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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Keep it Cool

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Posted by Annie in Opinion on June 21, 2011

My handy weather station says it’s currently 88° at 12:10 p.m., it’s risen 3-degrees in the past hour. In fact, as I write this post, the temperature just dropped back down to 87°. I don’t see it getting above 100° today in Twain Harte, time will tell.

We closed up the house last night and turned on the air, which we don’t use all that often — unless we are expecting a very hot day. It stays pretty nice up this way most of the summer. The air condition is used only for about a month (not straight but on various days).

Chick-Fil-A chicken strips

Image via Wikipedia

We also take precautions to keep the house from getting too hot. I plan to make Chicken Nuggets for dinner, (the kind Chick-fil-a serves), for dinner. I’ll fry them up in the deep fryer, on a table set up outside. I also have a small convection oven, that I use outside during the summer months, it’s the perfect size for warming up things that we can’t cook on the grill. The grill also has a side-burner, which we can utilize.

Everything is set up to keep the house at a comfortable temperature, without breaking the bank. I don’t “do” the summer heat well, so anything that will help keep our home comfortable, is explored during the summer months. I try to keep sliced deli meats on hand for quick sandwiches, along with organic fresh fruits and veggies. They make a healthy, easy on the go snack for the kids too.

I was happy to find our turkey had returned yesterday and appears to have stayed the night. He’s here again today. He seems to love it here pecking around the yard, preening his feathers, soaking up the sun on our deck and partaking of the water trough.

How do you stay cool during the hot summer days and nights?

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Finally, Sunshine!

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Posted by Annie in Opinion on June 7, 2011

Twain Harte Lake

Who can believe it but today, finally — the sun is shining here in Twain Harte, the air feels fresh and clean.

It’s 62° outside, so I wouldn’t go so far as to call it warm out but it feels nice. There is still time to get outside for an hour or two. Why not take a short walk. Let the sunshine warm your bones.

Bring your jacket and some sturdy shoes, as things are still a little wet outside and if you pay attention, while you walk, you won’t be able to help finding things to explore just off the beaten path.

The birds are loving the warmer weather. I caught a couple of hummingbirds playing a game of tag earlier. They looked so happy, I was sorry I had disturbed them. I plan to start an online scrapbook, with pictures of all the birds I find (with labels of course). I keep forgetting their names. [Learn more about hummingbirds.]

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