It would appear that we have a preoccupation with deer at the
moment, but how not, when four very healthy looking
individuals appear in the garden as you are making a morning coffee. We usually see three, but occasionally this handsome male joins them. Despite being a bit smaller than the largest female, his
growing antlers give him added stature, and there is no doubt about who is boss.
We can’t be certain if it’s because they are hungry due to the snow, but they have become so used to Aurora filming them that opening windows and doors no longer bothers them, and they come right down onto the decking to pose for her.
While we watch them, we can hear a green woodpecker calling with it’s characteristic whooping, almost yodeling call – he’s loud and probably trying to get a mate at this time. We saw him several times last year. They like ants and he would come to feed at the base of our sycamore where there is a whole colony of them.
We always have regular visits from the more common woodpeckers (Flaggspett in Norwegian)- they like the peanut feeder, and are also expert at lifting of the lid of the glass jar we put sunflower seeds in for the squirrels. When they have young – usually a couple of chicks, there is a lot of activity with Mum and Dad flying back and forth to the nest. When the youngsters are old enough, they fly up from the valley and hang around the feeder, waiting for mouthfuls from their hard working parents.
Finally, we are interested to know if any of you have had visits from a green woodpecker, perhaps to your feeding station, never happened for us yet.
It had gone 22.30, and I remarked to Aurora that I hadn’t seen the deer today. It’s pretty dark outside, but because of the snow and the soft glow of houselights, it’s possible to see the trees and bushes in the garden. I put my head close to the window, and to my surprise I was just able to make out a young female. She had come down to feed on some of our rock plants – her white rear easily giving her away.
We have a lamp in the garden, so we switched it on in the hope she wouldn’t run off – and incredibly, she didn’t. Aurora quietly pushed open the kitchen window, and got the camera ready. I just happened to have an apple which I cut into 4. After carefully opening the kitchen door, I threw them up to her, one after the other. She didn’t even flinch, but dug around in the snow until she found them… and boy did she enjoy them!
We couldn’t believe it when Aurora’s flash went off and she hardly reacted at all – finding the apple was obviously far more important. The resulting photos are below – fun to see her. We know the deer visit most nights, but usually it’s only because we see their tracks in the snow the morning after.
The snow is back and still falling. That brings our three hungry Bambi’s up from the valley to scrape after a bite to eat. They are a
little tamer than before, and hang about to see if I throw them
something tasty. Being a bit soft, and giving into those big brown eyed stares , they got what they wanted in the form of a few carrots (the cut price ones I hasten to add).
After a minute or two, they wander into the garden, and you can see them smelling their way to where they dropped into the snow.
Aurora is now able to open the window without frightening them, and we can hear the crunching of carrots as they dig them out one by one. Even though they are obviously good pals or family, when it comes to food there are no friends and it’s the first to find them that stakes their claim. The others get a head butt in the belly if they fancy their chances of joining in.
Just another day with some magical moments, and the chance to
reflect upon how lucky we are. We get angry here when others in the area want to thin out this belt of trees – cutting down wonderful old pines in order to get a view. These trees give us some colour and shelter in winter, and provide homes and food for squirrels and birds alike. Already in some areas, there are only the leafless branches of the birches left, and houses that were once hidden now come into view in winter.
An hour or so after the deer wandered off we hear on the UK news channel that Paraguay has logged all but 7% of their forests. In the Chaco region reports say 14 million trees were felled in one month – the fastest deforestation in the world. The ranchers and bulldozers are threatening the very existence of the native Ayoreo tribe not to mention some of the most diverse wildlife in the world – soon there is nowhere to hide.
So there we were outside, getting ready for a gin and tonic on a
sunnier Autumn day, when this leggy Spider took a fancy to our lemon – and then it seems took an even bigger fancy to this other smaller, and rather foolish visitor. As Aurora started snapping, I was immediately reminded of the famous poem by Mary Howitt (1929)
“Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly, ‘Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy; The way into my parlour is up a winding stair, And I’ve a many curious things to show when you are there.”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain, For who goes up your winding stair -can ne’er come down again.”
It is of course a cute little tale to warn against people who use
flattery and charm to hide their real intentions.
Mary Howitt was born in Gloucestershire UK in 1799 and wrote about 180 books in her lifetime. The more common interpretation “Come into my parlour, said the Spider to the Fly,” has famously been adapted in music, film and tv .
Funnily enough, she taught herself to speak Swedish and Danish and translated many of Hans Christian Anderson’s tales.
Oh! And bye the way, no creatures got DRUNK, HARMED or EATEN during filming 🙂
We had some cold and icy nights, but wonderful things reveal
themselves when you decide to take a really close look.
The snow is back for a few days, and that means we’ll get some visits from Romeo here, who even at his young age, likes to keep the girls in place.
And this of course is Juliet – posing for the camera.
This cheeky fella has a sly smile on his face – probably because he found a sneaky way to get under our decking and get a bit of shelter. It’s a photo from last year, and so far we have had one visit at
Christmas, but I’m sure there will be more.
There are 2 badger sets we have heard of in the area, and we have had three badgers in the garden together at one time – they love looking for peanuts dropped from the bird feeder!
I had a magical experience last year when I was sat on the steps at the back door to the garden. A cat appeared, and was suddenly joined by a badger, and a staring match went on in the middle of the decking. A minute later I hear a really loud clop of hoofs that got my adrenaline going for a second. A large deer came up the side steps, and stopped beside the other two. I sat dead still, and watched them suss each other out. A moment later the cat arched it’s back and hissed loudly, and that was it – the deer shot off into the woods, and the badger scurried under the decking.
In case your wondering – that’s me they are talking about!
Sometimes watching the wildlife in the garden beats TV anytime!
We got worried when these very cute visitors suddenly disappeared in late autumn.We like cats, but they just love lying in ambush, so we feared the worst. We’ve seen them take birds, snakes and squirrels. On one occasion we managed to rush out the door and got a Norsk Skogkatt to drop a squirrel it had in it’s mouth. Happy ending – she appeared at the peanuts the next day!
The red-breasted Bullfinch was taking advantage of a bit of sunshine even though he looks like he was freezing his a#% off!
Wonderful photo of a Nuthatch – hard to believe it’s actually related to the Woodpecker.