Saturday, July 30, 2016

Baby Bunnies on the Move

As of yesterday evening, babies were on the move. I could hear the mama and assumed she was in the nest but she was actually just outside it with them all upside down underneath her.

She is now always present too, although I don't always see her right away.

Meanwhile they are all over the place. I am guessing it will be another week before I mow. When they catch me looking at them some of them will charge for the nest and then I hear them all chattering.

Unfortunately for all of us I was up at midnight due to the heat, but I did also take that opportunity to send the owl packing again. She didn't go very far but as near I as I can tell, no casualties last night.

The bolder ones will prop up and stare at me.

Right now I want them to stay in the dog yard as they have more of a fighting chance in there, but bunnies will do what bunnies want. :)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Baby Bunny Watch

Happy Friday! Today is going to be a hot one out here. My gardening may be lack luster this year, but the begonias my friend gave me have been out of control. I had actually sworn off this flower, but for the last 2 years the ones I have received as gifts have done amazing.

The baby bunnies seem to be doing great. They have been very hard to photograph between their size, location, and the mama's nightly rearranging of the nest. Last night I was able to fully count 6 of them.

Today I am starting to get clear photos.

I desperately wanted to work in the outside office today before the heat came in, so I had to great creative and get them sectioned off so Nim could be out there too. The only reason this works is because they aren't leaving the nest yet - which I think is very close to happening.

Why yes. The nest is right against the house. :| At night when the mama comes back I can look at my window and watch her. Since it has been hot out and I have been sleeping with the windows open I can hear her when she goes to the nest.

The xpen is to keep Nim out, the card table is to keep the owl out.

Nim and I are back in the house now because mama also showed up and Nim chased her. I think she only ever half believes him because often I know she is in the yard with him, but right now, I can't have her getting killed.

It must be very close to time for the babies to start following her around if she is coming by during the day. Sigh. Thankfully I will be at dog shows this weekend and not be around for whatever hunting is about to happen as they leave the nest.

For being such a outdoors and rural lover, I am terribly soft when it comes to the cruel realities of nature. I am trying to enjoy them while I can.

Nim naturally forgot he ever found the nest in the first place and just settled in for some chewing. I got a lot of homework done, and the babies are safe in their nest just a little longer.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Fuller Mountain Partial Fail, Weyerhaeuser "Loop"

Before I talk about Fuller Mountain, I am going to talk about the owl again. On Saturday I spotted this owl in the plum. Notice how angelic he looks. So peaceful. So serene. I thought to myself, how lucky am I, and proceeded the mow the lawn with him never leaving.

After mowing the lawn, I realized Nim had exposed a baby bunny nest. He was curious, and I am sure they were nosed, but thankfully no carnage. I did some quick reading, repaired the nest, and then prepared myself for adult bunny monitoring to make a decision on taking the babies to rescue.

Well I think that owl knew that nest was there all along. The evening ended on a crazy note in which the mail person arrived late with a package and witnessed me chasing off the owl. :|

In happier news the adult bunny has returned, I can tell she is going to the nest as she fixed my repair job, and I appear to have about 4 baby rabbits with eyes almost open. I would have a better feeling about this if it was not for the owl and that they have taken over the dog yard.

Fortunately. It is hiking season.

I don't know why I tend to think of Fuller Mountain is an "easier" hike. I suppose it is because I know it well and because it is not terribly high mileage, but my own history should have long ago taught me otherwise. If nothing else, it can be an unpredictable hike and shouldn't be underestimated.

On Sunday Nim and I hit the trail a bit later than we should have with the heat. We started at the Weyerhaeuser "Loop" which isn't a loop at all. Campbell Global recently purchased the land from Hancock. Somehow I think this trail will never happen, but I really wish it would. I wish they would ask me to design it.

As you can see, there is basically no trail left. In the above photo Nim and I are about to cross the creek on an overgrown log which happily is still there, however it was slick in spots and I wasn't very happy about that. The fall wouldn't kill you, but you wouldn't be happy about it.

We made it across and Nim went into the creek while I negotiated with my day pack which is long overdue to be retired.

Against all odds, I found the Fuller Mountain "trail head" on the first try. That doesn't even always happen when it has higher use. Can you see it?

The Fuller Mountain trail itself is honestly not much worse off than normal. Someone came through a did a lot of work on the blow down from 3 years ago which is a blessing. There was one area with an alarming amount of flagging that I am going to assume was for bees, but I didn't see them.

This particular crossing never makes any dog happy. On the way back I accidentally let a large log loose. Nim was definitely not happy with me then. Truth be told, I wasn't happy about it either.

Because of the heat, I made Nim rest on the hike up. He seemed sort of ambivalent about it, but it made me feel better. The large flies were out of control. Had I had any bug spray I would have sprayed his vest or collar.

The closer we got to the top, the harder the trail got to find. Nim is resting in the ferns on the "trail" while I tried to figure out my route.

I am sure were were about 1/4 mile from the top, but this is about where we gave up. We had started too late, and it was too hot to deal with me tromping all over the place. I have decided we will do it again early fall when the vegetation has died down a bit, it is cooler, and I leave early enough to deal with getting off trail.

Despite not finding the top, it still remains one of my most favorite areas.

Summer of the Owl

A couple of years ago I had twin owl fledglings with an adult and I remember thinking how lucky I was. Then this summer, I ended up with 3 fledglings and an adult.

I think I would love owl just a little more if they were insectivores. These little lovelies brought an unbelievable amount of noise and carnage to the peaceful, baby bird filled yard.

The first time I realized I had 4 of them was late at night. I kept hearing a lot of upset birds and loud sounds on the roof. I flung open the window and all 4 of them froze, just staring at me. Some were on the fence, and some were hanging off a fir tree. It was the beginning of a strained relationship.

 I wish I had got any photos earlier in the season. All three young owl would line up with the adult on one single branch. One was noticably younger than the others (I am guessing because of his extra fluff).

There were one very funny morning in which all 4 were lined up, squawking away at the large white rabbits on the ground below. The wild rabbits would have had a coronary. The large white rabbits didn't even flatten their ears.

It has taken almost 2 full months of steady hunting and begging for these guys to finally start to grow up. Supposedly owl are most active at night, but these 4 brought 24/7 chaos.

If there is any confusion in my mind as to where they are in the yard, I only need listen to the upset bird noises, or feel for the staring.

If you would like to listen to them yourself, enjoy the video of three of them. Notice the upset bird noises in the background:

Monday, July 4, 2016

Áegis of Bellevue Four on the 4th Dog Jog & Walk

Happy 4th of July! In the North Bend area, this has been an exceptionally loud one...even days leading up. That has been a bit of a bummer, but hopefully after tonight it will slow down a bit.

The morning started with a fabulous little dog walk in Bellevue.

Nim and I decided to join our friends for the Áegis of Bellevue Four on the 4th Dog Jog & Walk. This walk benefits the Seattle Humane. The weather was overcast and cool, which was an added bonus to the nice start of the day.

We got there early because I was a last minute registration. I think this was a good thing too as Nim definitely needed more time to get used to the noise and amount of people. We got a cute shirt with the registration as well. This is a much bigger and boisterous walk compared to the Old Dog Haven Walk for Old Dogs which we will be participating on July 17th.

We had a great time walking with our friends: Mickie and Charlie. Mickie you might remember as a rescue dog my friend Cindy got a couple of years ago. Charlie is a house guest with Mickie and fell right in with Nim as if they knew each other their entire lives.

Charlie is pretty darn cute. He only got tangled up in Nim's legs once during the walk which I considered a success given Nim's general lack of awareness of his body, Nim's size in comparison, and the amount of dogs we were walking with.

July is looking to be a full and fun month! Today's walk was a great start.