The Cool House: wildlife
Showing posts with label wildlife. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wildlife. Show all posts

Friday, June 08, 2012

More from the yard: June 2012

Moths and kitties

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Olivia's Birds Event

A big crowd turned out at The Book Revue for the presentation of Olivia's Birds Saving the Gulf.

After her talk Olivia took questions and drew a Chickadee

Then she signed every copy in the store. SOLD OUT! That's my copy (I pre-ordered!)

We left with instructions to build a bird feeder and plant more trees to Save the Birds in our own backyard. Thanks Olivia!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Squirrel Proof

As in proof of squirrel not squirrel deterrent. I have been waiting patiently since fall for the return of the vanishing squirrel, this breakfast time I got lucky and I see he/she did too.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Raccoon update

Whatever shall we do with Rocky? I hope he/she's not another distemper case.

After the storm

After this blew in I thought we might have lost a few branches, but it was a little bit more than that...

the tree top. all 15' of it came down

leaving a piece 6' long stuck in the Magnolia

which may account for this...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Man v Bird(s)

A plan to take breakfast at Northport Harbor, NY goes horribly awry...
There might have been other shots, many whirling birds, much flailing of arms but I was too busy laughing hysterically to shoot straight. The Palmier cookie from the Copenhagen Bakery was sacrificed in the name of self-preservation.
Man 0-Seagulls 1

Friday, August 27, 2010

Feeling Creative? Support Seatuck!

When Long Island schoolgirl Olivia Bouler heard about the Gulf oil disaster she set out to help and she did it big time raising over $175,000 to help affected wildlife. Now she is fundraising again - this time locally. She and her family are holding a fundraiser on September 4th for the Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Islip, New York. She is asking all artists - and would-be artists - to submit a 5x7 postcard-sized bird image (painting, drawing, photograph, collage, mixed media) which will be displayed at the center and sold for $5.
The event will also include a concert by The Sea Tuckers a group of jazz musicians that includes Olivia, her brother Jackson and their friends. Not only is Olivia a "decent drawer" she's also an extremely talented saxophone player and Jackson will wow you with his cool! More information here

Olivia's Fundraiser
Saturday, September 4th
12:30 to 4:00 p.m.
Suffolk County Environmental Center
550 South Bay Avenue, Islip
Admission - $5

Remember artists of all abilities are welcomed so send your postcards in advance to Seatuck, PO Box 31, Islip, NY 11751.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Getting Away From It All

We changed our plans and extended the vacation another day so we could go out on the water

That proved to be a great idea

Because wherever we looked

To the right or the left

Up or down

It seemed the wildlife was out enjoying the sun, too

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

11-Year-Old Draws for Gulf Relief

11-Year-Old Draws for Gulf Relief.
Anyone who doubts the impact that ordinary people can have should click the above link to see the interview with Olivia Bouler and her family that aired last night on the Assignment America segment of the CBS news with Katie Couric.

Visit Save the Gulf: Olivia's Bird Illustrations to help too.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Save the Gulf: Olivia's Bird Illustrations

It's seems odd to me that some people blame natural disasters on other people's lifestyle - or even their dress - and point to this as God showing his displeasure (anger of the gods always struck me as an pagan concept, ironic that it's much touted by "people of faith") while man-made disasters don't seem to incite the same rhetoric from the fundamentalists.
But enough with the negativity, there's a crisis going on in the Gulf of Mexico and other people are doing what they can to mitigate the environmental impact of the oil spill including one 11 year-old Long Island schoolgirl, who with the support of her family, is raising money to save wildlife by drawing birds for donors to various environmental charities. That's my Greater Crested Tern up top. Thanks Olivia!
Support Olivia's project to make a difference here.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Foxy morning

So there I was, admiring the recent hosta growth spurt while waiting for the carpenter to give me an update on the mud room door delivery, when I spied something slinking down the road.

I followed it around the property as it dodged in and out of the shadows, finally snapping this less-than-stellar iphone shot of our village fox out and about at 9:30 AM.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lurking Above

Alien life form? Back view of a Great Owl? Chewbacca headpiece? Monstrous apparition?
Alerted by a thwick, thwick noise, the sound of something dropping from the 40' pine tree, I looked up expecting to see a squirrel stripping pine cones and casting the debris to the ground. Instead I spied this huge (12"-18") nest. At first I thought it was a tree burl or that it might be a wasp or hornets' nest, but on closer inspection, with the aid of a zoom lens, I think it has more to do with Aves than Vespa.

But what kind of bird would build such an elaborate nest? I've spent as much free time as possible with the long lens trained on that small hole and I can proudly say I have identified the residents as birds: a pair of small, fast, brown birds. That's the best I can do. A humungous nest and two tiny brown birds. Maybe Jennifer can help? She correctly identified the giant moth from yesterday's post.
Birds, giant moths, spiders, flowers, a kitty and a week full of beachy posts - this seems to have become a blog on the flora and fauna of Long Island. Are we ever going to get back to the uniquely modern, I hear you cry. The answer is yes. Starting tomorrow, posts about the wonderful mid-century modern pieces that have been coming my way this week. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I might as well be in the frozen north...

While the rest of the country is enjoying the first week of Spring, the north-east is stuck in some sort of permanently frosty winter: icy blasts, temps in the 20s and 30s, occasional snow showers - I could be in northern Canada.

Speaking of which, I layered up yesterday and walked to the beach where a line of Canada geese were surveying the waves on the Sound.

If I had been on my own they'd have stood on the sand patiently but I had the dogs. So up they flew.

And landed maybe 6' nearer to Canada in the safety of the surf.

Nice job Sadie!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Animal Tracks

Temperatures have soared into the 30s this morning, the biting wind has died down and my fluey cold has improved to the point where I can go a whole five minutes without coughing. In celebration I walked the dogs for the first time in a fortnight. We've still got several inches of snow and the lawn is almost pristine. Almost, except for this set of tracks that come through the hemlock trees and head towards the central rhododendron bed. They are about four inches long with a gap of two or three feet between. Raccoon, do you think? Huge hare? Sasquatch? I have no idea but whatever it was it left us a gift of scat.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Spoiler Alert: Dead Snake

Snake! Snake! It's a snake.

OK, it' s a dead snake, but I have never seen any sort of snake this far north before. I know we have them, I've just never seen one and certainly I never expected to see one flattened on the road outside the Cool House. Such a pity. Click the image to get the full beauty of what's left of his silvery scales. I wonder if he has any family around here?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Another close encounter

Red Tail Hawk
I wrote about this guy/gal scaring me last year but today's encounter was even closer.
I was driving down the road when this thing swooped down from a fir tree on my left side and almost hit the windscreen. It veered off at the last second and flew up to a branch of another tree at eye level. From a couple of feet away those birdies are BIG.
It was only when I past the police station that I realised my mouth was still open.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Raccoon redux

It looks like we have an outbreak of distemper in the local raccoon population. On Sunday our next door neighbors called to say they had a raccoon acting strangely in their yard and although he wandered off he was back yesterday and again today. It seems that as the disease is so contagious, we could have quite a few sick raccoons in the area until the colony is decimated. That's what happened about seven years ago.
Apparently humans can't catch distemper and our cats and dogs have been vaccinated (raccoons get both canine and feline distemper) so we should be fine. And now I'm more convinced that it isn't rabies I am not so worried about them, I just don't like to see the poor raccoons suffer. The neighbors, on the other hand, are still at the freaked out stage. They bought a humane trap and the police have been here again trying to capture the beast but this one is even more tricky than ours. So until he's caught the kids are staying inside and we are keeping all the doors shut.
There's only one thing worse than a sick raccoon in the yard and that's a sick raccoon in the house

Monday, October 15, 2007

Raccoon wrangling

A weekend saga in two parts.
Part One: Saturday 7 AM.

We were lying in bed and the dogs were going totally beserk. Woof, woof, bark, bark, bark. Calling them did no good. Commanding them to "come" just resulted in more urgent barking so Steven went down to see what was causing all the commotion. Then he yelled to me "There's a raccoon just outside the window".
I ran downstairs and there it was, lying on the path outside the dining room window. Raccoons shouldn't be out in daytime, and they shouldn't be stretched out on the doorstep at any time of day. I wasn't sure if it was alive or dead but I had to get dressed before I could rationally assess the situation. We've had reports of rabid raccoons in the county, so if we see any raccoons behaving out of character we're supposed to call someone. Only we couldn't remember who. So while I went off to shower and dress Steven called 411 and asked for animal control.
Turns out a raccoon is not an animal, it's wildlife and we needed to call the police. More interesting still is that the Village has a wildlife expert, who used to be the Police Commissioner. But she'd caught a raccoon the day before and had left her raccoon-snatching gear at the vet's so she couldn't be at our house for a couple of hours.
We had to be out in less than an hour to attend 6 hours of defensive driving tuition to get 10% off our auto insurance. (And with the number of fender-benders Steven had last year, we need it!). We were just going to have to trust the police would be able to find the raccoon without our help. They told us to get a garbage can and put it over the raccoon and they'd deal with it. But when Steven approached it the (we thought) dying animal with the bin it sprung to life and climbed 10' up the maple tree.

Raccoon up a tree

There was nothing else we could do at that point so we locked all our pets in the house and headed off to the course hoping that the wildlife expert would see the raccoon up the tree and capture it. When we got home there was no sign of it, just some scuff marks around the tree, so Steven took the trash can away and we thought the drama was over.

Part Two: Sunday 6 AM
The dogs started barking again but this time at something in the back yard. Even in the dawn light we could see that the raccoon had made his way to the barbecue and was standing there shaking.

This is where things took on a cartoonish quality. Steven went out to look at it, the dogs rushed past him to get to the raccoon and once again the raccoon came to life and shot up the linden tree.

raccoon up the linden tree

After a while the poor thing fell off the tree and staggered around some more. At one point he fell into the pond, but he managed to climb out again. Every so often he'd fall over and shake. It was really horrible and the wildlife expert promised she'd come and get it but we needed to watch it in the meantime.
So I grabbed my camera and I watched it. I watched it coming towards me


I watched it walking away from me

And I watched it lying down.

raccoon lying down

Eventually the wildlife expert aka a neighbourhood volunteer turned up with her raccoon catching gear: a pink cat carrier, a garden shovel and a noose made of plastic line. That was it. No boots, no gloves, no protective gear or special equipment whatsoever. Nothing to prevent her from getting rabies should the animal bite. I felt like a complete wimp at this point.
The came the fun part. Herding a wild animal into the cage with limited equipment. Rocky proved very recalcitrant for a sick raccoon and our neighbour decided she needed to go to the police station to get a noose on a long pole so we could trap him. While she was gone, however, Steven decided to have a go and managed to get the line around the raccoon's neck.

racoon wrangler

Then he sent me off to find the expert and get her to help put him into the cage. But by the time we got back he had the raccoon in the carrier and the excitement was over. My hero.
The raccoon will be taken to vet and monitored for distemper and rabies. If it can be treated it will be and then it will be released.