Monday, April 28, 2014

Fairies in my Garden


There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
It's not so very, very far away;
You pass the gardener's shed and you just keep straight ahead
I do so hope they've really come to stay.
There's a little wood, with moss in it and beetles,
And a little stream that quietly runs through;
You wouldn't think they'd dare to come merrymaking there
Well, they do.

There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
They often have a dance on summer nights;
The butterflies and bees make a lovely little breeze,
And the rabbits stand about and hold the lights.
Did you know that they could sit upon the moonbeams
And pick a little star to make a fan,
And dance away up there in the middle of the air?
Well, they can.

There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
You cannot think how beautiful they are.
The all stand up and sing when the Fairy Queen and King
Come gently floating down upon their car.
The King is very proud and very handsome;
The Queen -now can you guess who that could be?
(She's a little girl all day, but at night she steals away.)
Well -it's me!   

Rose Flyman

I don't know about fairies at the bottom of MY garden, but I'm sure there are fairies that live under my favorite little tree that is now in full bloom!

There must be fairies hiding somewhere under there.  Can you see them?

There are a couple of other trees that must have fairies too, as gorgeous as they are.

This one especially is just the right size!

Already equipped with pansies for umbrellas.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Like An Old Dream

“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.”
― Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Night Adventures

A week or two ago I had noticed that there had been some fresh excavation under my shed.  Much more than is normally done when the woodchucks are awake from their long winter's nap.  In fact, the whole bottom of the shed under the door was completely gone. 

There was also fresh dirt around the hole on the side of the shed - also much enlarged.  I was annoyed but didn't think much of it until a few nights ago when I had a bad stomach ache and was up until 3:00 am before I finally got to sleep. Part of those early morning hours I spent listening to growling and some animal or animals once or twice hitting my fuel tank outside my bedroom window.  At one point I even went outside with a flashlight to try to see what was going on.  Once I got out there though, of course, the guilty parties had disappeared.  When I woke up in the morning the first thing I did was look out the window to see if I could tell what had gone on the night before. Now I could see that there was a new hole under the shed. However, what I noticed most was that there were two eyes staring back at me!  My initial thought was 'Coyote!'.  He looked at me a few seconds and then turned to go.  I quickly put on shoes and ran outside in my pajamas and robe to see it running through the backyards toward Slater Park which backs onto the trailer park.  OMG!!

I thought it was a chance encounter and that it was after what was under the shed, but was informed by my next door neighbor hours later that they had seen the animal go under my shed.  I also saw it a couple times later in the day.  My neighbor thought it was a fox and after seeing it again, I decided he was right.  Looking down at it from my bedroom window I had a hard time telling how big it actually was.  After calling the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. they also said it was more likely a fox and not a coyote.  They also said that if I wanted to get rid of it, if it was not sick or injured a private pest control company would need to be called; they would trap it, but then it would be euthanized and not relocated.  I didn't want it killed.  My main worry was the stray cats.  I had heard stories of coyotes in Slater Park taking small dogs, and knew a coyote would just as easily take a cat.  After reading a little more about foxes online and remembering that I had actually seen two cats go under the shed via the enlarged hole under the door, I decided to not do anything.

Red foxes have several color morphs, including gray, as shown in this rather morbid photo of some stuffed red foxes.

Source:  Wikipedia

The gray fox also has tinges of red, as seen in this photo.

Source:  Wikipedia

We have both red and gray foxes here in Rhode Island.  The red fox has a white tipped tail and the gray fox has a black tipped tail.  It also has more oval eyes than the red fox.  Since I didn't know at the time I saw it that there were differences in tail tip coloring, I didn't notice which one mine had even though the last view of each sighting was of its back end!  I think it was a gray fox though as it did look more like the gray fox photo, but can't say for sure. 

Foxes only have dens when they have babies; once the kits are old enough to keep up with mom and dad the den is abandoned - they prefer the open road.  I hope I get a chance to see the kits.  The racket I heard could well have been little ones wrestling and play fighting.  However, I haven't seen the fox since and neither has my neighbor.  I hope we didn't inadvertently force them to move before the kits were old enough for them to leave of their own free will.  I guess time will tell.   Who knew what wildlife adventures I would have in Pawtucket, Rhode Island!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Signs of Life

We've been inundated with rain for the past few days - over 4 inches.  Today on the fourth day we have sunshine!  And it was a warm 55 degrees.  That IS warm compared to the weather we've had all winter and what we've had lately that's been way below average for this time of year.  Today I went out in the yard to see if there were any signs that spring was really on its way.  And I actually found some.  The iris that I planted last summer was starting to show green, the rose bush was showing buds, and there were buds on my rhododendron - probably leaf buds, but buds none the less.

Another warm day and I need to get busy with yard work.  I need to prune the butterfly bushes and my clematis vine, get some more mulch and put out some fertilizer and weed stop.  Hoping spring is indeed on its way!

Update 4/3:

And you can add columbine to the list!

Another sunny day today with open windows!