Monday, March 23, 2009

WHAT HAPPENED TO MY LAWN!


The slightly warmer afternoon drew me outside to do a spring walkabout in my front and back yard, to assess the ravages of winter. There were the usual twigs and branches, a few matted feathers left over from a Sharp-shinned Hawk’s catch, a good deal of bunny poop, and…dozens of small freshly-dug pits all over the lawn! It looks like a Lilliput battlefield that had been bombed with tiny artillery shells. The mystery really had me going for a while, until I happened to catch the culprit in the act – one of the many squirrels in the ‘hood, busily burying the mini peeled carrots I put out for the bunnies. She nibbled a bit of carrot, and then, with her back towards me, hunched over and elbows flying, she dug into the damp earth and plopped the rest of the carrot down in the ground, and covered it for safekeeping. The problem is, I can see many open holes with no carrot in them. She’s either very fussy about her storage, or is a compulsive digger!

Later on, I saw a Blue Jay on the lawn trying to get his beak around a large in-shell peanut. I buy bags of mixed seeds that have shelled peanuts in them, and occasionally one in the shell shows up.
The Jay must have been in the right place at the right time. No squirrel was around when the Jay was trying to make off with his prize, or it might have been an interesting showdown! I’m going to keep the niger feeder filled all spring in hopes of attracting some Indigo Buntings this year. I should be able to get some photos if the lilac leaves aren’t too far along when the Buntings show up. Meanwhile, the House Finches and Goldfinches are getting holding the fort.

18 comments:

starbender said...

Your birds are beautiful.

Stop by & say 'hi'
http://wackocrazy.blogspot.com/

(¯`v´¯)
`*.¸.*´Think Spring!
~☼♥ Starbender ♥☼~

Annie said...

I'm totally charmed by your yard stories. I look forward to more.

Lin said...

good to know you aren't covered with snow like some locales and that the squirrels and birds are eating well. I'd even visit for some peanuts in the shell. LOL!

Squirrel said...

Birds! Great Pics--after two glorious days out and about from dawn til dusk, it turned cold --that brittle sunny cold type of day. Still we went out and about, but only for a few hours. Spring started out quite lamb-like, we'll see where it goes.

My lawn is filled with bald patches too. Much of it will be an herb garden, though, when the time comes.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

We have holes in our yard from both squirrels and chipmunks. They drive me crazy digging in our flowerbeds.

Our bluejays aren't back yet--but I'm sure they will be. Last Summer--they chased the squirrels --so I want them to come back and do it again. ha ha

Welcome to spring!!!
Hugs,
Betsy

Sylvia K said...

I always love your stories about your yard, the critter, the birds! I feel like I have been there and I love it! I can just see that little squirrel burying those precious bites of carrot! Thanks as always, Deborah, for a lovely, fun post!

Dee said...

Sounds like a bugs bunny cartoon- the lawn with tiny carrots buried all over.
Loved hearing about the birds and it is great you are able to get out and see Spring arriving!

Kallen305 said...

It sounds as if the evidence of spring is all over your yard now!

mom/caryn said...

How fun is this?? Your yard is like a mini Discovery Channel. This is going to be a great site to follow when the good weather moves in to stay for a few months...

Shellmo said...

The squirrels have been digging mines in my yard too! That's nice that you get some bunny visitors!

Quiet Paths said...

I had no idea that squirrels did that much digging! Who woulda' thunk! You tell it wonderfully - what a riot. I am smiling. My brother said he actually was able to toe up to a couple of squirrels in the yard having a show-down about something last week. They didn't even know he was there until the foot came down right next to them. Scram, they were gone!

hitch writer said...

what lovely coloured birds !

magiceye said...

you sure have a very interesting and lively lawn!

Squirrel said...

Re: The Elk head on The Hudson river--sculpted by Tiffany's for Bear Mountain--Elks were introduced to the State Park many years ago, but died out. (I have no idea why they were introduced--!)

Dianne said...

that top shot is so cool - I love how blue the bird is :)

Poetikat said...

I loved that, "elbows flying"! We have the same problem with the holes here. It's funny, in the snowdrifts, they tuck their prizes away and I'm sure if they do find them again, it's mere happenstance.

I see my new friend "Tilty" is on the porch. I leans severely to the left - has even used the bottom of the rail for a prop, giving him a casual devil-may-care appearance, until he moves away and nearly topples. I hope it's a physical repairable injury and not some sad brain aberration or I fear he won't last the season. He is so sweet.

Kat

Rose said...

Just thought I would throw in a little item here--skunks dig little round holes when hunting for food. Not even sure what they eat...I assume bugs and larvae. I just know I came across little round holes when I was a kid and my mom said that it was a skunk looking for food.

Ruth said...

Our squirrels dug up my spring bulbs, but it is our dear dog who has made our backyard look like a lunar landscape. I noticed a lot of rabbit droppings in the garden too.