Wildlife are fascinating…

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Posted by Annie in Opinion, Twain Harte News on October 29, 2016

Have you ever stopped what you were doing, and just observed your surroundings? I like to go out in the woods where you can’t hear any horns blaring, motors racing, or people talking and just listen to the sounds the trees make. It’s so peaceful and the vibration is different.  I don’t understand it, but it is healing.

local deer

Squirrels make a chitter chatter sound, that is quite fascinating to listen to. You can hear their nails on the tree trunks as they scurry about.

I put some food out for the chickens, things like cantaloupe, tomatoes, lettuce, kale, chard, grapes – a little bit of everything.  Eventually, the deer will make their way over to the food I’ve thrown out.  It’s funny to watch them, just now a six-point buck was sniffing around.  I would have thought he would go right for the strawberries, or the apples but no, he went right for the kale. Kale is very good for you, with lots of vitamins and minerals.

Did you know that squirrels love avocados?  Very nutrient rich, both the kale and the avocados. Animals really are smart, you can learn a great deal from watching them.

The 11 Most Nutrient Dense Foods on The Planet — This is a great list, but I wouldn’t eat the salmon, while it may be good for you, it’s contaminated with radiation. The same goes for seaweed, shellfish and sardines. Great sources of nutrients, but it can lead to cancer and leukemia.

Dark Chocolate is a terrific food with wonderful nutrients, but I’m a little curious why the author didn’t specify cacao, instead of it’s processed cousin cocoa.

The potato is one of the dirty dozen.  The skin doesn’t protect the potato, so pesticides soak right in. A better choice is organic potatoes, which do not have pesticides applied, so they’re much healthier.

Nutrient Showdown: Best Sources of Vitamins & Minerals — Moreover, we consistently hear that plant foods – fruits, vegetables and whole grains – offer the very best sources of vitamins and minerals and while they certainly play a critical role in a wholesome diet, plant foods do not always represent the best source of nutrients. Indeed, animal foods – particularly liver, roe and shellfish – offer some of the most concentrated sources of vitamins and minerals. Turkey liver offers 3 times more vitamin A than the same quantity of sweet potato.

BuckPay attention to what the animals eat and you can survive anywhere.  Nature is just so wonderful, please stop what you are doing and enjoy a little bit of nature today and everyday.  Let it renew your spirit while you nourish your body.

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Curious Whitetail Bucks

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Outdoors, Twain Harte News on July 20, 2011

Whitetail Buck

Whitetail Buck Image by funpics47

When we returned from our trip to Modesto on Tuesday, we used the upper driveway for the first time since it was paved, the ‘Beca was loaded down with people and camping gear.

We had been shopping for a mess kit and tent, since 0ur son and his friend will be doing a three day camping trip with other young men from the Twain Harte Chapel in the Pines — and they are very excited.

Just moments after the ‘Beca came to a stop, I pushed my door open, arms loaded, headed for the house and just about ran smack dab into a huge buck, standing stately near the edge of the driveway, I am sure he was wondering if I was going to stop. All I could think was, “darn, darn, darn, here is this magnificient buck standing just feet in front of me and me without a camera!” He stood tall and proud, his rack was large, at least 10, maybe 12 or even 14 points.  I was too numb to think, move, speak and especially…count.

Much to my surprise standing not two feet behind him was yet another buck. This one was much younger than the first. Both bucks stood motionless for the longest time. Have you ever sat and watched deer? They can stay still for an amazingly long period of time.  I headed for the house and when I turned around to get one last look before opening the door, they had vanished.

For the past several weeks all I’ve seen in the yard are does. We have two that visit regularly — since we haven’t mowed the weeds in our yard. (Don’t judge, it’s a BIG yard!) The deer love the vegetation and I’m happy to let them have it — I just wish they would eat more of it. Faster.

Put it this way, we could have a mountain lion living in the front yard and no one would ever know.  We have some pretty dense vegetation out there. I keep hoping some industrious young man will show up and offer to mow the grass and clean up the yard for me, but so far that hasn’t happened. I asked for a quote from some men who were working nearby but they wanted $800 to clean it up. Wow! It’s not that bad and for that price the mountain lions can stay.

I’m keeping my eyes open for those bucks to return but it could be at least a month before they make their way back here again. They seem to operate on a cycle and I believe they only came down the mountain because our temperatures have been cooler than usual. I expect them to wander back up to the high country once the summer heat hits us again.

Lily Mae update

Lily Mae gave me quite a scare yesterday. Try as I may, I could not get her to eat or drink anything (not that she is eating yet), nor was she using the litter box. This morning was another story. She had three small meals this morning and afternoon. She actually stayed awake for several hours this morning.

She is resting now and appears to be healthy and happy. I will be happy when she starts eating regular food. It’s been 14 years since I had to warm bottles and mix formula. I forgot just how much work it can be.

Take it slow folks and watch for the wildlife. If we don’t protect them, then who will?

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Early Morning Happenings

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Outdoors on April 29, 2011

Once again, I awoke around 5 o’clock this morning. I was greeted by the most joyous chorus of birds singing their little hearts out. The sound really travels in the otherwise-quiet still morning, here in the side of this mountain. It really makes my heart want to sing. I was so mesmerized by the beautiful song the birds were singing that I almost didn’t notice the deer.

First the fawns made their way into the yard, inching ever so cautiously closer. I recall thinking how odd to see so many fawns traveling together in a pack. They were a clumsy noisy bunch, getting louder, as they came closer, I didn’t need to see them to know that I had young deer very close-by. I heard them long before I saw them.

They were so cute nosing around for grub. I tossed out some corn taco shells for a nibble or two and more millet, oddly, the deer seem to like it as much as the birds. The gang of fawns wandered away slowly and suddenly these tiny sweet creatures were replaced by 4 does. It was obvious which one was in charge, each deer knew her place and nibbled around in turn. When she got too close you could see the leader raise a hoof toward the offending doe. Just enough to let the doe know she should back off.

One of the fawns appeared to have a patch of mange on her side, but in reality the patch of fur that isn’t normal, could have been caused by just about anything — even rubbing too hard against a tree. One of the fawns was obviously shot through one ear. Talk about a close call.

I remember a couple of years ago. We had a mixed gathering of deer who enjoyed a daily visit to our yard. One of them we named Wendy. He had gotten tangled up in some plastic orange fencing (“deer tape”) and looked sort of like Wendy – the icon for Wendy’s Restaurant. We felt so badly for the deer but there wasn’t anything we could do for the buck. It wasn’t like he was going to hold still so that we could remove it. I’m guessing he didn’t last deer hunting season that year. He was a handsome buck, too. I could be wrong though, because you’re not supposed to shoot in the direction of this tape.

I still can’t properly identify most of the birds that stop by or even those who live here, but I have been trying to listen closer and it’s already paid off. Just last night, I was out on the deck and I heard a strange bird call that was slightly out of the ordinary. I look around and sure enough, there were 3 mountain quail messing around on the side of the hill. I would have missed them, had I not been listening.

If you get a chance, while you are here in Twain Harte, do make an effort to get up at dawn (or just before dawn is even better). Stop and take a listen to the incredible bird sounds of the early morning. You’ll carry those sounds with you the entire day. I know, I do.

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