Thursday, October 2, 2008

Some Things You Don't See Every Day

Fall has furnace came on this morning and we have a little frost predicted for overnight. I got my final glimpse of a hummingbird at my nectar feeder last Sunday afternoon. I'm finally caught up at work after another end-of-quarter and it's time to get caught up again with my blog and blogging friends. I've been taking a few pictures here and there in the last couple weeks and today I'm cleaning out my photo files and sharing some of these pictures with you.

We took down the trail cameras on September 20th. But before they came down, we did manage to get several photos of the 12-point buck that's been seen in this area. I love this picture! This camera has a woven fabric strap that secures it to the tree and I'm sure this strap and camera are covered with "Ruth scent" from all the handling.

Here's another good shot of this magnificent buck. This is the biggest buck we've ever captured on any of our trail cameras.

In the same area, there's still a doe with her triplets and here's one of her little babies--still covered with spots!

My buddy Mike at work shot a bear in northern Minnesota a few weeks ago. I begged him for some bear steaks (because we've never tried bear, but heard it was very good). Mike obliged with a package of 4 steaks for us. It was so good! Mike told me he likes it better than venison and Mr. Johnson and I agree.'s what's for dinner!

More goldfinch-palooza! When the level of seed goes down in the tube, more finches congregate in the seed catcher tray.....
......and in the platform feeder on the deck below the tube feeders.
Aren't they fun? I love these little birds!

A gray catbird visited early Saturday morning a couple weeks ago. This bench sits very near my little pond with the fountain and I think the catbird was trying to decide whether to "take the plunge."
The same morning (9/21) this migrating yellow warbler also stopped by the pond for a quick drink.

No red-breasted nuthatches yet, but I was surprised to see this little female purple finch stop by the nyjer feeders last Friday (9/26).

I'm in the process of choosing a shawl for the October "worthy cause" auction. I hope to get that posted by Saturday, so be sure to check back then.


Debbie said...

Fantastic shot of that big buck. He is so majestic.

I love the Goldfinches. They sure can go through a tube of seed quickly, can't they?

Deb said...

Nice buck!

I've never eaten bear. I've heard it's more like pork than venison or beef; what did you think?

I'm going through feeder transition, where I have a sunflower feeder up at the new house but I'm not happy with the location, and I haven't set up a thistle feeder yet. I'm hoping to have the situation settled by winter!

Anonymous said...

I see Mr Johnson's name on that buck, keep hunting for him.
A whole lot of other nice pics for our viewing enjoyment, THANK YOU!


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Great post Ruthie.

Shellmo said...

You are a true friend to the goldfinches - loved seeing these photos!

Lynne said...

I'd like to try bear. I've heard it's good too. I had my first flock of juncos in the back yard yesterday! Aren't the goldfinches getting olive drabby? I actuallt like that more subdued color on them.

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Debbie. We were pretty excited to see the big buck pictures too.
It's not just the goldfinches--I've seen chickadees and mourning doves at the nyjer feeders too!

Hi Deb,
I thought the bear was much more like beef than venison. I marinated it for about an hour and we grilled it kind of medium rare. It was really tender. My buddy Mike said it's important to get all the fat cut off the meat though. Someday I would like to take a bear with bow & arrow.....

Thanks Mom. I hope he gets a chance at that buck with his bow--that would be a dream come true for him.

Thanks Lisa!

Thanks Shelley. I have two feeders right on the deck, so I can see them up close anytime I'm home.

Hi Lynne,
Are you in South Dakota now?
I'm guessing those juncos should be arriving in my backyard by the weekend, don't you think?
I still have some juvenile goldfinches "chirping & flapping" to get a parent to feed them. They're such funny little birds.

cindy said...

Wow Ruthie! What a nice buck! Hope somebody gets lucky! We, too, have oodles of A. Goldfinches. I can barely keep up with keeping the feeders full. I still have'nt seen any Pine Siskins, but we did have A Red-breasted Nuthatch in the yard yesterday and today. No winter sparrows yet either. This morning the yard was alive with Robins! I could'nt count them all. Still have a couple of late hummers. Never tasted bear meat. I've heard some people really like it and others can'nt stand it. I'm thinking it's all in the way you prepare it.

Mary said...

What a buck! LOL!

Goldfinches galore - and your variety of birds are amazing.

Glad you're beyond the crunch, Ruthie. Back to the blog! I know what deadlines do to your blog time.


LauraHinNJ said...

I love that top shot - close enough to touch!

Ruth said...

Great pictures! I hate putting the furnace on for the first time. Last evening it was cool in the house but I just put on the fireplace. We had venison this week but I have never had bear.

Windyridge said...

Fantastic photos. I am jealous. We have nothing but wind so far!

Julie said...

Lovely pictures Ruthie! Beautiful buck!
Bear?!? Glad you enjoyed it.
I don't know about retiring, you'll have to keep working to keep up with the cost of seed! Or you could auction off some of your knitting for seed!

Beth said...

I've never had bear either, but would like to try it. A friend just bagged his moose for the year and promised me some moose meat for the freezer. I love the pictures of the goldfinches, they are so cute.

Mary C said...

Hi Ruthie, it looks like that buck is interested in seeking you out, too. He's beautiful. And those bear steaks really look yummy. I'm glad to hear that bear is good tasting. You'll never know when my husband and son will encounter a bear and bring the meat home. Now that's a bunch of goldfinches! Wow! I think I've counted about 14 at one time (of the lesser goldfinches) and I thought that was quite a few. I love that photo of your catbird. Did you hear it "meow?" And that yellow warbler looks like it was waiting for you, or posing for you. And your female purple finch looks so dainty. Are they smaller than regular house finches?

Jayne said...

Bear... hmmm... never have thought of it as a meal, but it does look good on the grill there. My goldfinches are just now starting to come back, and I expect my feeders will be empty soon too. Love your pretty yellow warbler!

Susan Gets Native said...

Yum, bear. Never had it. Want some.
Could you sneak a few steaks into your luggage for WV? We could cook it over a campfire and be all Clan of the Cave Bear.

: )

Meggie said...

That's quite a rack on the buck! What a beauty! I've never tasted bear meat...can't say I'm real eager either. You sure do have a plethora of birds at your feeders.

dguzman said...

That top shot is awesome! And I've got to get one of those tube feeders someday; I used to get lots of gold- and house finches on my feeders, but never that many at once. Nice work!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Cindy,
It's been a good fall for birdwatching in the backyard. It seems like I have more goldfinches than ever before. It's fun to see 6 or 7 of them lined up around the edge of the birdbath on the deck too.
Mike told me you have to get ALL the fat off the bear meat because that's what makes it taste yucky.

Hi Mary,
I would love to see that buck in real life sometime. By the time they get that big, they've gotten pretty good at hiding from humans.

Hi Laura,
We got another picture similar to that a couple years ago. The camera doesn't make any noise at all, but those deer are smart enough to notice something different in their territory.

Hi Ruth,
It's warmed up pretty nicely here again now, but I've got an extra blanket on the bed already for the much cooler nights.
We'll probably have to stick with venison too--bear hunting is a lot harder with bow & arrow, plus we'd have to drive quite a ways north to find good bear hunting.

Hi Windyridge,
We didn't get as many pictures on the trail cameras this year--the deer are still around, but I think they're spending lots of time in the corn and the woods.

Hi Julie,
Wow, the cost of birdseed HAS gone up hasn't it? I keep thinking I should take down some feeders, but which one?? I would hate to miss out on any of these birdies in my backyard.

Hi Beth,
Let me know how the moose tastes--that's something I've never tried either. The guy who owns our local archery shop got a huge elk in Utah a couple weeks ago and he promised us a taste of that too--"better than bear" he says!

Hi Mary,
Will your goldfinches stay around in large numbers through the winter? They're good entertainment for Tango and Cash, aren't they?
Most of the birds are really quiet this time of year, but I did hear the catbird "meow" during the summer. I never found her nest though.
The purple finches are actually about an inch larger than the house finches. The females are easier to ID because of the eye stripe, but I still get confused sometimes on the male house & purple finches.

Hi Jayne,
I suppose you will start seeing all of our northern summer birds arriving for winter soon. I'm glad some of the goldfinches stay here all winter because they're so fun to watch.

Hi Susan,
I'm sure Mike will have most of that bear eaten up by then. I'm also guessing there will be quite enough wildness in our WV cabin without adding some bear to the mix! ;-)

Hi Meggie,
Any wild game is definitely an acquired taste. It took me quite a few years to even like the taste of venison.

Hi Delia,
Most of my feeders were purchased when I worked at Wild Birds Unlimited (employee discount!) I kept getting bigger nyjer tubes and the finches just keep on coming.

Deer Tracking Cameras said...

Great game cam pics. Is that a bean field behind that buck? Looks like he is well-fed.