Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Summer for Wildlife and a Farewell to a Few~

Happy mid-August to everyone.  
Here is hoping that the weather is behaving in your part of the world and in your favor.  We have had some nice days with upper 80's and even a few with a cool breeze, but we so need the rain.  I have to drag out my double connected 150' hoses and water almost every morning and evening.  Would you believe that my fenced in back dog yard has only been mowed one time all season... I had a nice new lawn finally growing in the shade.  Before the big "Family Day" event in mid June I decided it was tall enough and beautiful and it needed just a quick cut.  My blade must have been too low as ever since then I am trying to turn it all green again...huge sigh.  
I decided to update everyone on the sweet baby Groundhogs and the fawns of the White-tailed Deer in this post.  Not everything turn out rosy, or the way mankind would desire nature, but it is what it is and we make do and accept.  
The image above is one that I shall forever cherish in my memory...the wee little Chipmunk looking up at the baby Groundhog and wondering if it might have a nibble of the carrot it was eating.  
Well the Chipmunks and Squirrels got plenty of the spoils that my friend Linda and I fed to the 6 baby Groundhogs and their mother from early April until the last two left the den two weeks ago.
Their favorites were yams, carrots and apples in that order, along with lettuces and in the end tomatoes and even a few raspberries.
Six young would count down to 4 by early June. 
Two more would leave together with their mother as she tried so very hard to help keep them safe and get them to where they could do what they do.  She never returned as of a month ago now either.  The final two young ones, the runt and it's buddy stayed until two weeks ago.  My last sighting of any of them, was my favorite, the runt some few acres away from it's den and looking so beautiful, but I had to bid it farewell to whatever would happen, even if she lived for a day in the wild, would be better than to have been caged.
The Red Foxes arrived after the Groundhogs and it was a calamity waiting to happen and all that we could do is try and get them healthy and strong to try and make it on their own, even for a day.  
Red Foxes can easily take an adult Groundhog and so the young ones really had no real fair chance as they went out into freedom, but there was nothing more that we could do, but allow them exactly was time.  
The greatest gift from them would be next Spring to see one of them possibly even with young ones of their own and to know that even one made it.  
A huge lump forms in my throat still when I think upon them~

Remember to double click on the first image, to view a larger slideshow presentation after                                                                you have read the narratives~

I am joining in the fun with Eileen at:
Saturday's Critter

Anni at: 
I'd Rather Be Birdin'
 Linking to I'd Rather B Birdin'


Stewart for:

They tasted their first yellow tomato and raspberry on this morning just three weeks ago~

The little Chipmunk trying to make it's way to the food line~

Darling image of one of the young ones, making it's way back to it's makeshift den and food awaiting it.  They would venture out and across the lane, using culverts and even sheds and decks for protection from the Foxes and other prey~

Linda called this huge pile of wood their playground.  From under her deck where they had lived with their mother in a den they would gain access to freedom, using the protect of these large logs.

Above is the last time that I saw the adult female with two young ones.  She has been missing for several days with the first two and then came back for number three and four, leaving the last two alone.  I love how the one young one is snuggling with her.  She was a great mother and she tried so hard~

The last two remained until two weeks ago.  They had to gain their freedom and they took their leave very quietly and without even a goodbye~

 They would spend long hours looking out over the woods and lawn, trying to figure out their best safety had to have been brutal for them without their mother to guide them~

The one above with the white on his nose would come really close to me, and run to me like a dog would.  He was adorable!

The one above and on the right below was my most favorite, the little female runt...I will miss her for a very long time, for she was something quite special~

Three little Groundhogs ;)
Once in a while number three and, or four would return for food, but they had already known freedom and they would not stay long~

These were taken using my cell phone one afternoon.  She had made it to my next door neighbor's shed and needed nourishment~

A blurry image of a Chipmunk running with a carrot ;)

One of the Red Foxes taken in the distance of my backyard.  As of Thursday, they are still hunting our neighborhood...I imagine they are here to stay with all of the recent road changes near us...nature has shifted and it will never go back to the way it was~

Yikes my first ever I do believe of Purple Martins, now where was I when I took these...

My first ever also juvenile Dickcissle, a beautiful slender bird~

We have only had Red-winged Blackbirds visit a couple of times, usually males and in the Winter.  I was quite surprised to get the ID from my friend Jennifer Snyder ( Jennifer also told me the firm ID for the Dickcissle as well as gave me the good to go on my suspect of a Summer Tanager...thank you Jennifer) who said this was a female Red-winged Blackbird. When I have seen them out in open fields, they were always two toned brown and so this bird threw me for a loop~

Summer Tanager~

The House Wrens have fledged and oh so darling~

An Eastern Phoebe collecting insects from the faces of the White-tailed Deer~

I am calling her Manny, for she seeks many meals often from both myself and next door neighbor Sue~

We have at least two pairs of twins in our area~

This yearling usually comes with her mom and another family member.  She has always been quite friendly like Manny. Her scar is disctintive~


Sometimes Moms have to put their children in order and here the yearling gets a scold from her Mom~

Part of the big Winter herd has returned and that makes so far as many as 9 that are being fed, and soon more young ones will show up, and or be born this month and then add in the bucks, oh my!
If a doe is not caught and bred with in November, they may be caught in January.  Thus said if the young are not born in June, they arrive in August~

Like Bill and I, Sue has been feeding the Deer for many years.  I feed usually in the Winter and during the heavy fawn season and Sue feeds all year long~

Sue recently found out that Deer enjoy white bread and she has one doe in particular that has really enjoyed the handout.  Last evening she ate five slices of bread that Sue offered her~

I really like this image and one of these fawns may actually be one of the young that was born in Suzanne's front yard a couple of months ago.  I featured it at the time in previous posting~

Fawns are weaned at 8 weeks and so many of the ones we have are now eating the same things the adults eat~

I am not certain of the species of this very fragile, last day of life moth. I believe that it was in the Giant Silk Moth family, possibly even a Polyphemus Moth, or maybe a Promethea... Either way, it was still beautiful even with beaten and torn wings this late in it's life cycle.

BTW the bright blue in this image...I set it on a plant and then placed the plant into a blue Lowe's bucket, hoping to quiet the beauty as it was in real bad shape when I found it a week ago today~


  1. Hello Mary, it looks like your place is a wildlife sanctuary. I love all the critter photos. Cute shots of the groundhogs, chipmunk and the deer. Pretty variety of birds, the Dickcissle is pretty. Thanks so much for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  2. They didn't say goodbye? :(

    loved your kritters

  3. Amazing collection of pictures; I can't find something, I mean a word more than interesting to make a description of how I feel looking at these lovely, curios, so cute and inteligent wild critters in their habitat. You live in such a stunning place and for sure you can observe fauna from so close. Wonderful aspects captured; a variety of groundhogs are called in here "Marmote" and they can be found in Carpathian Mountains, too. Of course, I've seen them only in documentaries. (*-*) But, i've seen brown squirrels in their natural element. And your favorite deer, Manny is such a cute one.
    I enjoyed so much this walk and the amazing critters in your neighborhood. Thank you for sharing them with all of us through your camera lens. Such joy to learn new things through observation!
    A nice weekend!

  4. Mary - your description of the (short) life of the groundhogs also has put a lump in my throat - I love groundhogs and it is very painful to think they might have become just another part of the food chain. So glad that you were able to share their pictures with us! So sweet and adorable. Have a wonderful week.

  5. Dear Mary, It is hard to get involved with our wild creatures. There are always so many disappointments. Often, the little ones don't survive and it is heartbreaking.
    So far all 8 of my ducklings have survived...a miracle. I give all the credit to their watchful mother. The little ones look like they are going to fly any day now. I wonder if they will come back for visits.

  6. I've never seen anything like those baby groundhogs Mary! How sweet. I'm sure it must be hard to let them go. Nature isn't always kind. Your birds are delightful....and the deer are too. You live in a great place!

  7. Hello!:) Your post is delightful, the beautiful sweet images, and narrative, have me rooting for all the young creatures you shared.

  8. Oh so enjoyable. It's been like watching a slide show of all your critters! The deer, the fawn, the baby groundhogs and chipmunks...the birds...all so sweet.

    Thanks for sharing this with us birders at I'd Rather B Birdin' this week.

  9. always so lovely to visit Mary and see your world. Lovely story about the chipmunks and the groundhogs. I hope they managed to survive. Those dear are amazing. They obviously know they have a safe haven with you and your friend. Enjoy the last of your summer, autumn is on it's way as we await the spring over here. Hugs x


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