……..since I wrote a post, that I forgot my password!!!! Good thing I have them all written down!

Our household has been working thru bronchitis, and boy, is that hard to shake. Hopefully, we are all on an upward path now, altho the cough still lingers.

I’ve spent most of the days of the past 2 weeks, sitting on the couch, sewing, reading, and watching mindless tv. There were two days  I actually passed the outdoor chores on to the daughter!

One day, I asked the husband to check on the horses – he was still feeling sick, but had to go back to work. He did check on them when he came in from work. The next morning, I went out to feed them and found the stall door open and the  grain bins opened and emptied!!! I guess the husband was not paying attention the night before. He forgot to lock one stall door – the ‘old man’ is always on the alert for someone to forget to lock his door – and he got lucky that night!!! Fortunately, the grain bins are not huge- so neither horse ate too much! But they did make a mess- the mice had a field day with that!!!

I have been putting the feed for the deer out earlier while I was sick. Two of them have noticed, and start showing up between 5:30 and 6:30pm, before it gets dark. They methodically clean up all the piles of feed I put out, and are quite aggressive in protecting “their” find!!! At night, I can see groups of 6-9 deer all amicably grazing on the cracked corn I put out. These two early birds band together and chased off two younger deer who decided to come early also. The younger ones looked so dejected, but were not going to stand up to the older ones.

Yesterday, I spread more piles around, so that the younger could get some too. I also put the food out later, and was out walking the dogs, so the deer waited til after dark to come  feast. Hopefully, there were no fisticuffs( I guess that would be ‘hoofticuffs’ in this case!) last night!!

We are also going thru an invasion of the birds- not unlike the movie of the same name!!! I felt like Tippi Hendren the other night while at the barn. The whole tree line behind the paddock was amass with grackles. Their chatter could be heard inside the house! This has become a twice daily occurrence- the movement of the birds from one side of the woods to the other! At first, I thought they were starlings, but finally got a good look at them closeup.

A short while later, another mass of grackles flew over and filled the trees lining the other side of the paddock. After about fifteen minutes, they all arose in a cloud and headed across the paddocks to the hay fields. Flocks of them would break off like a black cloud of bees and land in the hay field. There had to be at least 2-3 acres of  birds on the ground! It took about 10 minutes for the trees along the paddocks to empty, and for all the birds to fill the trees along the river’s edge. Shortly after that – there was silence – they all left and crossed the river – and I guess headed into the National Forest.

This has been going on for about a week. Yesterday, I was coming down the driveway and stopped to get the mail. All of a sudden, an endless black ribbon undulated across the sky above me, in a diagonal path across the road. The cacophonous roar was amazing- and the ribbon of birds seemed endless! The few crows in the sky on either side of the grackle path, seemed to be egging them on, and our resident hawk in the tree ducked out of the way.

It is amazing to watch, and I don’t know why they are here- I don’t remember this happening last year. I do remember starlings behaving in this manner all the time when we lived in suburbia. I knew, at dusk, not to be walking across the parking lot of the shopping center, because every night without fail, a cloud of starlings would descend on the trees surrounding the parking lot, to roost for the night. Patrons of the shopping center were up in arms about it – but what did they expect – the shopping center displaced these birds when the trees were eliminated to make room for the parking lot!

Here, tho, the birds, and wildlife rule! Even tho we have built on ‘their’ home, I hope that we can co- exist and learn from them. I enjoy their visits and  encourage it, while I watch from the sidelines.

Naptime for the big boys!

Naptime for the big boys!

A very small section of the flock

A very small section of the flock

Going after the deer's cracked corn

Going after the deer's cracked corn

Lift off!

Lift off!

The trees are full!

The trees are full!

Close up of a grackle I found online

Close up of a grackle I found online

All is well at Mountain Meadows today……………………………









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