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Posts Tagged ‘moles’

My husband and I sat around our little outdoor firepit tonight, discussing gardening, weeding, and animals I counted at least 22 ducklings in the community pond this morning, and at least five mama ducks. One hen had one duckling. The hen I have been following still had nine (hers are the oldest, hatched Thursday of last week). Three pairs of Rufous-sided Towhees flitted around us, emboldened by the absence of dogs, perhaps. Never have we observed the elusive towhee behaving as boldly as tonight, the three pair!

The sun set, the sky darkened, and the first bat of the season flitted – briefly – overhead. A large bat, at least 8″ wingspan. We both have fond summer memories of bats diving in while we played out our last evening games, and horror stories of bats entangling in hair (my parents discouraged such hysteria). We both tossed rocks to bats in those dusky summer evenings to see if they would catch them: they always did.

Last night, as I took my husband on a tour of the front yard and the weeding/edging I had done on this first absolutely gorgeous Spring day in the Pacific Northwest, we nearly stepped on a small gray animal. It was deep in the moss and grass of the lawn, just a slight movement, followed by a naked pink half-tail. It was oblivious of us standing above it, watching. I forbade my husband from pulling it out by the tail just to see what it looked like: we both know what moles look like. It just wanted earthworms or crane fly grubs.

Burr hurr aye. (A la Brian Jacques and the Redwall series of books. Read them. They are magical.)

I have been in a funk since Christmas. I haven’t created anything new artistically. I haven’t written. I feel dead inside, creatively. My day job is just another place to go to, and make money, but not a place of passion or exciting change. I’ve felt “dead”.

I don’t know what I am going to do with this blog: keep it, practice writing, or… Family history, gardening, grandchildren? I feel as dull as the grey clouds that hover over the earth, promising only rain, and cold rain at that.

It is good to feel Spring is finally here, and that life might be awakening. I spent yesterday working with my hands in the loam, hoping to rekindle a little life in my heart.

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The giant rhododendron on the north… And the broken rain barrel. 😦

 

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The stark differnece between last year’s black-cap raspberry vines and this year’s canes. I need to cut out last year’s canes – nest year’s will go there in less that six months from now, and this year’s canes will be pruned out next spring.

I was going to move this ceramic “bird” house, but there’s a paper-wasp nest inside. I bought the bird house at a farmer’s market… love that the paper-wasps have taken over it. (Mud-daubers, paper wasps).

Finally, tonight we watched towhees – at least three pair – buzz about the yard, gathering sticks and nesting material. Rufous-sided towhees are elusive and secretive birds, more often heard than seen. To have three pair flitting about around us, unafraid, was amazing.

I do not know what I am going to do with my blog. Perhaps it had worn out its welcome and is a thing of the past, and I need to move on. But what if I do not record these seemingly mundane experiences? What if you never learn if the towhees nested and raised young, or the paper-wasps hatched, or the ducklings survived… Or the mole lived happily ever after because we are the gardeners who do not set mole traps or spray pesticides/herbicides?

I don’t know.

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I woke up this morning at 7:00, er- 8:00, AM. I hate Daylight Savings Time. I’ll spend the next six months trying to get my body to adjust to it, and then we’ll go back to regular time, and for what? So those darn farmers can have enough light in the day to grow crops. They can’t just get up with the sun, you know. The clocks have to change, too.

It was a beautiful day out. Another beautiful day. This is going down as one of those winters that wasn’t.

Why, just yesterday, I talked to my oldest in Alaska and she told me that they were having to truck in snow for the ceremonial start to the Iditarod. This is the second time in the history of the race that the real start has been moved further north from Anchorage, to Fairbanks.

Last year, Juneau was snowed in for months. This year, they truck in snow for the biggest race in Alaska.

By the way, the Iditarod is huge in Alaska. It’s largely ignored here in the Lower 48 (except by people like me, which is why my daughter thought to even mention it. She knows I am a fan of the endurance mushing race).

All that to say this: she ended our conversation with, “I think it is Spring here. We never had Winter.”

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I did not take this photo today. But I summoned it out of the archives because today was Bird Bath Day. I didn’t have my camera handy for all the birds who claimed a turn at the bath. There were at least four Dark-Eyed Juncos.

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(Obviously this photo wasn’t from today, either. The sun was out and not a rain cloud in the sky, much less a rain drop). I saw a robin in the bath and a Spotted Towhee and a Brewer’s Blackbird.

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The Brewers Blackbirds were sitting in the neighbor’s tree, singing. They sound so pretty. I think one of these birds (the lower one) is actually a European Starling.

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I love this photo of the Fox Sparrow in the Hawthorne, in part because the Camellia in the background looks like an Easter Egg tree.

I didn’t do much in the yard today. There’s not much to do in March when the weeds are slow and the established perennials are just poking up through the soil. We haven’t passed the Last Frost date, so I don’t want to plant anything. Actually, TRUTHFULLY, I didn’t WANT to do much today.

Harvey, on the other hand, was a very busy bee.

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He went hunting.

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He went digging.

Yes, our dogs dig holes in our back yard. But so does the Mole.

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“Dey’s moles in dere. I can hear dem walkin'”

That’s a paraphrase of a quote my toddler son made one morning when we were commuting down the freeway. We were passed by a van with penguins painted on the side. My son said, “Dey’s penguins in dere.” I asked, “So how do you know that?” “I can hear dem walkin’.”

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This is pure, unfiltered joy.

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Determination.

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Sadly, this sort of enthusiasm leads to this (and this is the CLEANED UP version).

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Yes, I have resorted to Dog Shaming after a day of Hole Digging.

Why? Why?

Because this is how it really looks:

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Just click on that baby and take a look. Or cue Kenny Loggins. There’s not a dog in our life that is gonna catch that Mole.

 

Burr hurr aye.

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