Monday, May 7, 2018

Just Stuff and Crazy Stuff

 My grandson (blue suit) and two of his friends went to the Kentucky Derby. He looked so cool.  I proudly altered the length of his suit pants.  Unfortunately he had a horribly rainy time.  The horse I gave him money to bet on did not win.  This picture is taken on the Ball State Campus where he met up with the friends he went with.
On April 20, we celebrated Terry's mom's 92nd birthday at the Blue Gate Restaurant in Shipshewana Indiana.  The restaurant was her choice.  Shipshewana Indiana is a little Amish town and a HUGE tourist attraction.  Frankly, I don't like the town much but Terry's family think it is perfection.  It's the first time I had been to this particular restaurant and I was not impressed.  I thought it was too highly priced and the food was mediocre.  We could have had a superb meal and stayed right in our own area.  But it was nice that all of Terry's brothers and sisters were there.

A couple of strange things happened in the animal world at my house.  We pick up the mail at my sister's house and put it in a box at her door where she gets it at her leisure.  Her house is kitty corner from mine.  When we were leaving her driveway, we looked over to our house and watched a hawk that I couldn't identify swoop into the maple in our front yard and fly off with a Robin's nest.  The Robin had been building it and I doubt if there were eggs in it.  The hawk flew to my sis's roof and seemed stunned to find no bird in his talons.  One of my three crows had watched it and followed the hawk to my sister's yard, then flew back to the maple.  When the Robin showed up, he flew off.  The Robin began building her nest again.  Unfortunately that evening we had a horrible rain storm that gave us 3" of rain in just a few hours and constant 30 MPH winds.  In the morning, the nest was gone. 

This morning we looked out the window and there was that same hawk on the ground at the end of the driveway eating bread that I put out for my crows.  I have never seen a hawk eat bread.  Today we got a closer look at him and I think he is a juvenile Cooper.  A car scared him off before I could get a picture.

There was a dead squirrel in the road a couple of houses away.  When we looked out we saw three scavenger hawks eating the road kill and a cat sitting on the side of the road in the neighbor's yard just watching them.  Cars didn't scare the birds away.  A couple of the cars actually stopped to take a picture of it.  Most people that travel our road are coming from the subdivision at the end of it.  They probably never saw scavengers up close.

I bought a new Hummingbird feeder that has an extra top that screws off where I can put grape jelly for the Orioles who are now VERY frequent visitors.

A few nights ago we had some really loud singing coming from the pond.  If you have read my blog for a while, you know that last year my blog friend Rose told me that what I THOUGHT were frog eggs we actually TOAD eggs.  When I researched toads I found that they attract snakes.  Since we have found a couple of snakes in or around the pond, I decided that this year we will not be a breeding pond for toads.  Early the next morning after the "singing" I went to the pond to check it out.  Sure enough there were A LOT of mating toads.  I got a net and started collecting them.  When I was done, about an hour later I had 32 toads!!  When Terry got up we carted them down to the river.  To the best of my knowledge I have one frog in the pond now, possibly two.  The toads have retreated to the grass where Harley likes to chase them.

Today I am going to be outside tackling the weeds and planting flowers that I bought from my grandson's church fundraiser.  I also have a really nice Poppy to plant.  Last year I planted 10, but they were trashed when the guys put the air conditioner in Nic's bedroom window.  I can't tell you how many times I have tried to get a Poppy patch started but one thing or another goes wrong through no fault of mine.

Grateful:  There are just too many things to list that I am grateful for today.  It seems to change by the hour.  Right this moment I am grateful that life is good and serene and we are happy.

What are you grateful for?  Have you observed any strange animal activity?  Are you starting a new project like I am but didn't mention it yet?  We all want to know!!

Have an awesome day.
xx, Carol


  1. You have been busy. Nice to visit with family and celebrate.

    I can barely keep the bird feeder filled here. The cardinals, blue jays and red-headed woodpeckers eat from the feeder. My feeder closes when the squirrels get on it but they have found if they jump off of it quickly then seeds fall to the ground. So the squirrels and doves eat from there. Rabbits hang out under the feeder too but I'm not sure they are eating seeds...maybe sprouts from them?

    I am working on some UFOs and getting ready to start something new. Can't wait to see what you are up to...

  2. I know that restaurant! My ex family always went there when we hAd to join the annual 'Pilgrimage'. yag. I make better, tastier, less greasy at home.
    It must be an Indiana thing, his fam is from michigan ciy. The only thing I loved were the quilt shops but they never gave me time enough to do more than browse and I couldn't have afforded it anyway.
    Animal stories! I had a hawk, flapping like heck, to clear the street
    (I slowed down so I didn't hit him) with the biggest snake I've ever seen around here! it was easily twice his size and still wiggling :P !
    I can't get Lilly of the valley to grow around here, no matter where I put them, nope. I have been grateful for everything since about february ;)
    I don't know what it is but I have been so freaking happy, for no reason! It's making me a little weirded out but It's better than being angry/sad all the time.

  3. Hi Carol, You've been busy with a busy neighborhood. No woods here or enough trees for birds or many critters. I have noticed though, more hawks than usual neat fields and such. Road kill also appeats to be up. Planted marigold seeds that are barely sprouting. No curly parsley plants where I stopped surprised me. More hunting. :)

  4. Wow, Carol, spring hasn’t brought serenity to your house, lots of activity, but everyone looks very happy! I love your new photo! No animal craziness here, just two aging kitties and no pond to keep secure. I also have a poppy to plant this year. I hope no one tramples it. No new projects right now because I’m obsessed with making paper. That exhausts me! Oh yeah, I’m grateful for your blog posts that always remind me to be grateful. ;) Life is good!

  5. I love to see birds and animals! I live near a stream and have to leave my house 15 minutes early to give myself time to watch the creatures and not be late. I like your new profile picture. I'm very grateful to be living in Japan.

  6. hi Carol your GS looks very handsome in his suit,hope he had a win. Gee lots of stuff happening at your place with animals ,think i would get rid of the toads too as i wouldnt want the snakes to be encouraged to hang around,hope you have a lovely day my friend xx

  7. I can't imagine going to the Kentucky Derby...I'll bet they had a grand time. I have a love/hate relationship with horse races - I love to see the horses but I can't stand when the jockeys hit them. If a horse wants to run, it will - it doesn't need to be beaten. Interesting info about snakes eating toads but not frogs....wouldn't think that snakes would be all that picky! Today I'm grateful for thrift stores - so I can donate some extra 'stuff'.

  8. Haven't heard about Ball State for a few years! Our grand daughter graduated from there and finished her masters! We leave this weekend for Purdue to see our grandson graduate! Life is good!!!!

    Our robin has her nest built under our deck floor again...she always makes a nest there then 'hollars' at us when we walk out onto the deck or the dogs go out! Poor mama..but she always has two nests each summer and babies!!!

  9. Wow what a great post with lots of fun and interesting news. Have a wonderful day today.

  10. I don't have much to say but have to tell you I agree about the Blue Gate restaurant...I have never been so disappointed in my life. We like to go up there, but don't spend so much time there as in just rambling the countryside and a couple or three places we like to fish!

    I wish I had part of your toads! LOL Cannot imagine getting that many.

    Oh, in shipshewana, I do like to go to Lolly's...they are a quilt shop/lots and lots of fabric....

  11. Hi Carol, that is so cool that your grandson got to go to the Derby! We watched on TV, and it looked so sad with all the rain. Lots squirrels and crows about. Things are greening up fast around here. Still a lot if snow in the mountains. :) Kit

  12. The hawk story was interesting-I guess he will learn that a nest doesn't really taste too good!

  13. Oooh--I didn't realize toads attract snakes! Good reason to relocate them.

    I have weeds to tackle as well. And a few plants to put in the ground before it gets too hot.

    I'm grateful for cool mornings and bird song.

  14. I love your new photo too. I think that restaurant was worth it if only for that cute picture! Like you, we have lots of flowers to plant. Plus this year I’m adding shrubs and perennials in addition to the annuals in pots. moo many “holes” in the landscaping that I’d rather have filled in with color instead of weeds, LOL.

  15. Your son and his friends look so dapper all dressed up. Love the hats. I just love the sound of the frogs. We call them peepers. Reminds me of my youth as we had a pond across the road and they sang me to sleep every summer.

  16. Fun photo of your nephew and friends, they will remember that event. I'm amazed that a hawk stole a robins nest! I've never witnessed that sort of behavior. I was seeing a robin building/sitting on a nest along a forest path where I walk. I would not have seen her except she flew off the nest every time we walked past and now she seems to have abandoned it. We only walk past once a day but I guess it was too much for her. Recently had a new bird come to my feeder. A Acorn Woodpecker. Never even heard of one before but I got pictures so was able to identify it. Pretty cool. It seems like there are not as many birds here this spring. Positively there are not as many hummingbirds. usually there are seemingly dozens but this year, only a couple. I usually have at least 3 hummer feeders out but only one this year and I have to change it before it gets empty. Rather alarming.


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