Archive for the ‘Critters’ Category

Hi everyone. It’s Millie & Walter here. We had a break in our hot summer weather for a couple days this week. It’s always nice to be able to spend time outside as a family. Mom was taking pictures of all the bird activity with her big lens and dad was taking pictures of the flowers around the yard. We were just hanging out and sniffing around the yard to check to see if any rabbits, squirrels or chipmunks were around. After all that exploration there was time to lay down and enjoy the weather.

I always love hanging out under the katsura tree.

Dad thinks this is the best picture he has ever taken of me. I’m keeping my eyes on the bird feeder in the perennial garden.

I’m looking forward but my ears are listening behind me.

We had a great time hanging out while mom and dad went on a photo safari in our backyard. When you have as much property as we have there are lots of things you can find to photograph. Today’s pictures were from dad and you will see some of mom’s pictures on Wild Bird Wednesday.

We’re joining The Cat on My Head for their Selfie Sunday blog hop.

You should check out the hop to see some of the other selfies.


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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. There is always something new blooming in our yard so here are a few of the flowers we are enjoying right now. This first one I showed you when it was just starting to open but now it is more open and looks so pretty.

pink veronica - lr

Pink Veronica


Amsonia and Ladies Mantle

Purple clematis
(if you enlarge the image you can see a tiny visitor above the center of the flower)

I’ve been having fun with my new camera and tried out the panorama feature on it. I didn’t have a wide angle lens on but was still happy with how the panorama turned out and was amazed at how there are no distortions in it. Here is a view of the east side of the perennial garden.

Perennial garden from the east side
(You can click on the picture to see a bigger image)

We have also started to see many butterflies moving around the garden. They are a bit difficult to catch with the camera since they move so fast and are never predictable in their movements. Here are a couple we found this week.

White Admiral Butterfly

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

I hope you enjoyed this stroll around our yard.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

Today we are joining our friends Arty, Jakey and Rosy for their Nature Friday Blog Hop. You should pop over to their blog to see all the other posts.

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We love seeing all the birds around our yard. Here are a few of our regular visitors.

Gray Catbird

Many birds love our mealworm feeder. We made a small change to this feeder by adding a baffle to the stand.

Female Eastern Bluebird

The main reason for adding the baffle is to keep the chipmunks from pigging out on the mealworms. It has worked perfectly and so far this year we haven’t been going through as many mealworms as we have in the past.

Male Eastern Bluebird

This pair of bluebirds are our second pair of the season. We have two bluebird boxes on opposite sides of our yard. The first pair in the north box have successfully raised their young. The second pair of bluebirds were aggressive towards the first pair so after the babies fledged the first family left the yard. The second pair of bluebirds are now sitting on eggs in the south box so we hope to see more babies soon.

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird

It’s too bad the hummingbird didn’t turn his head just right to catch the sun on his gorget. We are again hosting a male and female Ruby-throated Hummingbird so we hope to see some young ones in a few weeks.

Don’t forget you can click on the images to see a larger version.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the birds we see around our yard. I’m joining the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop. You can stop by and see some more birds.

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Hi everyone! Today is Millie’s 5th birthday*. It’s hard to believe that the little, floppy eared, bundle of spunk that came to us at 5 months old is 5 already.

Millie on her first day in her forever home

She showed her true nature on her first day here when she decided to pick a fight with one of our garden statues.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

That looks perfect dad. Can we get it please?

She had her daddy wrapped around her little paw right from the start but seriously who could resist those eyes?

I’m cute huh?

For a while both of her ears were floppy…

…but eventually her right ear started to straighten up.

Her love for snow became apparent during her first winter.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

In April of 2013 she welcomed Walter with open paws.

What’s daddy eating?
I don’t know but he better give me some first.

Right from the start Millie has been the happiest when she is hanging out in her backyard.

I love laying under my favorite tree

Of course she enjoys sharing her yard with Walter too.

Millie has some quirks that always make us smile.

This is what Millie does every day after breakfast. It took setting up a “hidden” camera to get it on video. If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it

One thing Millie does real well is snuggle.

You call this snuggling? I say she is hogging the bed.

Her favorite place to snuggle is right next to her dad.

A Charlie Sandwich with Millie up close to her dad

Did I mention how much she likes the snow…

…or how much she enjoys hanging out in the yard under her favorite tree?

With all the work going on in the kitchen right now there won’t be much of a celebration but we will make it up to her when the project is finished. We would like to thank Madi and her mom for sending such a sweet birthday card to Millie.

Don’t tell dad that Madi came for a visit

She also received one from Walter’s sweetie Tuiren and her family.

Thanks to our friends for sending such thoughtful cards.

Happy Birthday Millie! We love you!

* We really don’t know when her birthday is but today is a close approximation.

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Hi everyone! Today we are joining Madi and Angel Easy to show their friend Sammy our favorite place in our home town.

Little Black Dog in Big Snow

Little Black Dog in Big Snow

Whether it’s right after a winter snow storm where we love to plow through the fluffy white stuff and wrestle until we look like abominable snow dogs or…

walter - little dog in big yard

Little tan dog under big tree

…it’s early spring when the trees and shrubs are just starting to bud out and the grass has started to green up or…

Walter - with toy under Katsura tree

Happy tan dog in shade of big tree

… it’s the heat of the summer where you can cool off in the shade of the Katsura tree during a game of fetch or…


Two dogs playing on a cool fall day

…it’s a wonderfully cool fall day to play fetch and search the yard for hidden treasures (maybe a mouse, mole or vole to dig up) there is no better place than home.

We love our back yard and are sure Sammy would enjoy visiting us here any time of the year.


Even with this celebration for Sammy we are sad to report that today he crossed the rainbow bridge. He was in poor health and that is why Madi and Easy wanted to let him travel the world with this blog hop today. As many of you already know our dear friend Easy didn’t win his battle with bloat and crossed the rainbow bridge a few days ago. We know Easy and Sammy are having a great time meeting up with all their friends that have gone to the bridge before them.

rainbow - starling flock in back yard

Here is a beautiful fall rainbow from our back yard to share with all our rainbow friends and the Angel sisters that lived here before us.


In addition to the pain from loosing Easy his pawrents have been left with a hefty vet bill that their insurance won’t cover. To help them donations are being accepted through PayPal. You can learn more about how you can help by visiting Murphy & Stanley’s blog. We made sure to get out our mom’s plastic card to send some money to Easy’s family.

It’s been a tough week in Blogville but we hope this tour of our back yard brought a smile to your face.

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Hi everyone! Today we are joining our friends at the Army of Four Digest with a Serene Sunday post. One of the most serene things in our yard is our linden tree. It was planted about 25 years ago fairly close to our family room to provide shade as it matured.

Linden tree in full bloom

Linden tree in full bloom

It is the anchor of our perennial garden and as it has grown has become the reason for changing some of the flowers to more shade loving. This year was one of the most prolific flowering seasons for the linden tree. If you are at all familiar with linden trees you know that the fragrance from the flowers is intoxicating.

Linden tree flowers

Linden tree flowers

When the weather is cool enough, and we have the windows open, the fragrance from the flowers just fills the house. We aren’t the only ones who enjoy these flowers. During the time the linden tree is in bloom it is overcome with every kind of bee like creature you can imagine. Here is just a little snippet of one visitor.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

If you stand under the tree during the time it is in bloom it sounds like you are standing next to a beehive. You can’t hear it in the video so you will just have to take my word for it.

The only down side to the two weeks of the sumptuously sweet smell is the mess the flowers make as they fall to the ground.

Hostas under the linden tree

Hostas under the linden tree

Usually we have periodic rains to wash the debris off the plants under the tree but this year we have been experiencing a drought.

The hosta leaves catch everything

The hosta leaves catch everything

It doesn’t seem to have an adverse effect on the hosta. Hopefully we will have a decent rain soon to wash it away. We wish someone could invent smell-o-vision so we could share the sweet scent with you but until then maybe you can find one near you. Of course you will have to wait until next year to enjoy it though.

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Hi everyone, it’s Millie here! Sorry we’ve been away for so long. There really is no excuse except that our secretary just hasn’t been very cooperative in updating our blog. Here is a picture of me in case you forgot how cute I am.

Millie - laying down

A few weeks ago mom took this video of me and thought it might be instructive for all of you.

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/134105916]

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

As you can see roaching and rolling in the grass is not as simple as it might look. I hope you enjoyed my tutorial on how to get the best stink on you. I don’t remember what it was that I was rolling in but mom and dad sure weren’t happy with me. I didn’t get a full bath but they did wet down my back to get the stink off. Oh well I guess I will just have to find another stinky thing in the yard to roll on.

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