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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Snow Thief by Skeeter

We are in the middle of winter and I cannot help but wonder how all the critters in the wild deal with cold winter nights. What do they do to stay warm during snowy days or worse yet, during an ice storm? I can only assume their fur or body temperatures help them to adapt to what ever element Mother Nature throws their way.

We feed the birds and have oak trees filled with nuts, therefore we have squirrels all over the yard. I have a love hate relationship with the squirrels. I enjoy watching them scamper about in the yard playing chase with each other and am amazed at their acrobatic skills. I enjoy them until they get into my potted flowers or dig in the landscaping or flower garden. Then I get a bit miffed and tend to call them Tree Rats! I fuss at them and I am sure they go high into the trees laughing at me while chanting, Cant Catch Me, Cant Catch Me! Argggg…

I put 5 small fake pine trees on the front porch as my winter decoration. I have the trees filled with fake birds and fake snow on the branches. I pile the snow high under the trees to hide the bricks which hold the trees in place on windy days. Real birds take refuge in the trees some nights. The fake snow consists of Pillow Stuffing materials. The Squirrels found the stuff last winter and have again returned this year. They are brazen enough to creep up on the porch and steal the snow as the cats watch them from the window! I am not sure if this is only one thief or if he has friends involved but I have seen trails of white fluff all over the yard in all directions! He (or she, or they) have found the perfect nesting materials to keep them cozy at night.

I think they are cute as can be while in the process of their little caper. It drives the cats nuts! They run from window to window for hours looking for the squirrels each day. I was able to snap a picture of one in the act last year. I wanted to get this posted around Christmas time because I thought he looked like Santa with the white beard! I am yet to get a better shot of one this year. They move too quickly and they have great eyesight so if they see me, they disappear then sneak back at a later time when I am not looking. So far this year, I have replenished the snow under the trees three times! But I don’t mind it as I feel I am helping keep the little buggars a bit warmer…

Do any of you do anything special for the wild animals during the winter to help them out a bit?

posted by Skeeter at 1/26/2008 08:30:00 PM


Blogger tina said...

Well said and great pictures. They definitely show the culprit!

I feed the birds and try to help my poor kitty Orkin. She REFUSES to come in the house because of the dogs and is very stressed when I carry her in. So I put a box and blanket on my porch chairs (which are under a roof)for her. Is there anything else I could do for a kitty besides building her a heated house?

Saturday, January 26, 2008 8:56:00 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Well, Tina, I might could arrange some sort of time share arrangement with the Dragon, where he could come over to build Orkin a smaller version of our Cat House and you can teach him all about gardening and composting. LOL

Saturday, January 26, 2008 9:19:00 PM  
Blogger Jean said...

That is so darn cute Skeeter!! I love it. I like squirrels but I do know they can be little devils but they really are great to watch.

Since I did not take a picture of the owl I will work on my daughter who took the pictures to get on the ball and get me one.

Saturday, January 26, 2008 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger tina said...

Hi Stacey,
No time share with Dragon needed. I had in mind to put in a pet door in the garage so she can go in there, or get her a heated bed. I can do them both with no problem-but thanks!

Sunday, January 27, 2008 5:51:00 AM  
Blogger CHIC-HANDSOME said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sunday, January 27, 2008 6:29:00 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

After the $300 vet bill when the dogs and us got sick from those damn birds, The only thing I want to do for them is target practice! I won't of course, but I thought about it while I was writing the check or hanging my head in the toilet. So they will not get any special treatment from me. They can freeze.

Sunday, January 27, 2008 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Adrienne dont blame the birds for your sickness... You should have done a better job of cleaning feet and paws before entering the house. Just joking ya know and I am so sorry you had to deal with such an awful sickness with everyone... It is hard enough when one is sick. I cannot imagine all the dogs and hubby sick at the same time as you.. arggggg…

We have yard shoes that sit by the back and front doors of the house. We put them on when in the yard and take them off as soon as we enter the house. I guess that is why we never got a sickness from the many wild critters that wander through our yard....

Sunday, January 27, 2008 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Sorry Jean, I thought it was you that had the owl picture. Even in the mid 40's we must deal with memory loss. LOL...

Tina, If Orkin were cold enough, he would come into the house for warmth. We have our sunroom closed off during the cold stuff but the cats insist on going in there to Critter watch out the windows. We keep a curtain hung over an open window (with suction cups) from the house to the sunroom so the girls can go in and out without bugging us to constantly open and close the door to the room. At times it is so cold you can see your breath in there but they insist on going in that room! Burrrrr

Sunday, January 27, 2008 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger tina said...

How did birds cause you all to get sick Adrienne? I don't want it to happen to me or my critters.

Hi Skeeter, I am pretty sure she is ok but it does get really cold outside. Your cats have it made with access to the outside through a sunroom.

Sunday, January 27, 2008 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Tina, We all got a parasite from the birds. The dogs got it first since they were in the yard with them the most. But as we soon found was one of the very few things that dogs can pass to humans. We were all miserable, I wish that on no one!

Sunday, January 27, 2008 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Oh no Tina, the cats do NOT go outside! They are inside only cats.
The sunroom is attached to the house but does not have AC/Heat Vents. We keep a small window unit to cool the air in the summer and also the Saint installed a wall heat unit that he tapped off the Propane heat of the house. But we do not run the heat unless in the room. Open flame is too dangerous!

The room was added to the back of the house over the existing dining room and kitchen exterior windows. We keep all the windows closed and one open with a drape over it so the cats can still go in and out of the sunroom through the main house window. It kind of acts like a dog or cat door would but we are too cheap to install one of those when a simple curtain will work! Does that make sense to you? It is a bit hard to explain how the sunroom is part of the house but separate too. We cannot figure out why the previous homeowners did not have ac and heat installed unless for Tax purposes on the house. I think it is set as a porch and not square footage to the house, thus lower taxes. But in reality, it is part of the house just not heated and cooled with central air and heat…

Sunday, January 27, 2008 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger tina said...

Adrienne, I am so sorry to hear about that! I don't blame you for hating the birds. Truly.

Skeeter, I misunderstood. I thought the open window was from the sunroom to outside. A curtain works for me. I hope it is a thick one to keep out some of that cold!

Sunday, January 27, 2008 1:27:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I feel guilty because I didn't put out hummingbird food this year. I get TONS of them and have to fill up the feeders a couple of times a day. Too much going on, so I didn't do it this year. But next year I will.

I do feed the birds. Two huge feeders and two cages for the suit squares. i also have a log feeder my uncle made, and I fill that with a homemade mix of lard, peanut butter, cornmeal and mixed seed. The bird feeders are outside of the dog and cat areas, where I can see them out of my kitchen window.

The squirres come sometime, but not as much as they used to. They are such HOGS, but I enjoy watching their antics too.

Sunday, January 27, 2008 3:02:00 PM  
Blogger k9rescue said...

Ah, the days of squirrels. We haven't seen any since moving into a new subdivision with NO trees. :( I miss them. Although, when they were around I have to admit it irked us that they kept eating all the bird food. We had a pole type feed that they squirrels kept climbing up. So, my husband put Vaseline on the pole. That was FUNNY watching them try to get up that pole! LMAO Then, the smarties figured they'd JUMP on the bird house from the roof of our house! Talk about some nutty critters (pun intended)!!! It was a LONG leap! My husband begged me to let him lube up the top of the birdhouse... but I drew the line there. I figured they were in enough danger making that kind of a leap. And, if they were willing to take that kind of risk for my 97 cent bags of bird seed... then they deserved to have some! :) :) :)

Sunday, January 27, 2008 8:44:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

They make baffles for bird poles! We have them on all the bird feeders in the yard and they work great! The squirrels only get crumbs under the feeders. We put out corn cobs for the squirrels so they do get treats from us as well... But the baffles would not work if you have the feeders too close to something such as a roof for jumping. A squirrel on the roof is not good as they will eventually get into the house by chewing a hole in the roof to the attic! arggg.... We cut down a tree the first time a squirrel got onto the roof from the tree. Hated to see the tree go but happy we don’t have squirrels in the attic!

This morning I saw fluff on the front steps so I went to the porch to check the fake snow under the trees. Most of it is gone, gone! I just replenished it last Wednesday. They will get the remainder of the bag I have then the trees will come down. It is starting to warm up here anyway. Time to put the wicker tables back on the porch…

Monday, January 28, 2008 11:04:00 AM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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