Between work and nearly a solid month down at Etobicoke Sunlife with the Falcon watch; I feel like I've lost touch with my backyard friends. All of a sudden none of the Squirrel gang have names. Junior's visits are so few and far between now which boggles my mind (he's a very personable gray Squirrel). And then there's Pierre. It wasn't that long ago we were all happy to see him coming around with Maggie, showing her how things are done around here to get the best grub and not have to fight the other Pigeons for it either. But something is up with him, and Maggie too. They aren't together anymore for one thing. And both are very skittish now. Pierre is even snubbing the peanuts. He took in a bunch the other afternoon and within 20 minutes or so, he was hacking them back up all over the grass. Is he sick? He flies well and quick like the rest of the flock, but he's not the guy I once knew. And Maggie is back to her very shy self, unsure of me and comes so close but backs off with the slightest movement.
It's so hard in this sense with the wildlife, you just never know what exactly is wrong, when something is (or if it is). They can't tell us. Or we just can't understand.
The bond with a few of the critters out back makes the yard all the more special; but it also hurts a lot more when things suddenly change, be it they get sick, they die or whatever is the reasoning to what is happening right now.
I hope to have a better tale of them all in the coming months as we spend a lot more time out back.
Pierre and I on Canada Day weekend. He wasn't acting himself even though this shot doesn't depict that. And his visit was brief too. Photo by our friend Patty.
And in other news, a quick bit about what we experienced early this morning before work. Seems I had the idea to give the feeders a top up around 5:15am. I turn on the back light, step outside with a bag of seed, and my eyes fix on something large and white moving along the fence. I'm thinking "Cool, it's an Opossum!" but then I get more focus in the dim light, separating the darkness from the black fur, and realize it was a large, but beautiful, Skunk! I quickly turned back inside, told Angie and got my camera. How I thought I could get a photo at this time of the morning but I tried anyways using the picnic table as a tripod for starts, cranking up the ISO, and turning on the flash. The Skunk acknowledged me, and a couple times I thought he was going to head in my direction, but he didn't. He checked out every nook of the yard from the back deck to the bird garden, stopping for a drink at the bird bath, which is where I got this shot.
We haven't seen a Skunk out back in many years. This was quite exciting for us, observing him from a safe, respectable distance. I hope we see him again over the summer, from a similar distance, and perhaps just a wee bit more light for my camera. Hey, I'm allowed to want a better photo of our backyard visitor!
Thanks for stopping in. Soon will be my next entry about the Sunlife Falcons.