The Concrete Jungle (9.29.2021)

It’s September. There’s a hint of Fall in the mornings. (ast night I dragged out my faux-fur throw and put in on top of my bed. Toasty.) But by mid-day it’s warm again. We’ll be into the high 80’s later this week. Meanwhile, the Concrete Jungle is still lush and full of life.

We hung some new lights. It’s like a fairy land out there…and many of the flowers just POP!!!

Earlier this year I pledged to plant a bee-friendly, butterfly-friendly garden. I’m very happy to report that we have bees and other pollinators visiting every day – and have seen butterflies twice!!! (Little buggers are too fast for me to capture on film.) The Wildlife Mötel has also played host to a variety of other wildlife this year – much to Ramses’ delight!

Hope your little slice of (outdoor) heaven is just as inspiring!

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If You Hang It, They Will Come

The weather’s back to normal in Silicon Valley. We’ve had clear blue skies and temps in mid-70’s to 80’s, which is typical here for this time of year (and we’ve got a warming trend later in the week). Indian Summer.

Birds are particularly susceptible to particulates in the air, and now that the skies are smoke-free we are seeing their return – especially the smaller ones like finches and hummingbirds. One of our neighbors had a hummingbird feeder outside their front door but took it down some time ago. Not only are Hummers territorial, but they become accustomed to visitng a particular feeder regularly. If you put one up for these little guys, best do it with the intention of it becoming a fixture in your yard.

We figured it was up to us to establish a NEW Hummer Café. I prefer glass bottles to plastic because they’re easier to clean and won’t leach any nasty chemicals into the food. Amazon had a great selection, but I was sure we could find one nearby. The search was over when we found a really nice one at Lowers for $10. Love the shape and the little perches. The birds can “take a load off” while they slurp.

After giving the feeder a good rinse I got to work making Hummer Food:  One part sugar to four parts water. Boil for two minutes and let it come to room temperature before filling the feeder. (Any left-overs can be stored in the fridge.) Since the feeder itself is so colorful I didn’t add any red food coloring.

Once I filled it we hung the Hummer Café in the backyard (aka The Concrete Jungle). The colors just POP when the sun hits it. It’s beautiful.

Sitting in the living room (NFL Sunday) I wondered just how long it would take before we got our first customer. Answer:  less than 30 minutes.

Today we had the “battle of the Hummers”, with the first Hummer chasing away another. (Hey guys, there are THREE seats here. Plenty of room for all so belly up!)

P.S. The Hummer Café is also providing Ramses with plenty of “enrichment”. He sits at the back door chattering while the little buggers hover right in front of his face. LOL!

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A Room With A View (9.15.2020)

Now…back to our regularly-scheduled program…

Both Ramses and I love, love, LOVE the window in our bedroom. We get the best of all views in the entire house!

Waking up one morning, I looked out and discovered one tree whose limbs reminded me of a lovable bear (maybe a teddy bear complete with pom-pom nose) and a Leafy Seadragon:

When the wind is really blowing, the bear’s head bobbles up and down. His “mouth” even opens and closes. LOL.

I caught this guy (gal?) flying into a hole in the tree, then climbing right back out:

This same woodpecker drove Ramses NUTS when it decided to look for insects right outside the window!

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The squirrels also love to tease the cat. We’ve watched these tykes grow up right before our eyes!

Here’s wishing you nothing but beautiful views outside YOUR window(s) – xxoo

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June 24, 2020 ~ 3:00 AM

It was one of those nights. I had fallen asleep too early and woke-up around 1:30 this morning. Couldn’t get back to sleep so I turned on the light and read (The Best in the World by Chris Jericho). Ramses was slower to wake. We were both chillin’ in bed when he rushed to the open window. I knew something was afoot so I quietly tip-toed to his side and peered out the window.

Raccoons. Mother and at least four babies. They were milling around the doorsteps of the surrounding townhomes and rooting through the ivy. Ramses was entranced. I uttered a quiet “Psst” – which got the Mom’s attention. Her body language must have conveyed DANGER to her little ones because the next thing we knew all four babies had climbed up the tree outside the window (the one that serves as a critter highway and provides hours of entertainment as we observe squirrels and birds cavorting in its branches) and huddled together on one of its larger branches. Mom kept her eyes on us.

I thought about snapping a photo, but since I would’ve had to use the flash I was concerned I might wake the neighbor slumbering in the bedroom on the other side of the tree. Maybe next time.

After about five minutes I heard a growl-clicking sound. This odd noise most certainly came from Mama Raccoon because, one by one, her brood clambored backwards down the tree and all five disappeared into the ivy.

“You don’t ever want to mess with those critters,” I cautioned Ramses. Indeed.

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