Winter Wonderland

One of the things that drew my husband & I to our house, apart from some great features indoors, was the beautiful outdoors.  Our tree lined driveway & yard are two of our favourite things about the house.2016 Winter Yard-0456 The driveway is perhaps my favourite though.  I love to walk down it looking up at the trees anytime of year but especially in the summer & fall when the leaves are full.  The trees are a great marker for people coming to our house & also a great way for our girls to identify that we have arrived home.  They too love to walk down the driveway although I’m not sure they appreciate the trees just yet the way that their parents do.

The rest of the yard is pretty great too, front & back.  This time of year (when we actually have snow – which hasn’t happened much this winter), I love to look out the windows & see the snow sparkling on the ground & on the trees as the sun comes up.2016 Winter Yard-0376 I also love to see the wildlife tracks running through the undisturbed snow.  There is definitely something to be said for living in the country.

This morning I got inspired & pulled out my zoom lens, something I haven’t done in a LONG time.  I was looking out the window while changing one of the girls & noticed a chipmunk, perched on a box near the garage.  He was sitting ever so still, almost like a statue.  I was sure by the time I got my camera he would be gone but he wasn’t. 2016 Winter Yard-0437.jpg Must be my lucky day.  After snapping a few photos of him, I was drawn to the frozen droplets on the tree branches from the storm a few days ago.

Our yard is really great for photos, anytime of year.

The birds have been going crazy today too.  My husband filled the feeders on the weekend, something he hasn’t done for a while, & the birds appear to be very happy with him.  I saw woodpeckers, blue jays, cardinals, doves & a bunch of little birds I can’t identify!  But they were sure having a feast in our yard.  2016 Winter Yard-0518

Since I’ve mostly been writing about feeding my “little birds” the last little while I thought I’d do something different today.  Here’s a few of the shots I snapped in the yard this morning.

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Our Backyard Wildlife

My husband & I have always seen a lot of wildlife in our backyard.  We’ve had bunnies, racoons, deer in the field behind us once, birds of all sorts, chipmunks, squirrels… you name it & we’ve likely had it.  This week, however, was really a week for animal watching.  It seemed like every day I was pulling my camera & zoom lens out to snap photos of our latest backyard visitors!

Early in the week, I saw the possum.  Colin has yet to see the guy as he only seems to come out when I am around.  I missed getting his photo but I’m not too sad about that because he is big & fat & ugly.  Have you ever come across a possum that was cute?  I don’t think so.  I’m afraid he may be the culprit who digs up around our shed, but I have yet to catch him in the act!

We have a number of bird feeders throughout our yard & we tend to refer to the birds around here as little piggies!  DSC_0183Some weeks, I think they could eat us out of house & home the feeder is emptied so quickly. Cardinals & Blue Jays are regular visitors to the feeders around here, both male & female.DSC_0154And as if our feeders didn’t get enough action, last weekend Colin bought two new finch feeders.  DSC_0155Well, since then its been a free for all here!  Even the squirrels & a bunny were hanging around underneath the feeders to pick up those seeds tossed out by the birds.  DSC_0162The yellow finches with their bright feathers seem so cheery, a sure sign that spring is on its way.  I am also looking forward to putting out the oriole & hummingbird feeders!DSC_0163We also have a woodpecker who I hear tapping away on the trees although today I caught him tapping away at the ground.  It looks frozen little guy – you had best try somewhere else. DSC_0212One day this week I came home to see a coyote roaming the field behind the house.  He was walking up & down the hedge line like there was something in there he was trying to get.  DSC_0144Coyote’s are not a usual sighting around here mind you.  I think I’ve seen one once before & heard them a few other times. DSC_0146 The coyote actually worked to my advantage in the summer.  The nephews were coming for the weekend & wanted to camp out in the backyard.  Colin wasn’t going to be home & I wasn’t real keen on setting up the tent & sleeping out there with them that particular night on my own. So, I told them I had heard the coyote out behind the house.  Well, that was enough to ensure we were sleeping inside!

Our visitor this morning, however, is one we have never had before.  I almost missed him in fact because he was blending in with the rock he was sitting on.  Our friend this morning was a little owl.DSC_0192 Now, Colin would probably correct me when I say “little owl”.  He doesn’t think the owl is so small, but what do I know?  I am not an owl expert.  He looks small to me.  And very cute. DSC_0184 He has perched himself on a rock outside of our bedroom window & really, I don’t mind him being there.  Perhaps he will stop all the other birds from flying into our windows…. which happens on an all too frequent basis!  Colin & I were standing at the window looking down at him, me snapping photos & he looked right up at Colin.DSC_0198Our new little buddy has us worried though.  We do not often see owls around our property & certainly never this close to our house.  He’s been sitting in the same spot now for around 5 hours.  He hopped over & positioned himself in the sun, but we’re worried that maybe he’s hurt or something.DSC_0218We have called a wildlife rescue to see how we should proceed.  Hopefully the little guy will be alright as he sure is cute!  DSC_0221