Monday 30 November 2020


 Then there is the coyote... a year ago September. They are consistent visitors in our forest.

They are funny in front of the camera. She had a pee and a lick of the tongue.

Nov. 24 – JB was fetching mail, and as he was watching for traffic, up and down the highway, he spotted the coyote crossing quite quickly!

Down at the trailcam I've put some of my pumpkins. The deer nibble at them. Some, like the buck, whack away at them. This looks like a smaller critter. The jays have been at them, too. I'm happy not to waste the pumpkins.

In the meantime, this is what he did in front of the camera!

COYOTE NOV 23 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Nov. 25

Then, I realized we have at least three coyotes. A bigger one, plus two that hang out together. One of the pair has a wonky leg, which it has had for awhile.

two coyotes 3 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Nov. 29

twerp! from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Somebody moved the pumpkin from in front of the camera!


coyote from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

He visited the trailcam and left his mark! It was cleaned in the rain!

This is what Cinnamon was doing.

Sunday 29 November 2020

Birding in the snow

 It's tricky, birding! Those of us living with snow know how difficult it is to photograph something in the snow. Also, I have trouble focusing. Period. You'll get the gist, however.

We had a big storm Sunday afternoon into Sunday night. Monday, Nov. 23rd we had a red-wing blackbird. They should have flown by now. 
Female cardinal in bombing position.

The cardinals avoid the blue jays. The cardinals pick up what has been dropped. It's a good relationship!

I did see a Downy Woodpecker take a crack at a chickadee. The woodpecker had feathers on her beak after the incident, which pissed her off! She kept whacking her beak on the feeder.

White-breasted nuthatch in the little feeder.

The mourning doves get along with the blackbird.

There! Finally! A decent photo.
A wee downy.
It was easier photographing them in the tree.

Lift off!

On Wednesday, there were TWO female cardinals, as well as the one male. Can you see them?

I thought not. It's as close as I could get. You'll have to trust me. Here is the mourning dove perching on the bird bath.

American tree sparrow!

Saturday 28 November 2020

Deer and her twins

They are sad-looking in the snow.

deer in the snow from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

After the storm,  the critters were hungry. The doe with twins came along out our front window. I'm glad I didn't clear off the garden. They are trimming the plants and weeds nicely for me.

The male yearling always seem to want want momma wants. 

They scrounge anything: dead weeds, lilac saplings.

hungry doe from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Nov. 27

The fawns been on solid foods for months, born in May-ish! 
This was late August.

The male yearling thought he might like a feed. Momma wasn't having any of it! 

doe and twins from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

The next day, I spotted a buck keeping a close watch on a doe, who is likely going into heat sometime soon.

The mating dance is an interesting one. They mated right in the backyard while I videotaped it last year. A bit TMI, but that is life. In the following video, she is urinating on her ankle glands to put her scent out. The males do this, as well.

doe marking from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Here is a buck with pickle stabber antlers. Just a young one.

pickle stabber buck from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

This doe made a good stab at the pumpkin. I love how they whack at and manipulate the pumpkins. I know a lot of places that have rescue animals take pumpkin donations from locals for the pigs, goats, etc.

doe pumpkin from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Visit more critters: 

Saturday's Critters #363

Friday 27 November 2020

Where there is smoke...

A week ago, I saw someone trodding up and down the land across the highway. Potential buyers, I thought. A white truck, and two people clearly marching the property lines. It's been for sale, but somewhat overpriced, we thought. It's part swamp. The land owner has been dumping construction debris for years on it: dirt, big rocks, old building materials, asphalt, remnants of stone walls. They use a tractor to bulldoze it all into the wetland.

I went out Wednesday morning to blow the snow. Across the highway, there was a plume of smoke. I'm not sure how anyone thinks burning wet brush makes sense. It releases a lot of hydrocarbons when the fire isn't hot enough. Anyway, there was a small tractor there, and I presumed there was someone in it. They were there a long time. Later, in the afternoon, a truck pulled up. I presumed they would watch it. On into the late afternoon, they were gone.

I was back out Thursday morning, for my morning walk, and no one was there, but the fire was still going. What to do. What to do.

Of course, I went over. 

First, I emailed our county. They kindly gave me the name of the fire department administrator.

I called the her, left a message. "What are the bylaws around having a fire?" She didn't get back to me by the afternoon. I checked the bylaws, finally found them:

  • You need a permit. 
  • It needs to be done between dawn and dusk. 
  • It must be watched.

I called the listing agent for this empty lot. She is no longer listing it. 

By then, I walked back out. The rain had stopped, and the smoke was worse. I ended up calling 911. They said they'd send out the fire chief to check it out. It was so comforting!

I donned my coat, again, and as I was working in the yard, I saw him pull up in his truck. He poked at it. He assured me it was more smoke than fire, perhaps even steam. Just as we were talking, he got another call. He said he didn't really want to call his peeps out just for this, but since they had another call, they'd come out and douse it afterwards. SWEET RELIEF! 

After I posted this, I found out they are working on the lot. Lots of trucks, backhoe, after a flatbed dropped it off. 

Car Repairs

In the meantime, poor JB had taken the care into Crappy Tire for 1 p.m., as the cracked axle had to be repaired. There is something wrong with the brakes, too.

The problem is, the waiting room was packed. He walked around the store. He went for a walk. Ending up in McDonald's, fatigued. The car was down off the elevator, but no one could tell him what was what. Calling me at 3:30, he explained his problem. Finally, at 4:30 he arrived home. He was just wiped. I felt so badly for him. 

I made him a nice dinner, and we relaxed. I had a Zoom meeting from 7 - 9 for my volunteer panel, ODPRN, and realised I really ought to have booked a haircut!