July 21, 2010
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
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.
Playing with fire!
The day ends with a spectacular orange moon.
June 26, 2010
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
June 18, 2010
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
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
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
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
February 26, 2010
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
February 24, 2010
February 23, 2010
February 22, 2010
February 20, 2010
February 19, 2010
February 18, 2010
February 17, 2010
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
February 15, 2010
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
February 12, 2010
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
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!