Blue Jays

Blue jays are colorful and majestic, but also raucous. You always know when there are blue jays around. What I didn’t know is that one of those calls mimics a hawk. They do this to warn other birds that there … Continue reading


Throughout my life I generally haven’t been a fan of bugs. I don’t dislike them. I have just never been all that interested in them. However, a series of events over the past few months have led me to become … Continue reading

Sweat Like a Pig

The idiom “sweat like a pig” has been around for a long time. But, as it turns out, pigs don’t sweat. In fact, very few animals do sweat like people do. Other animals that sweat include, not surprisingly, primates, but … Continue reading

Surviving the Cold

As we endure a week of unusually cold weather, below zero for days at a time, I find myself wondering how the animals survive. The yard has been very quiet. Animals have several strategies to survive the cold. One is … Continue reading

European Starlings

There are people out there who are not big fans of starlings because they tend to travel in large flocks and they are raucous. I happen to love them. I especially love them in winter when much of the world … Continue reading


The latest addition to our backyard wildlife is a rat. We’ve only seen one, but we also know if there’s one, there are surely others. My first reaction was revulsion. That thought was immediately followed with the question, why do … Continue reading

Animal Gift Giving

In the spirit of the holiday season, I found myself thinking about the fact that humans aren’t the only animals who give gifts. While animals don’t celebrate holidays or birthday, there are several species that do offer presents to others, … Continue reading


Over the past couple of years I have been fortunate enough to see several bobcats come through our yard. The latest was a week or so ago. It was the smallest one I’ve seen, not much bigger than a house … Continue reading


‘Tis the season of bright lights, jingle bells, and perhaps mistletoe. And should one find themselves standing beneath a sprig of mistletoe with someone else, tradition holds that they should kiss, lest bad luck befall them. That tradition may be … Continue reading

Downy Woodpecker

As I did fall clean up recently, I heard the unmistakable peck, peck, peck of a woodpecker. It took some time, but finally I found the source: a female downy woodpecker on the trunk of a ponderosa pine. There are … Continue reading