Monday, April 7, 2008

Recent sitings at Critter Farm

Very healthy looking Rhubarb growing in the garden:

A Rufous (I think) Hummingbird enjoying newly made nectar:

An Ambystoma gracile, also known as the Northwestern Salamander:

A Townsend's chipmunk eating fallen sunflower seeds from the bird feeder:

An antenna afixed to the deck railing so one newly certified Ham Radio-operating husband can talk to his nerdy new friends:

One really cute pup named Roxy, sunning herself on a rock:

The plaid boys "working" on the coop:

It seems there's always something entertaining to see at the Critter Farm!


  1. Fantastic photos! You are good with that camera. The coop looks almost completed now. I'm impressed that you know all the technical names of your wildlife. I just call them chipmunks and lizards. Ha!

  2. Yikes, Aidan! Be careful with that hammer. Those windows were a real find!
    I love the guy with the nail gun, too. Interesting body position. Does he do karate? lol!

    All the photos were amazing. You did good with all those gorgeous close-ups.
    Looks like you are enjoying life on Critter Farm.

  3. Beautiful photos!

    The most wildlife I get in my back yard are slugs, snails and next doors cat.

  4. Can I come to your house? It's so beautiful! Rhubarb, a hummingbird I've never seen and my all time favorite - the chipmunk. And of course, Roxy, adorable as always.

  5. Oh Danni!!!
    I am so jealous!!! I'll have to send more pictures of Cardinals so you can be jealous too!!! That Allen's is Beautiful!!! I LOVE all your critters there at Critter Farm!
    Roxy looks very relaxed and the coop is really coming along!

  6. Great photos! I particularly like all the plaid!! :) Sheesh! That's quite the Hilton your making for those birds!! Better be careful, those chickies will start putting on airs! ;)

  7. What great photos! Ok, you are usually the question lady, today is my turn. How much rhubarb did the previos owners leave you and did you know about it ahead of time? What other edibles did you inherit? What was the salamander crawling from? Do the chipmunks give Roxie fits? (T-Bone hates them) Are Ham radios the dots and dashes? That coop is looking great! Did you take that last hummingbird photo? It's amazing!

  8. Beautiful pictures Danni. My favorite bird.....the hummingbird. And that Roxy does have a way of posing herself just so for a good picture.
    P.S. Tell Aiden to stop trying to break the windows with his hammer:)

  9. OOOOOHHH! I love spring pictures and they are popping up everywhere in the blog world!

  10. Or perhaps it is a Rufous Hummingbird? Who can tell the difference? :) At any rate, it means spring...and warm...and grass. This is a good thing.

  11. Hi farmer jen...I *love* taking pictures...can you tell? :-)

    Hi twinville...all my "boys" hate having their picture taken, so I find I have much more luck if I ask them to pose in a funny way. That particular pose was "Ok, look like you're working really hard". lol

    Hi solomon...oh, we have slugs, too. I just chose not to post any photos of them - this time! :-)

    Hi seasonseatingsfarm (robin)...wouldn't that be fun if you could? So, sure, next time you're in the Pacific Northwest, be sure to swing by. I'll have wine open and tea brewing (depending on your preference). :-)

    Hi Eve...yes, I'd love to see more photos of cardinals. I think I may have misidentified my hummingbird - apparently the differences between the Allen's and the Rufous are very slight. Either way, I'm certain it's a hummingbird. lol

    Hi farmmom - isn't that hilarious? They hadn't even realized they all had plaid on until it was pointed out to them. Yeah, the chicken hilton. I wonder if I could somehow market that. lol

  12. Hi, questions for ME?? Cool! Here are my answers:
    --Regarding the rhubarb: I have a patch about 4' long and 2' wide. Yes, I knew it was there ahead of time. (what an interesting question - do you hate rhubarb? did you think I might have not bought the house had I known in advance it was there?) lol
    --What other edibles do I have...oh, you'll love this..I have identified 14 blueberry bushes (early, mid, and late blooming varieties), 2 huge rows of raspberries, very mature concord grape bushes (do you call it a bush?), 3 apple trees, and 1 pear tree. Oh, and some chives. :-)
    --Where was the salamander - The salamander was posed - sort of. I found him under a rock and carried him with me while I got my camera. I needed a place to put him down, so I put him on the edge of my bird bath. He happily jumped in and swam around for a bit. That photo was him climbing out after his swim.
    --Regarding Roxy and chipmunks - yes, they drive her ape-sh**! Squirrels are worse - she practically frothes at the mouth. It's not pretty.
    --About the ham radio: the dots and dashes (morse code) is very old ham radio stuff. one doesn't need to know morse code any more to be a ham radio operator. But you do have to take tests (depending on the level you want to get to) that increase in difficulty. Too nerdy for me, but I'm anxiously awaiting the evening when we talk to the space station! :-) And if all electricity, telephones and cell towers should ever happen to simultaneously explode, we'll still be able to communicate with the outside world (or, at least, other ham operators). :-)
    --Regarding my photos - yes, I took all of them.

    Hi goatgirl! Thanks for the compliments. And, yes, Roxy is always aware of where the camera is pointing. That girl just can't take a bad picture!
    Aidan thought he was really funny with that hammer, let me tell you. :-)

    Hi Judy...finally, right?! :-)

    Hi Marigold...sigh. I think you're right. But I'm still not 100% certain. After doing more research, it's apparently extremely difficult to be able to tell a male Allen's from a male Rufous hummingbird. Figures. I knew if I just chose one, though, somebody would step up and tell me if I was right or wrong. :-) Bottom line, just because I think Allen's has a normal range that is a bit more south of us, I've changed the name in my post to be Rufous. Thanks for your input.

  13. Yepper Spring is in the air there...
    Beautiful pictures...

    Big Sloppy Kisses
    Gus and Louie

  14. Grape "bushes" are really called grape "vines"...

    I am envious of yout blueberries and raspberries. I've planted both here twice now and every one of them shriveled up and died eventually. I hever got any fruit from them. I do producing blackberries and boysenberries and several fruit trees though.

  15. Not me, i love the stuff. Strawberry/Rhubarb jam or pie is my fav. That and other "free" foods would be the selling point for me.
    I'd love to see the rest of that birdbath. I have always wanted a natural type birdbath.
    T-bone is a big time squirrel chaser. He knows they belong in trees, although one squirrel this winter ran and ran passed all these trees, never climbing one, T-bone actually stopped chasing him after he ran far enough out of the yard. I think he actually felt sorry for the squirrel. Weird, but funny.

  16. Hey sugarcreekstuff...yes, the blueberries were a definite (additional) enticement for me when we were considering this house/property and the raspberries were a HUGE motivator for my husband...he adores raspberries.

    Regarding the bird bath, in between cloud bursts today I have run out and snapped a couple pictures for you. I'm sending them to you in email.

    I'm glad Roxy isn't the only freak about ground rodents. lol. But it's also good to know that T-Bone has a heart of gold. :-)

  17. I think that's a Rufous hummer too. I think I own the same birdbath as you do! Nice photos!

  18. The hummingbird picture is amazing! I tried all last year to get them in flight. And hummingbirds already? I wonder if I should put my feeder out?

  19. Hi nw naturenut - thanks for the compliment - I have good subject matter :-).

    Hey christy - the reason I put my feeders out (just last Friday, to be exact), is because the little guys started buzzing me. They'd fly back and forth overhead, in their noisy little way - they pretty much pointedly "told" me to put the dang feeders out. Ever since, it's dangerous to walk outside as the territorial little buggers are zooming by, chasing each other around, and dive bombing any interlopers (me, I guess). It's very funny but a bit disconcerting, at times. :-) Have you seen any hummers in your area so far this year?

  20. I love the pics of the hummers...I wonder if I will see a salamander in town? I haven't ever seen one in real life!

  21. Great shots! Wow , what an interesting bird on the last photo! and the hummingbirds are there already?! I am waiting for them to arrive!!
    Your chicken coop looks like a real house, they will get a mansion, what?

  22. I ssooooo wish I could have rhubarb! It gets too hot down here to support it. I have wonderful memories of my grandmother's 'rhubarb slop'. Just cooked 'barb and sugar. It was at every meal and I ate way too much of it. I had to get a year's worth of it in my little body before we went home.
    Great pics! Especially the hummer. Do the chipmunks make Roxie crazy? Your chickens will be residing at the Casa de Pollo before long. Congratulations on getting it done. It's beautiful.

  23. Wow! What an exciting story - good thing we all don't have that much nerve, or the peace of the country would be full of people! Beautiful images, and I love Roxy.


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