Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Listening to nature

I've become inured to some of the sounds of our wildlife. The jays with their brash braying, often when they've become used to feasting at the feeder and its empty - fill the damn thing you lazy human! Sometimes they are complaining about the squirrel invading their hazelnut territory and there's some mutual chittering back at them.

The woodpeckers with their call to each other, we have a family of them living in the hazelnut orchard behind us. In the spring the young will try out the area just above the gutters on the roof to see if they can build their next home nearby. Tap, tap, tap.

I think the mourning doves have increased in population but since I can never get them to visit all at once I'm not sure. I like their cooing they do. Cooo, cooo, cooo.

We've had young hawks in the area trying to hunt the doves but they are rare and those noisy jays help dissuade them from lingering for long.

Since we've moved the computers away from the back of the house, mine does sit next to a window and I hear some of the birds with it open, I don't see the robins and the nuthatches or chickadees unless I stand at the kitchen window and look out. I had noticed that this morning that I was hearing a repetitive call from someone but it wasn't truly sinking into my early morning mind (I'm not a morning person people!). Brandon and William had already left and Nessa hadn't yet started her 'fish tv' and I was going to start counting the wraps on my swift for the Embarrassment of Riches yarn. I startled a Blue Heron out of the backyard, it was actually a mutual startling.

It of course had also started sprinkling and I'm still in night clothes but there I am pushing aside plants to try and find/count our fish. Luckily they were smart and keeping under cover of the plants or in the case of the smaller ones shoving themselves under the bio-filter. I think I'll finally get that brick house for them that I've been asking Brandon to put in since that's one of the suggestions I've found this morning.

I think we'll be making/purchasing a 'deer chaser' (Japanese version is Shishi-Odoshi) to our pond. We do have an extra pond pump so that won't be a problem. I get to do research locating one in the area.

Apparently heron's are pretty smart. You can't get a decoy and plop it next to your pond and be safe. If you try it you have to move it around. There's the 'scarecrow' method which really isn't a scarecrow but a motion detecting (yeah right with dogs this would be smart) system that then makes a loud noise and sprays water in a 90 degree arc. Mary, the nice lady we got our gold fish from had this netting system over her pond. Not terribly attractive in our opinion and truthfully I had wondered about it. The neighbors were asking about raccoons and we haven't seen those in the years since we've had the fence up and the dogs. Throw in a dog door that allows easy access to the backyard and the dogs hear anything out of the ordinary (yes, they failed this morning with the heron) and they're taking up the 'charge!' to go bark the snot out of anything stupid enough to cross the barrier. No, I can't help if there are suicidal squirrels or cats, though both species seem to have an impressive ability to go vertical when needed.

So the moral of this story is to listen when nature is trying to smack you upside of the head with a wake up call.

ETA: Brandon got home and put a brick they had found last night in the pond and we did a tail count and only found 5. One of the orange fish is gone. It was one of the one's with a white tail, darn it.

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