May 17, 2010

Wild Kingdom 2010

We had some much coveted sunshine this weekend and had a chance to enjoy it on Saturday. Our perennial garden is up and thriving, including the volunteer ground cover that showed up out of nowhere last year. It's funny how we're surprised every year when plants come back to life. We go around from one seemingly dead mound of stubble to the next and exclaim - "Oh look the such-and-such is coming up!!" And the truth is that we don't remember a lot of what's planted out there, so we really are surprised! I suppose we should be more organized and have a map of the plants, but our haphazard way is a a lot of fun!

We spent just a little time in our minimally planted garden. A little weeding and also opening up the water walls around the tomatoes since they've been shooting up like crazy. Our volunteer lettuce patch is still thriving. It's been raining so much that things back there were pretty soggy and it inspired an idea for a blog name - The Muddy Gardener. I don't know if anyone has used that yet, I didn't search Google, but I like it!

In past years, I've written about the wildlife that lives around our house and the strange, unexpected things they do - Living in the Wild Kingdom and Still Living in the Wild Kingdom.This year is proving to be no different!

This very sweet gold finch has been attempting to get into our house for a number of days now! It comes to any one of our main floor windows, or our back patio door, and flutters in front of it and taps very gently before flying away again. He will move just a little ways away from the window, sit and think a while and then try again - it's just fascinating. It could be that there are tiny little bugs on the window that it's enjoying, but we don't really know. Our cat loves birdwatching, and she has nearly turned herself inside out a few times when the goldfinch has been tap, tap, tapping right in front of her nose!

Another bird event occurred over this weekend when a hummingbird made it's way into our garage and couldn't figure out how to make it's way back out. It kept bouncing off the ceiling since it's tendency was to go up, and not down. It was so pitiful to watch it getting more and more worn out and it made such a sad little squeaking noise!
These pictures are rather pitiful quality, but you know how fast a hummingbird's movements can be, plus the fact that while I was trying to snap a photo, my DH and I were "debating" about how to help it get out, or whether or not it needed to be left alone to calm down and figure it out! DH came up with the idea of using a large lawn rake to guide the bird out and unbelievably, the poor little thing eventually landed on the rake and my husband gently carried it out of the garage and into the open! It was amazing to see. Afterward, we realized that the big rake is red, and likely played a part in the hummingbird's attraction to it - cool huh?!

Other wild events - the geese that have been hanging around our property and pond are getting more and more territorial. This Mr. Goose read me the riot act when I had the audacity to go out on my front porch and water the potted flowers! Of course I then realized that his Mrs. was perched up on the corner of the porch roof, so he was just doing his job!

How about this wild animal in the Iowa landscape? Yes indeed it's a llama at the top of the hill behind us! Our neighboring farmer has quite a menagerie which includes horses, cows, white ducks, donkeys, sheep, and now llamas. Maybe they're planning a petting zoo?

The last and most amazing sight seen in our wild kingdom this spring, happened while our daughter was still home, and I'm happy that I had a witness to this one! We have a couple of barn cats that hang around our pond, and they particularly like to lay in the tall grass and hunt. One day last week, I happened to look up at movement in our front yard and saw a lone deer ripping across our lawn. DD and I watched it round the house and head toward the pond. It flew into the long grass (the scene of the crime is highlighted on the left!) and just as the deer landed, one of the barn cats leapt into the air, right at the spot where the deer's back legs touched down! It was shocking! Even the deer stopped at a nearby tree to look back, as if it was wondering what had just happened! We didn't know if the cat was smashed or not, and we were afraid to go look. I'm happy to report that we have seen the cat since then and there's no sign of even a little limp - those barn cats are tough!

There has been one other slithering sighting of a wild animal around here, but I'm not talking about it!


  1. Thanks for sharing. These are amazing animals. Btw, keeping your dad and your family in prayers.

  2. Thank you, we truly appreciate it.