July 21, 2010

Recent Visitors

I am now in Cuenca, Ecuador but I had a few pictures that I didn’t have time to post before I left the lake. In the years I’ve live here I’ve heard of raccoons sometimes causing mayhem elsewhere in the community but I had never seen one. One night a few weeks ago I heard what sounded like pigs squealing indignantly and when I looked out I saw two raccoons by the dock. They seemed to be arguing but I couldn’t tell exactly what was going on because it was too dark. A few days later I saw this raccoon strolling by in the early morning. I hope he won’t cause any trouble while I’m away.

Here are a few recent bird shots. Woodpeckers are frequent visitors at the bird feeder. Once I put the bird feeder out I heard them pecking less regularly at the wood siding of the house, for which I’m grateful!

This little golden finch was happily nibbling at twigs while perched on a tree branch.

And this is a new visitor. I don’t know what kind of bird it is—I’ll have to do a little research once things quiet down around here.

I’ll be posting a couple more pictures in this blog and you can also check out the Ecuador blog, where I’ll be posting for the next nine months.

June 29, 2010

An End, a Beginning; More Like a Pause

This was my last weekend here this year. We celebrated my sister’s birthday on Sunday and I was really aware of memories of the family get-togethers we've had here over the past few years. I guess the time for sentiment has finally arrived now that my departure date is so near (less than a week!).

However, since I decided to make the lake house a short-term vacation rental instead of a long-term rental, I will be able to spend as much time as I want here when I come back for a visit in about nine months. The house got booked for almost the entire summer season within a few days of listing it, so it’s all working out perfectly so far (fingers crossed).

Here’s a day at the lake with the family.

Picking blueberries by the dock.

Shucking corn for grilling.

Feeding the ducks on the beach.

Night falls.

Playing with fire!

The day ends with a spectacular orange moon.

June 26, 2010

Still Going

Hmmmph, a week ago the antlers looked like they were separating, with two knobs at the top. This morning there's a longer stem with a single knob at the top. I don't know if this is a different young buck or if this is part of the growing process. I guess the two knobs could have fused to form the larger broader shape at the top. In any case, they do keep on growing!

June 22, 2010


Hello there!

This is what I call a brilliant red--isn't it beyoootiful?

June 18, 2010

Growing Nicely

As promised, here’s a progress report on the growing antlers of this handsome boy. They are beginning to split and form the start of the more familiar antler shape.

I’m not sure if this is his sister or a companion but he had no problem sharing his corn when she came by. Sometimes they are not so friendly with their food.

And finally, after 8 years, I’ve found a flowering plant that the deer won’t eat. I can’t tell you happy that makes me—aren’t the lavender buds pretty?

June 16, 2010

Mourning Doves

This moving to Ecuador project is very time consuming and I've been neglecting the blog because of it. I'm happy to report that things are progressing in due course but time is going too fast--only a couple more weeks left!

I finally took a break and saw this Mourning Dove peering through the glass door. I always get a kick out of the sight of curious animals taking a peek to see what's behind the glass. Mourning Doves forage for seeds on the ground, which is a good thing since they're too large to perch on the bird feeder. They clean up what falls on the deck so it's a win-win situation for both of us.

I haven't had time to wash the glass so the pictures are a not too sharp. One more thing to add to the to-do list!

June 2, 2010


I'm back to posting on this blog! I had a few pictures left over from my stay in Cuenca so I've still been posting on the Ecuador blog but I'm done with those and ready to pay proper attention to my beloved lake and my fellow dwellers.

There's an absence of fawns around the lake this year. Normally, there would be a few babies around at this point but I haven't seen any yet. Very curious. However, I have seen a couple of young ones. Here's a young buck, you can see the antlers just beginning to grow from the two nubs on the deer's head known as pedicules. They protrude out of the skull in the first year of life and support the antlers, which don't begin growing until the buck is in his second year.

That first year most deer species grow short spike-like antlers. It isn't until the third year that a deer will begin to have antlers that branch out, with each year adding more branches. Antlers are actually living bone that male deer are able to regenerate annually. The antlers are shed in January or February after the mating season and then begin to grow again in the spring, sometimes at the rate of almost two inches a day. Only members of the deer family grow antlers, which vary in size from species to species and are the fastest growing type of tissue in the entire world of animals.

Growing antlers are covered with a substance called velvet, a brownish hued fur that encases a network of blood vessels and endings of nerves. The velvet provides the nutrients for the antlers as they develop. During this time antlers are easily damaged so a deer will be very careful not to do anything that might hurt them. Once they have achieved maximum growth the deer will rub the velvet off its antlers, which harden in the late summer.

I'll show the antlers' progress throughout the next few weeks and I very much hope to see some fawns soon. I'm a little concerned by their absence.

March 2, 2010

See You in the Spring!

I'm off to Ecuador tomorrow so this blog will be snoozing until I return in May. I will start posting pix from Ecuador sometime next week at loolooinecuador.blogspot.com

Here's a preview of springtime at the lake--the picture above was taken last May when fawns start arriving.

And once I'm back I'm afraid you'll be seeing a lot of pictures of squirrels--they are the source of endless entertainment, as they invariably manage to outwit me.

March 1, 2010

Au Revoir

I'm in New York today, on my way to Ecuador. I left the lake yesterday and I'll be flying out on Wednesday. There was a slight aftershock in Ecuador from the earthquake in Chile, but upwards and onwards I say. There have been landslides, a volcano eruption, and catastrophic flooding on past visits there--I'm ready for whatever comes my way.

February 27, 2010

Looking for Spring

As he looks in and sees greenery, is this bird wondering about spring? Is he longing for warmer weather, as I am?

February 26, 2010

Get Me Out of Here!

It snowed so hard overnight that I couldn't open the storm doors.
Thank goodness for sliding doors.

At this point, snow on the deck is as high as the handrail.

Even the bedroom balcony, which is under an overhang and usually doesn't get much snow, is pretty well covered.

I thought it might be fun to spend the winter here this year but this is not quite what I had in mind.

February 25, 2010

Snowing. Again.

It's been snowing all day today. Expected to snow every day for the next 4 days. Grumble, grumble. Six more days until I leave for Ecuador.

February 24, 2010

Snowy Pine

This is the majestic pine tree in front of the house. It's taller than the house, so maybe 25-30 feet high? It's one of my favorite things about this property. It's even more lovely decorated with snow and there's been plenty of that this winter.

February 23, 2010


I love the fact that no matter how gray it gets, there's always some green in the landscape.

February 22, 2010

Waiting for Spring

I can't tell if those little dots at the end of the twigs are signs of new growth. Could spring really be around the corner?

February 20, 2010

Making Tracks

She'd just been munching on that bit of brown grass at the top of the picture and is on her way to see what else she can find to nosh on.

February 19, 2010

Smart Birds

One very noticeable thing in the winter is the reduced variety of birds. These shots were taken in the fall.

Smart birds--they are someplace warmer these days. I'll be following their example in a couple of weeks when I leave for warmer shores.

February 18, 2010

Napping Bird

I was worried at first, when I saw this bird just sitting there with its eyes closed. I was afraid I might have to dispose of his frozen little carcass but after a few minutes it opened its eyes and took off. I am very glad that it was just taking a nap.

February 17, 2010

Beautiful Deer

I've been seeing deer around ever since I bought this place 8 years ago but I haven't normally spent winters here so it wasn't until a couple of months ago that I've had the opportunity to pay close attention. It became possible when I began feeding them regularly and they started congregating and spending longer periods of time in my backyard. Before then they would just pass through and I wouldn't have the chance to photograph them and, through the lens, see them as clearly as I have recently.

Now I'm beginning to recognize some of them and to see how truly beautiful they are. I know they are in their natural environment but I can't help but think how harsh winters can be and how they endure with such dignity and grace.

February 16, 2010

A Boy and His Dog

Taking a pensive walk on the snow covered lake.

February 15, 2010

Who's That Knocking On My Door?

Deer coming around reminded me of this visit from the resident groundhog last fall (he lives under the shed out back). He's been gradually getting more curious and bolder over the years. He first came up on the deck this past summer--I wonder what's next.

February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Flowers for everyone!

Photo taken at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Florida, December 2009.


Its face says it all!

(This was supposed to be my February 13th post but what with the birthday carousing I just missed it by a few minutes! So let's all pretend I didn't miss it and that my record of a picture a day still stands. Yes? Thank you very much.)

February 12, 2010

Hanging Out

My backyard has become a social club for the deer. They eat and then mill about, exchanging social pleasantries.

February 11, 2010


Today is my birthday, which made me think of these shots I took of a Monarch butterfly soon after it had emerged from its chrysalis. I feel that something like this happens to us all every few years. Whether it's a delightful transformation or a challenging one, it keeps life interesting.

Photos taken at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Florida, December 2009.

February 10, 2010

Snowpocalypse 2010

It's been snowing for about 16 hours straight and it's actually been getting stronger as the day goes on. This picture was taken early this morning. There's a lot more snow right now--over two feet and counting.

I've decided to give up on being lumberjack woman for now--I've been keeping the entire circular driveway shoveled and clear. I've got company this weekend and I know from past experience that a certain little VW bug from NYC can't quite make it out of the driveway if it's icy. It's dark now and I was cold and wet from shoveling so I'll tackle it again tomorrow morning. Janette, all for you, babe--you know I care!