The CHERISHED Life of Heather Leigh

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Backyard Nature Adventures

My good friend and fellow blogger Mindy always has these wonderful posts about nature; frog noises, turtles, birds with white feathers, etc. and so on. And these nature observations occur primarily in and around her very own nature-inviting home.

Following in that vein, I have several nature observations of my own to share from the last couple of weeks as I was channeling my inner Mindy.

First, the bunny. One day a couple of weeks ago, Jordyn came home from school to find this baby bunny (notice the quarter in the lower right corner of the photo to give you a perspective of how small this little guy was) snuggled in a corner between where our main garage wall and our secondary garage wall meet.
This is on our cement driveway, so it's not like he was in a comfy or cozy spot. Where was this baby's momma? We instructed the kids - DON'T TOUCH IT or his momma won't want him anymore and he'll die (that's the theory for birds, isn't it? It oughtta apply to bunnies, too, right?) So, we went to dinner, then to Meijer, came home a couple hours later and he was still there. To appease a VERY concerned Jordyn, I called the humane society, but got their voicemail as it was 15 minutes until their quittin' time. Worried that the bunny might be cold over night or exposed to the prowess of a hawk, Kev made a make shift shelter for the bunny. Some grass, a few rocks, some leaves. He also set out some food for the poor guy, a radish, a cauliflower floret, and a celery stalk, plus a small bowl of water. I tried to tell Kev that the bunny would not be interested in this selection of food, but he didn't listen to me. The next morning, the bunny was gone, and the shelter and food were all still there. Did he find his momma? Did a hawk find him? We'll never know. If you've seen this bunny, let us know.

And speaking of hawks…what kind of bird is this?
I thought it looked like a hawk. Kev says it's a turkey vulture. This does not look like any of the vultures that I've ever seen depicted in any Disney movies. Let me tell ya, though, this sucker flies low and is obviously stalking some prey. He flies low enough that we were able to convince Liam that HE was the turkey vulture's prey (since he was the smallest of us outside at that moment). It freaked him out a little bit until he realized that (as usual) we were just teasing.

And speaking of birds, we've got a boat load of geese. Part of our kids' responsibilities is to go scare them off the beach when we see them down there. Thursday night, Jordyn & Liam were gone, so this task fell to Owen. Happily he ran down the steps to the beach telling the geese to go, but they were slow to respond. He got within five feet of the birds and was shouting up to me "I gonna pet him, mom, I just gonna pet him." One goose was hissing at Owen and I was yelling down to him, "No, don't pet him, he's mean, don't pet him!" Then we saw why the geese were slow to remove themselves from our beach and why they were hissing at Owen…they had a little flock of babies with them which took them some time to herd into the water and out of harm's way (a.k.a. the geese petting Owen monster).

Cute baby geese right? Wrong. Kevin totally wanted to get out his BB gun so that he could pick them off one by one. Now, before you go getting all PETA on me, he didn't follow through on this desire. I simply said that he wanted to do that. And here's why:

Part of my Memorial Day weekend yard work chores involved scooping this stuff up out of our lawn, off our beach, and out of our landscaping. Goose poop, EVERYWHERE. Gross.

Although not quite as gross (in a shivery freaky kind of way) as this lovely spider we found on our deck. Since spiders enjoy eating other, more pesky bugs like mosquitoes, we always leave the spiders alone. Besides, we would have needed a tranquilizer gun to get rid of this friendly arachnid. A quarter in this picture would have been nice to show perspective, but there was no way I was getting that close to this guy.

And finally, more birds. If you look closely, you can make out two very small, very faded, black blobs near the top of the photo. What type of birds are these?

Fighter jets.

On Memorial Day itself, we had several fly overs by at least 6 pairs of fighter jets. The first flyover was so low and RIGHT over our lake, that you would have thought they were going fishing. Unprepared with no camera in hand, we just stood out on the deck and clapped and clapped and waved at these beautiful birds. Most of the other fly overs were further away, but every time I tried to get a somewhat close up shot, the planes were out of my view finder before I could even press the button. Excited about all these planes (oh, the sound of their engines can really pump up one's adrenaline) I called my mom to tell her about this. "Well, honey, I'm sure they're just on their way to the parades." Uh, yes mother, thank you. It's not like I thought the homeland was turning into a war zone or anything. Although Jordyn thought that for a brief moment.

Pretty soon, I'm gonna be hugging me some trees. :)


~Amy said...
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~Amy said...

What a great picture of the spider. I swear I can see every detail in his creepy little face!
Those fighter jets flying over gave me goose bumps and tears in my eyes. It's just so surreal...
Oh, and the bunny, sooo cute :)

Mindy said...

The bunny is SO cute. I looked it up, and I think you did the right thing for it.

Also FYI, the fighter jets were there for Oxford's Memorial Day ceremony that they have every year. I always ride my bike over there with the kids. They did 2 flyovers this time, one during the ceremony at Centennial Park and then when they do a gun salute at the cemetery. So that's why they were so close to your lake.

Tina said...

OH MY GOD! The bunny picture gave me warm fuzzies and THEN the damn spider picture FREAKED me out! LOL! I have an unusual fear of those creatures! :)

kid_curry said...

Turkey Buzzard.