Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Someone's Knockin' at the Door !

Look what we found right by the door when taking Barney out for a walk:

And then a couple days later, this!

Barney did not seem to have any natural fear, and tried to smell both ends! Eek!

This is a common black snake, not poisonous, and around 5 feet in length. They are generally shy, avoid people, and are not 'aggressive' unless cornered and threatened. They are excellent at keeping the rodent population under control - in fact, we never see any rodents! This guy likes to sun himself on the deck, and when we walk by simply slips between the boards until we've passed.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Molts are Both Over and Beginning

In early May I reported seeing an abundance of fluff feathers in Fort Coco. Sure enough - this was a sign of Coco's impending molt that is now in full swing.

The good news is that the budgies have finished their molt. Most days now, I do not see a single fluff feather in their fort. I was wondering if they would all molt simultaneously or if one of them would always be in a molt. However, they seem to have synchronized their molts (with each other, but not with Coco).

I went to the LPS (local pet store) yesterday and picked up a few things for the budgie-boys. I splurged and bought them some cockatiel-sized Kaytee Healthy Bites (forti-diet). They love chasing the little balls of seed all over the fort, and Coco actually enjoys a Healthy Bite now and then as well. This is a great foraging activity for budgies!

It has been very hot and muggy here, and I have been frequently offering opportunities for the birds to bathe. They do not always oblige, but when they do it makes their momma happy. Tonight Penske even jumped into the bathing dish! It has been so hot that we have had to cut back on the length of time that we walk Barney. With his dark coat, he is not meant for heat, and wears out quickly.

There is, however, one animal that is not bothered by the heat! It has been seen frequently sunbathing on the deck just outside the door. Unfortunately, Barney has no fear of this creature, so due caution is in order before opening the door to take him for a walk:

This is a common black snake, and while not poisonous, we do not want to encourage interaction between it and Barney. I wouldn't want to see the thing latch onto his soft nose! Unless touched, these snakes are docile and avoid humans. They are great at controlling the rodent population around the area! This snake was asleep and did not seem to notice Steve and his stealth camera!

Unfortunately, Steve was unable to capture a photo of momma bear with her two cubs as they were walking down the driveway at dusk two evenings ago. We have now positioned the camera next to the door, in hopes that we may be able to get a photo of the family! Those little baby bears are sooooo cute!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I AM a tick-magnet!

You all remember when I told you I was a tick-magnet? Now, I can prove it!

Since March, my dad has collected the ticks he has pulled off me. He carefully placed each of them in a small jar containing rubbing alcohol. (I worry about him sometimes...)

He said something about them 'drowning their sorrows'.

(My mom says he will collect anything, including dust.)

Humans are so hard to understand....

All those times I thought I was getting full-body rubs, come to find out it was for the daily tick-check! Can you believe it!
The good thing is that the ticks are not interested in the birds or my mom. She has had a couple crawl on her, but when she gave them the evil-eye, they ran in fear! My dad has only had to pull two off himself this year.... what can I say.... the ticks just LOVE ME!

Check this out:

Maybe he should replace the worm in his tequila bottle with a tick or two - there's more where these came from!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Where Do you Want to Nap ?? !!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fluff Feather Fashion

Some days, you simply have to set the pace for the fashion industry....!!


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Barney Bait

Today, Barney's morning walk was a bit more exciting than usual because one of the neighbor dogs had inadvertently escaped.

While walking this morning, Barney and Steve found Jelly out seeing the world. Barney was used as "bait" to lure Jelly back to her house. Worked fairly well too! Jelly's parents were so happy to see the little rascal!

Jelly is a wonderful little dog - she loves to come down to the fence and greet Barney when he is out walking. So we were happy to see her home, safe and sound!

In the meantime,
here are some pictures showing Barney on his walk today.

He likes to *stop* and get a drink out of the stream each day!