Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Local Characters

This is Norman, our local groundhog (aka R.O.U.S.).


Norman thinks that our front yard is his own little private kingdom.


I'm honestly okay with that, as long as he sticks with the clover field (aka lawn) in the front and stays away from the garden.  Hopefully, Norman never realizes there is a veggie garden in the back yard...


The local deer do not get names.
I'm hoping they are just passing through.


The bunnies do not get names either.
They do not deserve it.

Stop eating my poor little Aster!!
Mr. and Mrs. Wren have taken up residence at the Red House Garden.  They are an adventurous sort.  Instead of going with the oh-so-nice, hand built luxury birdhouses we put out for them, they decided to raise their young in the top of our propane tank.


They have successfully raised and fledged three baby Wrens.  I found this out when I was out watering the garden, and Mr. and Mrs. Wren started furiously chattering at me.  I looked down and realized I was watering their three little babies.  (Oops, sorry!)

one of the baby wrens in the top of our propane tank
I just hope they don't run into George.  George is our 6-foot-long Black Racer Snake. I don't have a picture of him - thankfully he does, indeed, race away from us.  The moment we met George (sunning himself on our garage door step), we realized why we have never seen a single solitary frog or lizard in our yard.

The same day we met George, we met Harry the Spider.  Harry was in our garage at the time.  If you listen to Mr. Red House's version, Harry looks something like this, just hairier:

photo source
I assure you, he was a tad smaller.

Living in our yard, we also have Chester the chipmunk.  He usually hangs out in a drainpipe under our rain barrel.


I think Chester likes that spot because it is close to the garage.  And if the garage is open for any length of time, you can pretty much bet on finding a scene like this:

a chipmunk very guiltily sitting on a bag of birdseed
So there you go, that's the round-up of local characters here at the Red House Garden, other than a motley assortment of birds that hang out near the bird feeder.


Let's not talk about the squirrel.

19 comments:

  1. Ha! I agree with you--the rabbits don't deserve names. Or maybe they should have nasty names. ;-) We have very similar wildlife around here. I wonder if you had more space between the baffle and the bird feeder--maybe the squirrel couldn't get to it. Cute, though. Fun post!

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    1. Sadly, I seem to have particularly big, wily squirrels here. Not only can this one get over the baffle and to the feeder, he can also climb on top and dangle into the bird feeder, so it doesn't really matter how much space is there. I think it's the squirrels that deserve the not-so-nice names ;)

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  2. Wow! I'm glad you love wildlife since you have probably more animals than most state parks! Out of all your 'friends,' my two favorites are the wrens and that very cute chipmunk. We don't have chipmunks this far south....and, unfortunately, their range stops on both sides of us. We are in the dead spot between the western and eastern types. Bummer. You are so lucky to have a chipmunk. I have only squirrels and they are usually NOT so cute when peeling off bark or eating our figs! BTW: You've inspired me to do a post on the animal life in my urban garden. Thanks. David/:0)

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    1. Glad to inspire a post of your own! I didn't have have chipmunks in North Carolina, either. So far I enjoy having them - they are so cute, and they can't get over the baffle and into the bird feeders like the squirrels can. It's nice to have wildlife, even though you have to take some bothersome ones with the well-behaved ones :)

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  3. haven't named our wildlife. Not because they eat beyond their menu. My only victim is a potted bulb, which gets chewed down by eager snails whenever it dares to put up a morsel of green. I've tried it on the verandah, may have to bring the pot inside?

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    1. I started naming the wildlife with the snake. I was so scared of the snake even though it's fairly harmless, that I thought naming it would make it seem less scary. And it worked!
      Good luck with your poor bulb! I once went on a slug rampage, with beer traps and hunting by flashlight. I caught so many that it was a while before the population came back up.

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  4. Goodness gracious! You have a large collection of critters for being so far north. If you believe the black racer is reducing your population of frogs and lizards, then my black racer is due for a pink slip. I couldn't remember the definition of a R.O.U.S., so I had to refresh my memory by clicking the link. We've got possums but I've never seen a groundhog. Loved your photo of the deer even though I imagine you don't want him around gobbling up your veggie garden.

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    1. I just saw my first little frog in the garden yesterday. I was very happy - I need my frogs and lizards for bug catching! We've probably got possums, and likely raccoons, but I've yet to see them. I saw an older fawn today. I'm hoping the deer will move out of the area!

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  5. I am in the minority as our bunnies stick to the clover and we do name them...they don't last long with the fox hunting...the groundhog is not welcome as he is a destroyer and doesn't stick to the clover...and the deer...nice to see the babes but stay out....so many cute critters there.

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    1. We buried chicken wire a foot down all around the veggie garden. I'm a little concerned at the havoc a mischievous groundhog can cause!

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  6. Red House Garden AND Zoo!!!
    Sheesh...if we had a snake....I'm move....country!!
    I too provided a brand new nest box for the robin in our garden and he nested in the tiny conifer under it....Grrr!!

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  7. Indie, I've been gone too long. ROUS, I love it! Woodchucks/groundhogs are not our favorite here, they do so much damage in the quarry digging holes and making rocks tip over. They also dig holes under my mother's porch and try to raise humongous broods of potential ROUS's. Out they go, if we can catch them.

    And oh my, that is one BIG spider lol!

    Love the wrens, so cute and check out that apartment they found. I haven't seen any snakes here, but people tell me I must have them? with all the rocks. Love the look on that chipmunk's face. "Who, me?"

    Always fun to visit you, Indie!



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  8. Note: This is an answer to another comment.
    Hi Indie!
    Bingo! Jasminum nitidum looks like a perfect match. Thanks for putting me out of my misery. It's really not supposed to grow here in Houston since it is much more tropical than our area. Somehow, this gardener is getting away with it. I think I know where she bought it now. David/:0)

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    1. Yay! I know that feeling (I have been eyeing some flowers blooming in a garden that I pass by every day trying to figure out what they are - I need to take pics!) That's awesome that the Jasmine is growing there.

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  9. Thanks for introducing me to the inhabitants of your garden. How funny that the Wrens chose the propane tank! Maybe they were going for storm proof sturdiness. I confess I was trying to make sense of the spider photo, wondering how you got such a close up and what in the world was the spider clinging to, before I realized this was not real! In my defense, my eyesight is not so good and I have to stick my nose close to the computer to see details. I love Norman. Only recently did I see my first ever groundhog in person. He lives in a culvert in front of a friend's house.

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    1. They definitely chose a sturdy birdhouse! I was a little worried about them, though, as the tank was leaning a little and we had called the propane company to come move the tank back. I didn't want to scare the birds. Thankfully the babies fledged just a couple days before the propane company came. Thankfully the spider photo was not a real one, though it really was quite a large spider in our garage :)

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  10. You have a lot of wonderful characters in your garden Indie. All very cute except for George and the S.O.U.S. (Spider Of Unusual Size).

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  11. Funny! I called all rabbits at my other house Newman, after the Seinfeld character. The reason? I'd go outside, see something chewed to the ground, and then, like Jerry, I would make a fist and say, Newman! In my new neighborhood, rabbits outnumber squirrels. How odd is that?

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