Last year we found this beautiful bald-faced wasps nest. It is easily two times the size of any other paper wasp nest that we have ever found. I went to hang it up on the from porch and as soon as I stepped outside the door I heard a Carolina Wren singing really close. The other two nest that were hanging up under the porch are pretty worn out, so I guess the bird was happy to see a new place to sleep at night so it can stay warm. Tempurtures have dropped in the last 24 hours, it's finally feeling quite like Winter and those little birds seem to really need to snuggle in some where to keep warm.
This morning while making my pet sitting rounds I came across the leusistic Red-tailed Hawk. The bird looks great. This bird has spent the last 7 Winters here in Warwick. I'm always so happy when I see it again.
It's never too late to live the childhood you didn't have. You can't blame your parents, because once you become an adult its up to YOU, to find and live your passion. I'm still the person I was at 10 years old. My passion for all animals and anything to do with the natural world has never wavered. It has endured 55 years of life, 32 years of marriage and mothering 4 sons to adulthood. I've found that the more I do that makes my heart sing, the happier I am, the more complete I feel each day. I've always wanted to work with animals or in a job that brought me closer to nature. I am doing both now. Being a pet sitter dog walker is an incredibly fun job for me. I love what I'm doing for the first time in my life. I enjoy working with companion animals and feel I'm helping their owners be able to step outside their lives and go away with less stress and worry. I love their pets as if they were my own. Becoming a Wildlife Rehabilitator and now a Master Naturalist has filled my soul up beyond what I thought possible. I love doing volunteer work that is very meaningful. Educating the public about our local wildlife is fun and rewarding. Each day when I wake up I think of the endless possibilities that are mine for the choosing, 24 more golden awesome hours. It's a good life.
Today it was 54 degrees, with sunny skies. The Woods were filled with other people
enjoying the mild winter weather. Monty decided it was a great day for a
swim! At home I'm still seeing 5 Rusty Blackbirds at some point each day.
My annual outside Xmas bird tree is a huge hit with my feeder birds.
There has been a female Pileated Woodpecker hanging around.
5 Rusty Blackbirds at my bird feeder, also 1 Fox Sparrow for the last two days. Having just lost a friend and neighbor the Fox Sparrow will now be my sign to remember my friend Rose, a very dear sweet lady whom I loved.
I've now seen 3 Black Squirrels at one time. They are going to be famous shortly as I've been interviewed for an article in the paper about them. Adult Coopers Hawk killed one of the Rusty Blackbirds and proceeded to eat it. Nature is sometimes difficult to watch.
Today was my final shift up at the Hawk Watch! I got my Golden and if that wasn't enough.....I also got a GOS! I will return for sure! I had a fabulous year up there.
I also had one of the most amazing wildlife sightings ever. I was out wildlife watching, looking for a sow and cubs that someone had told me about. I happened upon and gorgeous Coywolf. Absolutely amazing creature. I was blessed to watch it for more then 15 minutes. Today was a very very good day for me. No need for a vacation, wildlife is right here just waiting for me to see it!
I'm sitting in the forest up in the county park absolutely surrounded by birds and it is amazing. Owning a big active dog I so rarely ever sit down while out on my hike The bird migration is in full force and all of our winter birds are here and some of our summer birds are grouping and leaving. The tree canopies are full of kinglets and pine siskins, lower trees have Hermit Thrushes everywhere, it is awesome! Even the first floor is alive with the activity of many species of sparrows and Juncos.
I am now a Master Naturalist! It took me 3 years to finally buckle down and stop making excuses, but I did it! Now off to attain the higher levels. I already put in another 4 hours of volunteer time over this past weekend. I am inspired to do all the volunteer work that I possibly can. I love every moment of what I'm doing!
OK I lied, just one post. Limiting my internet time has lead me to some interesting thoughts. I was raised thinking *If I die* not *when I die*. By thinking this way, we avoid thinking about the inevitable, that our time here has a limited number of days. We have no clue as to when our time here will be done, and absolutely no choice as to when our number will finally comes up. By thinking and living *IF* we truly can get lost in the mundane of the everyday. We take our lives and loved ones for granted. If we live by *WHEN* then we realize that every moment is precious, and we relish each and every one we are given. LIFE IS GOOD, LIVE FOR TODAY!
For the next 90 days,starting on the 15th, until my birthday, I am going to take a much needed internet break. I feel overwhelmed by the constant bad news of the world. I'm also tired of hearing people complain constantly. You can't stay away from it on FB, there is constantly something horrific on my news feed. People abusing other humans and the animal abuse is just completely out of control. I've turned off most of my friends from my FB feed, Every evening I will post on the Hawk Watch page, as I've committed to doing that, I will also wish my friends *Happy Birthday* at that time. I will check my messages, but I will not sit and cruise on FB, nor will I use it on my phone. I won't be posting in this Blog either. My plan is to JUST BE. Spend all my time in the physical world instead of the internet world. I'm looking forward to the break. I will miss posting about this Falls birding, but plan on writing notes in my little journal. The birds are migrating and I must go! lol
I spent most of today outside. I was at the watch for many hours and also walked Monty. The hawks have been trickling in. I had only 19 birds on Wednesday, there were 0 for yesterday as the leader left after 1.5 hours. Today there was a total of 72, with zero cloud cover that wasn't a horrible count. After I left the watch I went down the street and watched a family of Red-tails for a while. One of the young was up on the wires screeching for a hand out from his parents, he soon noticed one of them in the field eating something and promptly flew down, hit the bigger birds who flew off and began to eat. Tonight I headed back out to watch the sunset. Later on I plan on getting out to look for the Northern Lights. I'm enjoying a few days off from cooking as hubby is away. It frees me up to spend a lot of time out in nature.
It was a little difficult to keep my concentration on the sounds of nature vs. the traffic that flows past our home. Every so often there were no cars and it was blissful.
Monty and I went for a nice long walk out at Liberty Loop. There wasn't too much bird life left as the ponds are mostly dried up now. Some egrets and GB Herons. Lots of interesting insect life. I found one Monarch Caterpillar.
Lots of great bird activity out on my walk today. Forest was full of warblers, fly catchers, thrush, oven birds. Broad-winged flight has begun. Really looking forward to the next week or so.
Need to write about something that happened to me yesterday. I feel as though I looked right into someone who I love very much, soul yesterday. Looking into their eyes so deeply that I felt their pain and love. Incredible moment that I now feel I totally understand that person and our relationship. It had me crying today for all the wasted past thoughts and feelings. I now know better and will do better.
Final 100 Day challenge photo. Love my dog so much.
I have to say I really did learn a lot during my 100 Happy Days Challenge. I am on day 90. I look at each moment so much form intently. I look for the beauty, take in the scent, see the people I'm with, and when I'm out in nature...WOW, I have seen so much more then ever before. My eyes are opened in a new way. Life is good. You can concentrate on all the beauty and blessings around you or you can have a constant pity party for yourself. When thing aren't going as you expect them to, let go. You don't have any control over any of it anyway! Tragic things happen every single day to all of us, it's an on going life affliction that we all must deal with. Trying our best to stay grounded and not let the worry and sadness take us completely over is our daily struggle. Not becoming a victim when bad things happen is our challenge. Bad things happen over and over again if we have the blessing of living a long life. I've been guilty of spending way too much time sucking the energy out of others with my talk of doom and gloom. While out on my morning hike today, I had a experience with someone where it came to me loud and clear that the person who was in an excellent mood was afraid that I would bring him down. I have walked with him before and unfortunately spilled my stuff into him, as it was after the death of my Petey and hubby's last scare with the big C. What a great life lesson! I see very clearly now how we can't burden others with our own sorrows. They have their own and are doing the very best they can to process them. I love when a life lesson smacks you in the face and the world comes into focus again. Carry on! It's a holiday weekend! 3 priceless days of Bliss!
I've been a dog owner my entire life. I now work with dogs for a living. I wasn't always the best dog owner, but at the time I had no idea I wasn't. Inexperience and lack of knowledge played a part in many of the problems I had with past dogs. None were bad, there are no bad dogs only bad owners. We now have so much more information available online to help teach us how to be a better dog owner. When we know better we should do better.
People have always told me that heaven would be, being one of my dogs. I think in the last 7 years of dog ownership, I've really learned what makes for a quality life for my beloved canine. Over my lifetime I've lost a lot of dogs far too early in their lives, it has made me think long and hard how I can make each day count for my current dog, and the one before him, my beloved Petey, who left me suddenly before his 5th birthday.
Their lives are so short and once they are gone there is no making up for what you didn't do for and them while they sat at your side lovingly staring into your face. They give us their everything, the very least we can do for them is to make them happy at least a few times each day.
What is a quality life for a dog? For me it starts with food, I feed raw. Eating food that is good for your body is the most important thing that we can do for ourselves to have a long, happy, healthy life. The food we choose to eat affects every area of our lives. I feel the same way about feeding my dog. I've been a raw feeder for over 7 years now. I've done my research and I will never feed kibble again. How did I manage to raise 4 sons to adulthood without a premade diet? I was responsible enough to grow 4 strong healthy men, I certainally can feed one 85 pound Doberman Pinscher the proper foods to keep him vibrant and healthy. Monty loves his meals. He starts to salivate soon as he knows it's time to eat. He chews his food completely and carefully. No gulping for this boy. I rotate the meats I feed to add variety and to make mealtimes more fun for him. Its fun to watch him eat and enjoy his food.
The next quality life item is exercise. It is non-negotable for me and Monty. Most breeds of Dogs are built to be active. They live to run and play. I run my boy off lead on hiking trails almost every day of the year. Rain, shine, snow, what ever the weather ,you can find us outside hiking together. We go two several different parks on a daily basis. I love to nature watch and he gets to experience new smells. We also play Frisbee multiple times each day. He's very good at it! It gets us both outside m to breath in some fresh air. A few days a week we play fetch in a pond with a floating ring. Presto....a bath!
Training from the get go is a must. A trained dog makes for a happy dog and owner, which in turn makes for a quality life for you both. The day you get your new puppy is the day to start training. Every interaction with your dog is an opportunity to train house manners and basic ob. I'm not into obedience training, I actually dislike it, but I have found that dogs love to work! They enjoy learning new tricks. Just use treats and it's fun for you both. From day one, teach your dog to accept baths, nail clipping, ear cleaning and teeth inspections or cleanings. Use treats and all of these experiences become a fun interaction that your dog will actually look forward to.
Some dogs need toys, others need things to chew on. My last dog, Petey, loved toys, all kinds of toys, so I bought him new ones on a daily basis. He had two laundry baskets full of all kinds of toys. He always had a stuffie in his mouth. New toys were paraded around for a day or two. I don't regret for one minute all the money we spent on toys for him, they added more quality to his very short life. My current boy Monty only likes balls that squeek and his Frisbees. Ocassionally he likes to chew a Bully Stick, so I always have them on hand.
Finally dogs need new experiences several days each week. Trips in the car to the bank, gas station, local pet store, etc. Monty loves going to the bank and gas station as they always have a busiquit for him. I love taking him on vacation. We both love getting out of our daily routine and seeing new places. I plan at least one vacation with Monty in mind, this way I can be completely relaxed as I know that my dog is happy.
As for affection....who doesn't pet their dog????
Here is my boy after a day in his life....one full of quality.....he is giving me the look....it's bedtime!
Very busy weekend of pet sitting and dog walking gifted me with many wonderful wildlife moments. Getting out at the crack of dawn is the perfect way to see animals out and about after a night spend foraging. Neat to see multiple families of White Tail Deer. Doe, this years fawns and last years as well. Sign of bears were along the road as well. A group of homes all left their trash out early. A bear made short work of that. The homeowners had a nice big mess to clean up. On my walks and hikes I saw Red-shouldered Hawks, adult and Immature, a gorgeous Black Bear and a Fox. I also enjoyed to company of a few different dogs. I love what I'm doing for work now. It's a dream come true.