Category Archives: Wild Critters


DSC_8743 (1600x1060)Cherry tomatoes!  More than we can eat so I’ve got most of these dehydrating.  Kept enough of them back for a nice pizza Margherita.DSC_8744 (1600x1060)This one is a thin-ish crust, painted with garlic infused olive oil and sauced with sauteed cherry tomatoes with more garlic and fresh herbs.  It gave us a chance to use some of the latest batch of homemade mozzarella.DSC_8750 (1600x1060)Fresh oregano and thyme in with the sauce and fresh basil added after it came out of the oven.  A pretty good pie!DSC_8733 (1600x1060)Yellow melon for dessert.  These are super sweet and I think they are the best melons ever.  I really should get back over there for another one.PICT4135 (1600x1060)Random wildlife!  This young whitetail still has prominent spots.  They slowly fade over the summer.  Momma isn’t far away.DSC_8739 (1600x1060)I’ll wrap with a couple of sammiches.  Here’s  pulled garlic pork on a bolillo roll with slaw and a drizzle of a locally bottled bbq sauce.  I grabbed a bottle last time through the store because I knew I was running low and it’s a lot like the stuff I make myself.DSC_8718 (1600x1060)Last is another classic Reuben with our own corned beef and sauerkraut.  This one has provolone and thousand island dressing.

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DSC_4734 (1600x1060)Our cherry tomatoes are doing great.  I’ll have to start freezing or drying some soon.  I didn’t make a dent in them with this pasta dish:DSC_8721 (1600x1060)This is an easy dish and it tastes great but we can’t eat it every day.  Unlike the BLTs:DSC_8717 (1600x1060)Mrs J has named these her all time favorite sammiches.  This one is a BELT, it’s topped with an egg.

Our Vitex nearly didn’t survive the winter, it did die back to the root but it is coming back.  They are late bloomers and are just now producing something to catch the eye of a hummingbird.DSC_4752 (1600x1060)This is a Ruby Throated Hummingbird – the gorget really catches the light when the angle is right.DSC_4753 (1600x1060)The little peppers are coming along, plenty of red ones, a few orange, not seeing any yellow one so far.  Of course they all start out green.  DSC_4737 (1600x1060)The dill in the background is pretty with the yellow flowers looking like bursting fireworks.  This is the first time we have had luck growing dill.  Aphids and caterpillars usually make short work of it.  I’ll try to collect the seeds for baking rye bread.

Sunflower Buffet

DSC_4729 (1600x1060)I noticed a Goldfinch working a sunflower yesterday so I grabbed a few shots.  I realized a little later that the flower he is on is the same one I photographed a week ago:DSC_4698 (1600x1060)Those sunflower have been a real gold mine over the years, providing some of my all time favorite photographs, like this winter shot of finches gleaning from the dry bones of the previous season’s crop:DSC_3274_Snapseed [1600x1200]I can easily understand why finches love these flowers, the seeds are a great source of food for them.  I bet this hummingbird was disappointed, though:DSC_9944 [1024x768]

Early Birds

DSC_4674 (1600x1060)Mr and Mrs Goldfinch arrive early at the sunflower buffet, hoping to beat the rush.

My! What a long tongue you have!

DSC_4664 (1600x1060)My favorite moth is back today, browsing over the flowers in one of Mrs J’s containers.  He’s especially fond of the little pink trumpet shaped blossoms, and needs every last bit of that proboscis to reach the sweet, sweet nectar.  There are several varieties of hummingbird moths, this one is a Snowberry Clearwing.DSC_4668 (1600x1060)I wish we knew what the name of that flower is.  Mrs J thought maybe it is a Sweet William but I can’t quite find any online that match up well.DSC_4663 (1600x1060)

Sunday Morning, Kitchen Window

DSC00125I loaded the full res pic, click to embiggen.  Having new camera fun with a nice little Sony pocket camera for Mrs J to take to the shelter for more of those marvelous pet pictures.

Wildlife Animal Sanctuary, Pt. 2

Click on any photo to see full size.
Lion in the hood

This is part two of my visit to the Wildlife Animal Sanctuary. I love this shot because, while they have a ranch sized property, there are still other homes around. Imagine going out to get the morning paper and seeing this every morning.

There are four prides of lions at the sanctuary. They work very hard to make sure the animals are allowed to thrive in large expanses of space. Forming prides is very important to lions to be healthy and happy. So much so, they actually don’t neuter the males, because it would cause them to lose their manes, an important social aspect for male lions and their status in the pride. So instead they use birth control on  the females.

The two prides in the northwest section of the sanctuary put on quite the show last Sunday. They roared back and forth for more than thirty minutes. Thrilling to hear.  Though the Grizzly Bear from part one, was not disturbed in the least, even if they are his nearest neighbors.

Grizzly pool

This is the Grizzly pool. I’m assuming when they are awake and playing it’s a crazy sight. And if you click on the photo, you’ll see that is a garden gnome on top.

Pride 1as

The lady fair pictured above, halfheartedly chased a rabbit around  the enclosure for a few moments before taking a single leap to land in this spot. She seemed satisfied with her hunting skills. Meanwhile her man was busy…

But wait, there’s more! Click to read

Wildlife Animal Sanctuary

Sunday was spent at the Wildlife Animal Sanctuary. I have a ton of photos that I need to go through and I want to write about the great work they do there,  but it’s been a busy week and I haven’t been able to sort through the photos completely. However, I thought you might enjoy Snoozing Tiger and Sleeping Bear.

Tiger sleeps1

I have lens envy. Everyone there had really long lenses and I’m sure were getting better photos. The whole point of the sanctuary is to be a sanctuary to abused animals held captive in horrible conditions, so our experience is secondary. We walk a mile long raised walkway and the animals do as they please. And much of what they please, is snoozing. It’s fine by me, I’m there to support the cause and take in the view. But a nice, long lens would have made for better photos.

Bear sleeps1a

Click pictures to see full size. More about the sanctuary and the good work they do, later. Along with some pix of animals who are actually awake. BTW, that’s a sleeping Grizzly Bear and he looked pretty intimidating, even while he slept.  - TaMara




DSC_4621 (1600x1060)Yay!  My first ripe tomatoes!  The first of many more with any kind of luck.  Millions, if the variety name holds true.  Hundreds would be nice.  This is one of the container plants on the front patio.DSC_8414 (1600x1060)I bought a package of these big sausages.  The size is right but they are not anything to to cheer about.  There is some kind of skin on them and I’m not at all sure there needs to be because they aren’t much more that just big hot dogs.  The slaw is more of that copycat KFC style recipe, the potato salad was good – crisp bacon and sour cream with mayo always guarantees at least good.IMG_4986 (1600x1200)Here are the traditional “post needs moar kittehs!” kittehs.DSC_8420 (1600x1060)Mmm… corn on the cob.  These were just boiled, I haven’t fired the gas grill yet this year.  I really do need to crank that thing up sometime soon.  I’m a bit put out that the small tank filling assembly on my 500 gallon LP tank sprung a bad leak and the nice folks that handle that stuff for me are loathe to replace it citing new rules and safety regs that are in place since the initial install nearly 30 years ago.  Anyway, now I have to drive to town to exchange the cylinders rather than just refill them here at home.PICT0829 (1600x1060)Here’s a small blue heron perched in a sycamore tree.  This was taken several weeks ago and I nearly batch deleted all the pictures on the camera memory chip before I noticed him up there.  It’s the first time I’ve seen one in a tree, usually they are stalking along the water’s edge.

Random Wildlife

PICT9548 (1600x1060)We are seeing this red fox fairly often when we review the snaps taken by the wildlife cameras we have placed about.  This is a rare daylight appearance.  We suspect there are young foxes nearby.


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