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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Here’s to Dad

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Posted by Annie in Outdoors, Twain Harte News on June 19, 2011

Stellars JayJudging from the sounds traveling through the air and reports from family members who celebrated Father’s Day in Sugar Pine, Twain Harte was a happening place this weekend. Friday and Saturday evening brought a night air heavy with live music, laughing and chatter, which echoed off the surrounding mountains.

The grandparents reported bumper to bumper traffic traveling in both directions on Highway 108 from the valley. It was a beautiful day here in Twain Harte, we had lots of sunshine and a nice cool breeze rustling through the trees.

The birds are everywhere and the most adorable baby birds are emerging from their nests and exploring their surroundings. I was outside earlier today around 9 a.m. and the tree just outside the kitchen window was full of tiny little birds flitting here and there, singing their little hearts out.

I’m not having a great deal of success getting pictures though. I guess I’m just not patient enough and the birds are Nervous Nellies, which doesn’t help either. I still have only identified about half of our avian visitors.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the turkey had returned this morning around 11 a.m.; but startled to find that he had made himself right at home and was resting on our deck — not the deck rail — but actually laying down on the deck, and he didn’t even flinch when I came bustling out the back door. He didn’t move a muscle until the cat came within a foot of him and he decided “cat” was on the menu.

I was a little concerned but the cat just meandered around on the deck, jumped up on the rail and stayed just out of react of the turkey, as if to taunt him further.

The racoons are out too. The ones behind our house were huge. They are pesky little varmints that get into everything and make terrible messes. When we lived downtown, we would see them walking right down the middle of the street. Meanwhile, the deer would congregate just past the island in front of 7-11 as if they were pooling their money for a 6-pack of beer. Occasionally, you’d see some nice bucks in the crowd.

Hope ya’ll had a Happy Father’s Day. My son is so lucky, he has an incredible dad. They had a wonderful day.

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