and checked again, and found the Mama burrowed deep down in the nest, covering her eggs and guarding them with her life.
It you look carefully, you can see her head at the bottom. I was trying not to disturb her too much, but I did get a better shot on my second try.
She's really giving me the evil eye here!

I high-tailed it out of there, but not before putting a saucer with birdseed and water close by her when she has to be in the garage and can't get out.

I'm going to leave the doors open when I am home, opened the windows for air, and will leave the doors cracked when I can, trying to make sure she is IN and not OUT, when the doors have to be closed for a long time.

I thought about slowly moving it outside the garage, a few feet at a time, but there are two very predatory cats next door, so I couldn't get them to a safe enough height.
Here are our little deer friends. This little buck is quite plucky - he gets really close to me and once even acted like he was coming to me. He's clearly young!

This is their Mama, who's always with them and keeping an eye out while they much. They have eaten on a few of my smaller or newly blooming plants, normally left alone. I think they are really hungry and too young to have a very sophisticated palate yet. Oh, heck, who knows why!

Oh, yes, and while I was taking pictures of the birds and moved on to the deer, a Texas horny toad lizard shot out between my feet!

I should be charging rent! Or filming for some reality show!


Robin said...

You saw a horny toad!!!!!! I thought they were near extinct any more. I love horny toads, I want to come over and camp out until I get to see one again. Love your Disney movie story.

RBell said...

For the momma, instead of seeds, try offering a suet block (wrens don't eat seeds, but they'll go for the suet - this month, I had five Carolina Wrens all on a single suet cake at the same time - think they were all part of the same brood).

Horny toad sighting - quite nice! I only get the occasional Texas Spiny Lizard here - that's as close as my garden will likely get to a horny toad.

Diana said...

Bell- Thanks for the tip - I have two suet blocks ready to go! I'll put one out right now.

Patchwork said...

I can surely relate to the critter country label....especially, the deer.

I'd love to see a horny toad again. They were everywhere, when I was a kid.


Jayne said...

Wonderful post Diana. The little bird's nest in the blue and white pot is adorable. And she certainly was keeping her beady eye on you wasn't she?

Caroline said...

Neat-o! I love the wren in the pot.

Northern Shade said...

The mother in the nest in the blue pot looks so sweet. She picked the prettiest place for her nest, if not the most practical location. Good luck with nurturing the mom until her babies leave.

Pam/Digging said...

Yes, that is a very feminine nesting place the wren chose. You are very kind with all the critters, especially the deer. I see them walking the fence line behind my house, and they've been munching my hymenoxys out front. But I'm having more trouble with armadillos, who are still sneaking in and bulldozing through my beds.

Lancashire rose said...

Those little devils! They are wonderful to have but can be quite a nuisance. I have bits of nests all over the place too - in the potting shed, in the umbrella and of course the one in the greenhouse. One year we had one in the garage and we had o leave the garage door cracked at the bottom so she could get in and out to feed them. When they finally fledged the window of the truck was open and they flew right inside. close your car windows.

Diana said...

Well, that's what I thought he was as he darted under me -- but he was pretty fast and I'm kinda slow...so who knows!

Linda - I know you struggle with the deer, too. Hope that's going better!

Jayne - Mama Wren does watch me like a hawk! Everytime I check on her I get that look!

Caroline - Mama wren has good taste, doesn't she?

Northern Shade - In fact, I snuck out there today while she was gone and tidied up under the shelf, placing a nice flat bin with lid right where they will come out of the nest if they topple out - it will be higher than the ground and I blew out the cobwebs and made them room to get around!

Pam - So sorry the armadillos are torturing you. Today with me, it's caterpillars!

Lancashire Rose - Great advice! And I've straightened up under the nest so there are no obstacles for them.