Saturday, December 01, 2007

Maine eight point buck in the daytime






As I was answering e-mails the other day, I caught movement out the window. Looking up I saw a handsome white-tailed buck trotting down the field. In shock, I 'ran' to the other end of our house, grabbing my camera along the way. I opened the sliding doors and stepped onto the deck as I pointed the camera and began shooting in burst mode. To my delight the buck stopped twice to look around and before disappearing into the woods he turned towards me, showing off his handsome form. My photos would of been much sharper had I also grabbed the tripod instead of hand holding the camera, but I wanted to be sure to get at least one shot of this regal creature before he disappeared. Seeing a white-tailed buck in the daylight is something that does not happen often, especially in our own backyard! Is he not a handsome three and a half year old buck? Such an even rack!
Enjoy :) Coppertop

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Beautiful day - more scouting camera photos

Gosh, it was a beautiful day today. A walking buddy and I took a two hour walk through the woods today. It was so quiet except for the crunching of our steps. We were not fortunate enough to see any wildlife, but the fresh air was so refreshing.

Two days ago our backyard field was all snow covered, today it is gone except for the shaded spots.

This afternoon I checked my two scouting cameras and as you can see below found some amusing photos. I would be interested in knowing what was going on in the last photo, was the deer just stretching? Or was something else going on? Did it have antlers? Guess that is a question that won't be answered. Amusing photo just the same!

Do hope you had an enjoyable Sunday. :) Coppertop



Friday, November 16, 2007

We have snow!


November 16, 2007 and we are getting our first snow of the season! Are you ready? I am and I'm not! I love Maine's changing of the season and I do enjoy the snow season. It's a good time to get outdoors, walk around (snowshoe if need be) and check out what animals have been around your place during the night hours. You might be in for a big surprise!

I'm afraid the oil and gas prices put a damper on the winter months now. The higher prices certainly will be a burden on all. The $$ certainly has changed over the years. Take 1935 for instance, the average income was $1506.00. You could buy a new home for $5972.00 or a new car for $575.00. What on earth would you get in a vehicle for $575. today - the tires! In 1934 a loaf of bread cost just .08 cents; a gallon of milk .45 cents and get this a gallon of gasoline only cost .19 cents! Bored, got a free minute - take a walk down memory lane - click on this link and put in your birth date or any date - then click quick page. You will be sure to find some interesting information. A good snowy day project, something you can share with the kids!

Enjoy - stay warm. :) Coppertop





Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hilarious photo

When I saw this photo from my scouting camera I could not help but chuckle. It appears the deer is telling the porcupine to back off those are it's apples! This has got to be a 'once in a lifetime' sort of photo.


It's a nasty day here today - windy and raining since morning. Certainly a wet one for any hunter that did venture out for their trophy. This wind will do a good job of knocking off what few apples might be left on the trees for the wildlife. I saw a group of six turkeys wandering around our field this morning, one looks like a nice Tom with a long beard. No, we don't hunt the turkeys, just watch them. I know Thanksgiving is around the corner, but I perfer to buy my cooking turkey from the local store, besides it's not turkey season here! We do try to keep the turkeys away from the house and down in the field. Their calling cards are really messy! Usually we just have to open a door or window and they run or fly off back down into the field. Speaking of turkeys this scouting camera photo is an interesting one of the turkeys with the morning sun peaking up over the tree tops and emitting its rays

Thank you for stopping by and enjoy your day - Coppertop :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Latest scouting camera photos

Here it is October already. The leaves have fallen, the air is chiller and hunting season is upon us here in Maine! Reminder - wear your orange when wandering around your backyards, make sure you animals are in safe areas and if possible adorn them with bright orange also.
In checking my scouting camera today I found 114 photos, good spot under an apple tree that still has falling apples. Some trees are empty or almost and then you come across one that is loaded to the top! Must be apples that rippen later. I probably should of set the camera to at least 5 minutes instead of 10 seconds, but I hate to think I might miss that once in a lifetime great shot! What if that super big buck (hmm - have you seen any?) paused in front of the camera between those 5 min settings - you would never know it! Anyhow here are a few pictures I got off the camera today. Hope you enjoy :) Coppertop




Sunday, September 23, 2007

SEPTEMBER 23 - SCOUTING CAMERA

Well, I thought I was smart! I put my scouting camera on a good trail a couple days ago, at least I thought it was a good deer trail - right under an apple tree and packed down trail. Apples over the ground and fairly close quarters - good spot for some nice close white-tailed deer photos.
Sure - photos are of porcupines! Guess this is a porcupine trail not a deer trail! :) Camera has been moved.
Enjoy - Coppertop :)






Saturday, September 22, 2007

BABY SNAPPING TURTLES





My goodness - I can't believe it is almost October already!

For the past four years we have had a Mother Snapping Turtle lay her eggs in our yard, usually under our mailbox! This year they hatched out September 19th and 31 babies were found as they struggled to get out of their dirt nest and find their way to their new homes. It is simply amazing how they get out of the nest to begin with let alone the journey they must make to their new home, all along the way predators lurking.

A friend and I gathered up the little turtles and transported to the nearby bog, where we sat them on ground away from the water so they could pick their own spot. It wasn't long and they were on their way, each their own and one by one made it to the water. We watched in admiration and wondered how many would make it to adulthood.
Enjoy - Coppertop :)





Saturday, May 26, 2007

BACKYARD ACTIVITY




Oh! The time has gotten a way from me and I haven't posted anything recently.
There has been a lot of activity in our Maine backyard this past month.
  • Tree swallows are a delight to see fly around the yard as they catch their meals. They are using the bird houses to nest.
  • A pair of Blue Birds have taken up quarters at one of the bird houses. There are five pretty blue eggs in the nest but it doesn't appear that they are getting cared for, although the pair check the nest box and are seen mostly early morning and late afternoon.
  • The finches are singing away and such joy to hear and see. We are seeing the Gold Finches and Purple Finches.
  • There are two male Rose Breasted Grosbeak's coming to the feeders each day now and on two occasionals I did see one female. The male's sure are colorful - such a contrast there black, white and red colors!
  • I had the pleasure for a brief moment to actually see a male Indigo Bunting the other day, sadly not enough time for a picture, but certainly long enough for a thrill!
  • Two Catbirds were hopping about at the edge of our field a couple days ago and the next day I got a glimpse of them through the trees.
  • I saw a male Northern Harrier fly over while hunting the fields yesterday. Past years I have seen the female also.
  • The Sparrows, Morning Doves, Blue Jays, Red-winged BlackBirds, Starlings are all regulars.
  • The butterflies are starting to show themselves. Above are my first two captures this year - the American Lady (orange one) and I believe the other is a Silvery Blue.
  • I have seen one Mourning Cloak and several small yellow, white and blue ones that just zoom right past and don't stop for a visit or photograph!
  • I have seen a fox go through our field twice this past month which is really great, past couple years we hadn't seen any and use to each year.
  • The bunnies were coming out at the edge of the field but haven't seen this past week, believe it might be baby time!
  • The wild turkeys are coming off and on - the hens are nesting now and the Tom's are lonely and looking!

Well, guess that about covers the going ons for now. Enjoy :) Coppertop






Thursday, May 03, 2007

Squirrels !





Squirrels are such cleaver little animals! It doesn't take them long to figure out things especially if it means a free meal!

Clicking here will take you to a section in my cafepress store where I have some gifts items done up with squirrels. Thank you for looking! Enjoy :) Coppertop

Friday, April 20, 2007

At last SPRING - Yipee!




What a gorgeous day today! Now this is SPRING TIME!

Three tree swallows were flying around our field today and checking out the bird houses. Are they not beautiful with the sun shining on their incandescent feathers? I love to listen to them sing and watch them soar around the field.

Was able to get out and walk around with Ruger, we went down into the woods and checked things out. Still some snow in the woods but it is melting fast. Ruger really enjoyed being out today, but I'm afraid he terrified a poor little red squirrel that was looking for sunflower seeds. Ruger got him cornered on top of a post and even after I put Ruger back into the house, the little guy stayed on that post for a good half hour longer before hurrying off.
This hawk was hanging around our bird feeder this morning and went after a Junco but missed - the Junco zipped by me and passed under our deck for a safe retreat. Guess the hawk thought I was too big to deal with and quickly made a u turn!

So nice -

  • to be able to turn the furnace off
  • to be able to open up the house windows again and let the fresh air in.
  • not to have to bundle up in zillion layers of clothing.
  • to anticipate the return of the hummingbirds.
  • to know soon flowers will be displaying their colors in abundance.
  • the thought to sit out at an open fire and just listen to nature.
  • to just be out in the open fresh air - and I could go on and on!
Enjoy :) Coppertop


Top 10 Mother's Day Gifts

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday, April 13th in Snow covered Maine


Here we are again with a snow covered backyard. It was just beginning to show bare ground again from the last storm and we are covered again! I have to admit it was just beautiful to look out and see everything covered in freshly fallen snow BUT gosh that is something you enjoy from Dec-Feb, not April 13th. Friday the 13th at that!
Despite the snow, the Tom's are strutting their stuff and even saw a pair mating just a couple days ago. Yesterday morning there was a pair of Tree Swallows checking out one of our six bird houses and appeared like they were mating. The Mourning Doves also appear to be in the mating mode and are chasing each other around. The Robins can be seen along the road sides looking for any bit of bare ground to find a meal. One did find some red berries on my shrubs a couple days ago and finished them up. The male Goldfinches are changing their dull winter colors back to the brilliant yellow, and looking spotted for the time being. It's nearing time for the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds to return, hoping they wait for better weather. The weather man says we are in for a real Northeastern Sun-Mon, rain or snow and real high winds! I am really glad we don't live where they are predicting possible tornado's, I have lived through hurricanes as a child in Connecticut, but never witnessed a tornado and don't care to. I am thankful they are not a common feature in Maine and will take the odd weather we have been getting any day compared to tornado's, earthquakes and such.
I brought a fuchsia plant in the house this past winter and it is doing well but to my surprise in the same pot a petunia plant has sprung up and actually has a couple blooms on it now. At least I have a little springtime inside if not outside!
Enjoy :) Coppertop

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Spring and we get biggest snow storm!

Yep! Here it is April 5th and we got 16 inches of new snow between last night and this morning! It let up this afternoon but is snowing again now! Got to feel for the wildlife and birds. Saw some Robins fly pass today - hope they found a meal somewhere.
This was a first for me today - sparrows eating suet! I saw a couple Juncos eating the suet, also a first time observation. Usually the Juncos and Sparrows just ground feed, have never seen them at the feeders or suet before today. Guess they will settle for what they can find with the ground covered with 16" of snow! Now the Grackles are a different story, they will eat anything available and they were certainly around today. I usually see about 15 Blue Jays but today there was a only a couple. Only saw one Mourning Dove, where usually there are at least ten around off and on through the day, especially early morning and late afternoon.
A small group (8) of wild turkeys showed up this afternoon. Getting around in the snow was quite a difficult task for them and most elected to spend the afternoon in trees! They were not hard to find along the tree line. I watched off and on as they would fly to the ground for a bit and then return to the trees. This went on for the whole afternoon into early evening when they flew deeper into the woods to roost for the night. They must of felt like playing because one time I looked over and there were five on the snow covered ground, going in circles and jumping into the air one after the other. The video below taken a few years back and on bare ground shows what I mean. It is funny to watch them doing this 'dance'. It seems to be something they do during the mating season time, but can't help but wonder if today they might of just been trying to get to bare ground! Enjoy :) Coppertop



Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Where oh Where IS SPRING?

Above photo was April 3rd morning! And looks like this is what we will awake to again tomorrow morning as it is now snowing and weather man says 4-8" our area!
So much for Spring. The driveway mud was beginning to dry up, the lawn wasn't so soggy, and the Robins were getting their bellies full of worms. (Sigh) They won't find those worms very easy after tonight.
Wonder what the wildlife think about this snow? We were just beginning to see the whitetails out in the fields browsing again, this will probably drive them back to their little hide aways in the woods. From one day to the next their 'animal' conversations must go something like this:
"Gosh, it's good to see bare ground again, some new tasty greens are even beginning to grow!." "OH - back to the woods we go, this white stuff is miserable to get around in and has covered our greens."
"Hey, did you notice the snow has melted and the fields are looking bare again?" "Let's go check out those greens!"
"Your kidding right?"
"No, you weren't - it's snowing again!"
"Gosh - would someone turn off that white stuff, I'm cold, wet, hungry and tired."

Stay warm, dry and safe. :) Coppertop

Friday, March 30, 2007

Finally ! A Robin

Finally, the Robins are back. It was wonderful to look out this morning and see them in the field feasting on worms.
Also had a group of 22 hen turkeys this morning with one Tom strutting his stuff and following them around. It's that time of year! The Tom's sure are beautifully colored when the sun shines on their incandescent feathers.
Enjoy :) Coppertop

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mourning Doves - drying out?




This was a different sight today! These Mourning Doves it appears might of been drying out their undersides. The wind was not blowing. They would just keep lifting their wings and hold their for a few seconds. At one time, two held up one wing at the same time and all I could think of was sharks fins sticking out of the water. As usual it had to happen before I could get the camera to the window! This is the first time I had noticed this 'ritual'.

I love to hear the Mourning Doves coo and their wings 'whistle' as they take off, don't you?

Did you know Pigeons and Doves produce "crop milk," which is a fluid from the lining the crop--a thin-walled, saclike chamber at the bottom of the esophagus? The parents regurgitate the "milk" directly into the hatchling's mouth and throat. They feed the babies this crop milk for the first couple days and then start to introduce them to seeds and insects.

More information on Mourning Doves and here.

Enjoy :) Coppertop

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Beautiful Maine day - backyard critters came a calling!

Wow! What a beautiful day it was here in Maine today. This colorful Tom turkey along with another Tom and some hens came a calling today. It is getting near mating season, you can tell by noticing how their actions are changing. I have seen a young Tom strutting around. The older Tom's have broken away from groups and are traveling alone now. This morning one of the older Tom's was doing some pretty serious strutting for a female he had singled out.

Early this evening we were honored with a visit from these two deer. It is rare for us to see them in the daylight hours. I find many tracks in our field where they have traveled through the night. To be able to see what leaves those tracks is so much better!


As you can see in the pictures the snow is melting but still around. The woods, especially, still have quite a bit of snow. In my walk today there were some places the it came to my knees. For the most part I walked where there was no snow!

This morning I let Ruger out for a good run and boy did he get muddy. The field is so soft and there are water holes in all the low spots. Before I could let Ruger back into the house I took a pan of warm water and dunked in his feet to clean the mud. But that wasn't enough, I had to take a wet cloth and give his underside a sponge (cloth) bath! He had mud from one end to the other! Wonder if mud is good for dog's complexions? Regardless, Ruger thoroughly enjoyed himself running around sniffing out the critters that had been around, fetching his ball and just plain being out in the fresh air.

I wanted Ruger's fur to dry before letting him in the house, so he and I sat on the deck, watching and listening. I saw a Pileated Woodpecker down on our tree line, wish it had been closer to try to get some pictures but not today. An owl was hooting and I thought I heard a second one answering. Oh - I saw my first Robin, well, actually my first two Robins, this Spring, that was an encouraging sign that warmer weather is here! All the time I was sitting on the deck, coffee in hand, all I could think of was, "Let's have a barbecue!"

Enjoy :) Coppertop

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Maine - Springtime?

Well, the calendar tells me today is the first day of Spring, although officially it is not until 8:07 pm this evening. The photo above was taken in my Maine backyard at 6:50am. Does that look like Spring time to you? Sure does not to me! Last night we got an additional 2-3 inches of fluffy snow.
The field has about eight inches of water saturated snow that is solid like a brick and you can walk on the top of. But you have to be careful because every now and then you hit a soft spot and down goes one foot, twisting your body out of shape. Our driveway on the other hand is a mud hole and every step is exercise. The mud holds your foot in place with suction and you pull to release (hoping your boot stays on) and go another step. We are having strong winds now and the temp is holding around 20 degrees, hopefully it will help to dry up some of this moisture.
Tomorrow is another day and one day closer to warmer weather despite what the calendar might say and what we might be seeing outside at this moment. The grass will turn green again, the Robins will come, the flowers will grow and give us color, the hummingbirds will return and we more than likely will be wishing for cooler weather in no time at all. BUT that is why we live in Maine - we love the changing of the seasons and all that goes with those changes!

Enjoy :) Coppertop

Monday, March 19, 2007

Squirrel dexterity


CleverClever and acrobatic, the red squirrel is a entertaining critter to have around your backyard. Won't it be great to be so agile!

Did you know?

**The red squirrel will drink maple sugar? They bite into the tree until the sap flows. The squirrel will return to drink when the water in the sap (which when fresh is only 2 percent sugar) has evaporated and the sugar content is about 55 percent.

**The red squirrel's teeth grow continuously? Their incisor's will grow six inches per year, but stay short due to the constant wear they receive.

**A squirrel's brain is about the size of a walnut?

**A baby squirrel weighs approximately one ounce at birth, and is about one inch long? They do not have hair or teeth, and are virtually blind for the first six to eight weeks.

**There are over 365 species of squirrels in seven families? They include the tree squirrel, ground squirrel, and flying squirrel. Plus many squirrel-like mammals such as the gopher, ground hog and prairie dog.

More Red Squirrel facts here.

Enjoy :) Coppertop