Tuesday, December 14, 2010

V is for....

...VARMINTS in my backyard...
I have a love hate relationship with these creatures.  I truly love all birds and furry animals, but these you see here give me a headache because they eat all my bird seed for which I pay about $35 a month.

 Wood rats that live in the palm trees and ivy.

Ground squirrels that go to great length to get at the bird seed.  I don't think these are quite the same as ground hogs.  They live under our deck. 

Caught in the act! 

 Looking for more!

 Rabbits that eat all my young plants.  They play out in the circle without any fear.

Raven or crow.  This one made a particular nuisance of himself a year or so ago.  I almost wondered if he had been tamed.  He certainly showed no fear of me. 

The Coopers Hawks who feed on the little birds, especially the gold finches, around my feeder. 

Yes, I even consider the Mourning Dove a varmint.  Although he is quite pretty to look at and has  a soothing call, yet he scoffs the birds seed as fast as he can go and will eat what would last the little birds a day, in a half an hour or so. 

And this is Henrietta, whom I loved, yet she is considered a varmint because she really belonged to the children next door but chose to make her home with us for 10 months, not only eating the bird seed but scratching dirt all over the patio.  Ask my husband if she was a varmint.  He had to sweep the patio!

Oppossum -- haven't had one of these for a while.  We threw mothballs all over the yard to get rid of them and it worked!  Our indoor/outdoor cat at the time, who didn't have a mean bone in his body, would prance along behind them, inviting them to play!  They have nasty teeth and claws.  Photo courtesy of Google.

And this is my last.  I have only seen one or two raccoons in our back yard.  This drawing is based on a photo by Abe Lincoln which I did for Wanda's art challenge.

  That brings me to my next blog topic:  My Artwork Done on our Cruise. I hope to post these tomorrow.



MorningAJ said...

Awwww..... some of those varmints are lovely cute furry litle things and I guess I'd just end up putting out more food! (I'm a soft touch for that kind of thing!)

snafu said...

You do have a lot of visitors.
Apart from the inevitable grey squirrel we have had foxes and rats and a cat that thought we were providing him with an easy lunch, but we uusally manage to keep the predators out of our garden.
Great pictures as usual.

Rune Eide said...

You do have quite a zoo around your house :-) never a quiet moment, but on the other hand - lots of subjects for photography and sketching!

jabblog said...

Love your sequence of photos. The little squirrels that live under your deck are so pretty.
We don't have as great a variety of visitors as you but I'm always pleased to see them. I'm sure our wild bird food bill would be smaller without them - but it's the circle of life :-)

Anonymous said...

Your ground squirrels are definitely NOT groundhogs - they are HUGE!!!

??? said...

Great photos of all those critters. The squirrels are beautiful little guys.
I have two Common Wood Pigeons that come to my feeder and have been digging in my flower boxes in the spring. They are like vacuum cleaners. But I still like them.

mrsnesbitt said...

Loved this Chris - I would love a secret video of the goings on in our garden when we aren't about! The paw prints always intrigue me.
Thanks so much
Denise x

Wanda said...

Yes, you could call then varmints, the good, the bad and the ugly!!! haha

Loved seeing all your little critters. The squirrel's love to tip over my bird feeder... I too spend quite a bit each month to feed my birds. But I do love watching them.

Anxious to post your new artwork on the Art Blog.

photowannabe said...

Lots of varmints and visitors in your yard.
They are one reason I stopped putting birdseed out at our other house. It drew the rats and critters I didn't want around. Great pictures Chris.

Roger Owen Green said...

yeah, they can be real pests. fortunately not currently a problem, except the squirrels.
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Tumblewords: said...

Wow - you DO have a vertiable jungle there! A lot of very wild varmints.

Jose said...

Ow wow, love this post. You have your own personal zoo in your backyard. Love, love, love your drawings.

Morning's Minion said...

I think your ground squirrels are the same critters we came to know in Wyoming as "chiselers." I suppose one could find a degree of appreciation in watching most of these little animals--as long as they aren't being destructive and invasive--a very big "if."

sandy said...

Chris I had the same problem. We would spend a lot of money on food and had a variety of different seeds we would put out over the whole acre we have. My joy was sitting and photographing them.

Then the varmits came - same ones you have and the ground squirrels starting burrowing into the ground as the gophers were burrowing out. What a mess. Holes all over the areas we have grass. We are trying to sell the house so I had to stop feeding the birds.

I really miss them.

Next place we move hopefully I can feed them again.