Southern Snowstorm

December 9, 2009

We don’t get a lot of snow here in the southeast, but Saturday morning when we got up, there was a dusting of snow on the ground.  So here are the promised snow pictures!  Those of you in the deep south, eat your heart out, we actually saw snow!

Those of you further north, try not to laugh at the piddling little bit of white stuff we call a snow storm!

Looking out in the backyard, I saw. . .

Snow and poultry in the backyard.

. . . a little snow, a lot of poultry, and one dog carrying around a HUGE stick!

The bottom pasture was dusted with white, instead of the usual all drab brown.

Bottom pasture dusted with snow.

From there Toby and I headed for the woods.  Of course, it too had a bit of snow on the ground, and blown against the tree trunks.

A dusting of snow in the woods.

We always check out the creek when we take a walk in the woods.

Creek with snowy banks.

My other “dog” followed Toby and I into the woods.  He likes to rub up against every twig and tree.

Our cat, Spot, out in the snow.

The real dog, Toby, would rather hike his leg and pee on every twig and tree, but I spared you a picture of that, ha, ha!

The creek floods frequently, and the banks are eroded, so the exposed tree roots held a drift of snow on them.

Snowy Exposed Tree Roots By Creek.

Even the slues looked pretty with snowy banks.

Snowy slough and banks.

By the way, I don’t know if I ever called these little areas of backwater a slue until I met The Farmer.  I thought it was just an “Okie-ism”, but he has it right:

Slue: a place of deep mud or mire (also slew or slough ˈslü)

  1. swamp
  2. an inlet on a river; also : backwater
  3. a creek in a marsh or tide flat

Toby crosses these slues wherever it suits him, sometimes at a narrow place, sometimes through deep water. 

Toby, our American Farm Collie, crossing a snowy slue.

He loves splashing through water wherever he finds it.

The other “dog” that follows me around, however, is not so keen on the water.  He sits on one side of the bank and watches Toby wander.

Spot refuses to cross the water.
“I can’t believe he waded through that freezing cold water!”

In fact, Spot just isn’t any too keen on walking through that frozen stuff called snow.

Spot shaking snow off paw.

He makes faces and shakes his paws frequently.

I’m afraid Toby laughs at Spot’s squeamishness over snow and water and all things wet.

Spot and Toby the Farm Collie by one of the slues in the woods.
“What a wuss! If you want to be a dog, you’ve got to like water!”

Then Toby proceeded to show off a little and went through the water in the slue again.

Toby the farm collie in the middle of a slue of water!
“See? IN the water, you’ve got to get IN the water!”

But Spot wasn’t buying it.  He promptly sat down in some leaves and declared he was NOT going in that water!

Spot sitting in the snowy woods.
“Can he talk to me like that?  I am NOT going in that water!”

By then I figured it was time to head back towards the house.  In the front yard, the holly looked pretty with a little snowy white alongside the green leaves and red berries.

Holly and snow.


Holly, snow and sunshine!

But it was warming up some, and the snow wasn’t going to last much longer.

Holly with ice drop.

It was forming little ice drops on the tips of some of the leaves.

However, in the shade, the camellia bush still had snowy blossoms.

Camellia 'Winter Star' with snowy blossom.

And since the Camellia ‘Winter Star’ bush is in the flower bed by the front door, I was ready to go back inside and end my picture taking for the day.

Life’s Gonna Be A Beach

September 14, 2009

At least for the next week.

Yes, it’s true.  We’re headed to Panama City Beach, Florida.  It’s after midnight now, so I guess later this morning!  (Monday)

Most of our vacations are tied to visiting family.  This one isn’t.   Getting to see family is nice, but I’m also looking forward to this time of just me and The Farmer goofing off at the beach.

We can sightsee, walk the beaches, take pictures, and if we get tired, take a little catnap!

Cat in small barrel.

Hopefully the weather will be nice and we’ll have a fun week with no problems!

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!

May 14, 2009

Seems like a lot of the critters around here like to hide. 

Our parrot loves to hide under the couch and behind the curtains.

Parrot peeping out from behind curtains.

If she can hurry into the kitchen and get in a cupboard before I close the door, that’s one of her favorite hiding places.

Parrot in Cupboard.

She gets in all kinds of hidey holes: under desks, in the pantry, in boxes… just any place she can find.

But many of the outside critters like to hide too.  For instance, can you guess what’s hiding in this can out in our feed room?

Can in feed room.

Did you guess a mouse?  Naw, come on now, that’s too obvious.  And it’s not a snake either, though it’s happened before and I’ve reached in and grabbed one by accident.  (Trust me, I wouldn’t grab it on purpose!)

Well, think about it while I show you some other animals in hiding.

Our cat likes to hide under shrubs or other flowering plants.  Here he is hiding in one of my flowerbeds under some hostas.

Spot under hostas.

Toby would like to know what the cat is doing in there.

Toby looking for the cat.

However, the cat is unconcerned with what Toby wants to know and ignores him.

Cat looking out from under hostas.

He continues to peer out from under the hostas totally oblivious to what the dog is doing.

Sometimes animals can hide in plain sight.  You know, blending in with the surroundings, a sort of camouflage kind of thing.  Just look at this picture:

Rabbit among the hens.

Maybe this rabbit figures if it grazes with the chickens, the dogs won’t notice it’s there and chase after it.  Frankly, the rabbits around here seem to think this a safe haven anyway, and don’t get too excited when we’re out walking around.

Of course, little chicks like to hide under the Mama Hen.

Chicks under hen.

You can only see one little derriere still sticking out, but there are 5 little chicks under the hen.  Here they are before Mama settled down so they could scoot under her.

Hen with 5 chicks.

My favorite hen, Peepers, has a little chick peeping out from under her too.

Peepers chick peeps out from under her.

She had 4 little chicks last year, but for some reason, only came out from under the shed (her nesting place) with one this year.

The adult hens like to hide under The Farmer’s utility trailer.

Hens under utility trailer.

 Toby occasionally likes to hide out under the back porch.  The goats hide behind the llamas at night.  There are even little Southeastern Five-Lined Skinks with their bright blue tails hiding in the crevices of the retaining walls around the rosebed.  Critters are hiding all over the place!

Oh, and as for what was hiding in the can. 

Rooster in can of corn.

Did you guess it was a rooster?  He jumped in there while I was getting feed, and managed to knock the lid back over top of him on his way in.  When I took the lid off, he was contentedly munching up on all the cracked corn.

You just never know what you might find hiding around here… so come out, come out, wherever you are!

In The Catbird Seat

March 14, 2009

cat·bird (kat′bʉrd′) A slate-gray North American passerine bird (Dumetella carolinensis) with a black crown and tail: it makes a mewing sound like that of a cat  Catbirds have the habit of finding very high places to sing their songs.  Therefore, a human “catbird” is somebody in a prominent, showy position. 

catbird seat an enviable position, as of power. Popularized by sportscaster Red Barber, it first appeared in print in a 1942 short story by James Thurber.

The feathered creature is a handsome bird.  And I’ve known a lot of human catbirds.  But we have a different sort of catbird around here.  Ours is mostly white, with a slate gray tail and spots. 

Like the feathered catbird, it makes a mewing sound.  Our special variety also makes it a habit of finding very high places, and likes being in a prominent, showy position.

It’s just that sometimes, those prominent positions are a little strange, but in this case, totally apropos for a catbird in the catbird seat…

Catbird Spot

Yes, one morning when I came back in from doing chores, on the back porch I found our catbird, Spot, in a birdcage that I use as a travel cage for the parrot and for orphan chicks.

Technically, as you can see on the label, this birdcage is meant to house medium birds. 

Catbird Spot in birdcage.

I think perhaps our catbird may be a little large for this particular cage, but he seems to like an occasional snug fit, and doesn’t mind being in jail as long as the door is open.

And from this look, I’m guessing he’s saying…

You got a problem with that?
“You got a problem with that?”

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