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Monday Mischief: Big Tree – Background To My Life

Lulu under Big Tree

(Original post from Feb. 27, 2012 with updates)

The dominating feature on one side of our back yard is a big maple tree. I call it ‘Big Tree.’ Last year we lost a companion big maple tree on the side yard (lightning hit and then bugs ate it from the inside). It used to mingle its leaves with Big Tree but now we only have the canopy of ‘Big Tree’ to shelter that area in summer. And of course, we have the pines, but, those are different.

Sofie under Big tree

The Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy,  Northern Flicker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Cooper’s Hawk and all the yard birds love that tree. We keep the suet there (you can see in the picture), especially for the peckers. The feeders are in more protected areas because of the osprey and hawks. Every dog likes to lie and play around Big Tree and so did the children. We had a safety cable put in it several years ago to keep it from falling onto the house in a big storm. I did not realize until I went to look for pictures, how much Big Tree has been the background for our lives in this house. We actually bought this house because we felt like we are in a treehouse when looking out the living room window. The kid’s swing-set/treehouse used to live under it (now long gone donated to some deserving other kids). There used to be grass in that area but now there is only sand. The gardens have changed and paths have worn, but Big Tree still is there for us.

Squash & Lulu under Big Tree January 2011

My stepdaughter, K8, is an amazing photographer, and I thank her for the close-up shots of the hawk, spider, and yard birds.  We are blessed with this amazing gathering of birds all year long. We have our common friends: Carolina Chickadees, American Goldfinch, House Finch, Carolina Wrens, Song Sparrow, White-breasted Nuthatch, Tufted Titmouse, Dark-eyed Junco, European Starling, Brown-headed Cowbird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, Blue Jay, Mourning Dove, American Crow & Raven, and Northern Cardinal. Oh yes, and our occasional: Baltimore Oriole, Eastern Bluebird, Barred Owl.  We also have the ducks that lie under the tree: Teal, Mallard, American Black Duck, American Wigeon.

A spider on the window overlooking Big Tree

The water birds tend to visit but don’t stay long (except the ducks). The Osprey live less than a 1,000 feet away but don’t seem to land on the tree, they circle and watch the action always making their high-pitched squawk as they fly overhead.

Hawk in Big Tree

Locals in Big Tree

Trees are an amazing part of the landscape and really form the background of our lives. If you stay in one place for a certain amount of time or visit the same spot year after year, you get to know the trees. Over the years we have lost many trees to their age, and the bugs, and the weather. We had this incredible Tortured Willow that was half dead when we moved in and we nursed that beauty for several years before I was willing to let her go. When you lose a tree, so many things change; the garden pattern, the landscape flow, the shadows, and the sun. The environment changes all around you minute by minute. About 5 years ago (now 12), the people across the street took out over 40 large pines so they could build a second driveway and a shed (that I now have to look out my office window every day at, instead of the wonderful natural forest I loved). All the squirrels and rabbits had to find other homes (of course in my yard). I wish people would stop cutting away the landscape and start caring more what happens when they get rid of all the natural cover just so they could park an extra car. Hey, I just thought about the fact that maybe that is why the wind and runoff pattern has eroded my property around Big Tree much more in the last few years. I think I am going to call a tree expert to make sure the Big Tree is OK.  I want it to be here for a really long time if possible because it is the background to my life.

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 21, 2019 in Animals, Dogs

 

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Monday Mischief: Harold and Maude Return

Every year Harold and Maude, or their children or grandchildren, have come back to nest in the front yard. Ducks do that. The experts at Ducks Unlimited say that ducks “imprint information about their home breeding and wintering areas and use navigational cues to return to them. Adult female ducks often return to former breeding sites.”

We have been blessed for the last 16 year’s as we have watched Harolds and Maudes waddle around the grounds, swim in the pool, and ultimately waddle their ducklings down to the river.

Luckily the ducks are in the front yard. The dogs would love to chase them, and do roust them if they fly into the back or worse in the pool, but the front is leash only territory so the duckies are ‘kind of’ safe. They must feel at home since they keep coming back.

What kind of mischief did you get into today?

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
8 Comments

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Birds

 

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Monday Mischief: Swimming Lessons

Swimming Lessons

The first days of SUMMER and every family was busy teaching their youngsters to swim. There was a paddling of very little ducklings and also a raft of adolescent ducks on the creek and several gaggles of geese on the river.

We want to help them swim.

Mom says no!

We say “No fair!!!”

It’s summer and we want to splash.

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mondaybloghop

This is a blog hop. I hopped it from MYBrownNewfies. Check them out for more mischief.

 

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
7 Comments

Posted by on June 20, 2016 in Birds, Dogs

 

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Wordless Wednesday: Another Rescue

Ducklings in the pool; they were to little to get out.

Ducklings in the pool – too small to get to the ledge.

Getting the ducklings out of the pool

Human intervention

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wordless-wednesday-badge1

This is a Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop. Thanks to BlogPaws for the hop. Head over there and see what they are blogging about.

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
22 Comments

Posted by on July 8, 2015 in Birds

 

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DogDaz Zoo: Koi-ing a Duck

Source:

This picture makes me feel simultaneously peaceful and anxious.  I love the calm swimming of the duck (or is it a black swan) on the pond, but then all those Koi make me anxious because they are so crammed in and they look hungry.  How does it make you feel? – DogDaz

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2015 in Birds, Fish

 

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Black and White Sunday: First Float Redux

Reprising a picture I took in May 2013 as the baby ducklings made their way for an inaugural swim from under the dock.

Have a great black and white Sunday! And a fun Memorial Day Weekend in the USA.

nolasugar_bwbadge_pm

This is part of the Black and White Sunday Blog Hop. Thanks to Dachshund Nola and Sugar for hosting.

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 24, 2015 in Birds

 

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DogDaz Zoo: Cartoon Quackers

Source: not-more-moths

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2013 in Animals, Birds

 

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