The Carolina chickadees frequently chatter. Their effusive energy is inspiring.
While hiking at Highlands Nature Sanctuary, we noted two resting insects on an American beech tree trunk: a dagger moth caterpillar and...
The Highland Nature Sanctuary and the Appalachian Forest Museum is around the corner from where we purchased our other little patch of land to restore to a diverse wild wonderland. It's inspiring to spend time amongst this community of Earth lovers and supporters.
Lodging is nearby and offers views like this of the Rocky Fork Gorge:
Bats hibernate in some of the caves nearby and we got to tour one on our last visit since the bats had yet to hibernate. It was fascinating to walk through that space and imagine the shelter and optimum temperatures that are offered to the survivor bats, the ones that survive white-nose syndrome and hazards of life. What a gift to be in their space for just a moment.
Back at home, mourning doves like the seed offered in our bird feeders and in the plants. They often rest by the stream on sunny days, always facing south. They love to bathe and they like to be together. Their flightiness always makes us cautious of our actions at certain times of day, in certain places. They are a favorite of many predators, but they are fast and aware.
Wild yam seed pods cling to their parent vines and their paper thin seeds slowly work their way out of the pods. Who might like to eat them? Birds? Mammals? Both?
I'm surprised to see Northern flickers still hanging around so seeing two on the bird bath at once delights me; they move around and they aren't always here this time of year. I wonder if they found a cavity perfect for them? This wildlife cam is like a glimpse into a secret world, the real world happening all around, unbounded by the comforts of a first world house.
Our oldest kitty, Minnie Pearl, likes to join the unbounded world to eat some Beak Grass to help her belly and sit with Steve to take the world in. Even though she is not allowed to hunt outdoors and she hasn't wanted to go outdoors since she became a rescued inside kitty, she reminds us that as life gets shorter, it becomes more precious and old behaviors change. Suddenly the outdoors is interesting again and necessary.
We sometimes put the persimmons near the cam so we can see who gathers the harvest.
Sometimes white-tailed deer find them...
This time, a raccoon showed up too late, but if they find them first, they eat them right up. We talk with friends about animal scat because that is just the type of people we are and we note that if persimmons are in an area, mammal scat is filled with the seeds. It's a bounteous, much sought-after fruit.
We mourn the loss of the most beautiful, prolific and cold-hardy American persimmons here in Morrow County, OH we know about and were fortunate enough to gather from and love. We don't know why they are laying on their sides now and why they are aren't reaching for the sky offering their bounty for years and years to come. We do know a piece of our hearts is cleaved off and buried deep within the black, blocky bark.
Dark-eyed juncos don't care about persimmons yet, as far as we can tell, but they do love the little seeds from from various plants and offered seed mixes here on this land. A few years ago on the Natchez Trace, we saw DE juncos feasting on the little seeds of sweet gum trees. Those prickly, beautiful seed balls are filled with the tiniest seeds, filled with life in one way or another - new sweet gum trees or full-bellied dark eyed juncos.