Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

August 23, 2021


I've been home, on sick leave from work, since July 29th.  I won't get into the personal details but I am improving and believe it or not hope to be back to work sooner than later.  I miss the routine, maybe a few coworkers and of course the weekly pay cheque.

I've been home the whole time because I really can't nor do I want to do anything.  Just like through this whole damn pandemic, and now with my sick leave, I am truly thankful for our backyard and the creatures we share it with.

Ripper doesn't come around so much the last while but he was here in the first days after I went off sick.

My pigeon pals are here most days.  


Gandalf the Grey.


Churchill has been missing for a few months now.  Hopefully he's okay but I never know with most of these wild friends of mine.

We've got a cooper's hawk coming in randomly.  I've found a pile of pigeon feathers.  I saw it here with a house sparrow in it's talons.  A hawk has to eat too.

The hummingbird visits are almost daily as far as we can tell, and there's a few visiting.  Who doesn't love hummingbirds?

We have a backyard chipmunk again which is a lovely distraction from everything else when he comes around.  Look at those cheeks!

Then there's that young skunk or as I call 'em "fart kitten".  

And our raccoon neighbours who sometimes come out a little earlier than dark.

A giant swallowtail has been flying through the yard every few days.  Is it the same one or ???  I haven't been able to get a picture of it so here is one I saw another time, elsewhere.

We've found numerous cicadas in the yard the last few weeks.  They call loudly, all day, every day.

Toads have been calling all night for a couple weeks now.  I would love to find one out there in the garden but I am not looking too hard.  Here's a YouTube link to what we are hearing.

Of course Merry and Molly are pretty happy having their daddy home even though mommy works from home much of the week.  Kitty snuggles and purrs are great for the soul.

Oh Merry.

Oh Molly.

I'm thankful for all these creatures and their love or just a momentary distraction by coming to visit.

I'm looking forward to getting back to normal, even a masked pandemic normal like the last 18 months, give or take.  Wish me luck!

August 17, 2021

Night Visits

I thought that I would share some of the night visitors of late.  You pretty much know what to expect here but it still might be fun to see them anyway.

Hot and humid it is here in Toronto once again.  The critters sure are enjoying the bath basins.  Too bad that I cannot keep them fresh all night long though.


Two skunks!

This one looks like a mother skunk.

I'd say he is new.  He seems small with extra thick, bright stripes.

Our resident raccoon family.

We are very happy to have an opossum hanging around once again.  He's been showing up randomly for a number of weeks now.

Nine days before.

This one here looks different but I can't say for sure that we have two.  He seems darker but it could just be the lighting.

I had the pleasure of seeing him with my own eyes one night while sitting outside.

One of the raccoon kids comes out earlier than the others so I have had some time to watch him too.

Mom and the kids early one evening.  Might as well share a couple better photos of the critters that I have gotten, eh?

A young skunk has shown up just before dark too the last week.  We aren't spoiled with day time visits from one or more like we have been in the last few Augusts but that's okay; it made seeing this one all the more exciting.

At least he is getting very fresh water when he comes early.

And of course there's the cats, both ferals and some neighbour's cats that they don't keep indoors.

There's a third cat we see, a muscular tom cat.  I feel bad for this guy.  I can't find the trail cam shots of him so here's one of the rare moments I have seen him face to face.  He normally stays away from us.

And lastly, we have at least two downy woodpeckers roosting in our nest boxes out back the last few weeks.  There's three nest boxes and all have had woodpeckers in them at some point but I was able to say with total confidence that there are two using them nightly; spotting both going into different boxes on the same nights, about 10 minutes apart.  It's funny how the woodpeckers are quite vocal upon entry inside.

This box is closest to the house and about eye level.  A female uses it.

This house is way down back, behind our shed, and much higher up.  A male uses it.

This is the middle house, sheltered by our lilacs.  We've watched a female use this house some nights as well.  Perhaps the same one using the first box?

We're happy to be landlords to downy woodpeckers again as has been the case the last few Augusts and beyond, well into the fall, sometimes even into the winter.

Do you monitor your backyard after dark (if you have a yard)?  If not, I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of our visitors.