I got new Critters for Roda’s Critter Challenge this week and I have new tenants who are not even paying rent….
I heard it first a view weeks ago and it startled me at first to be honest. My house has two stories and I was upstairs getting ready for work. Above the second floor is the attic and me-myself, I have never been up there. There is no floor from what I know, just insulation and beams that run across and in other words, you could easily crash through the ceiling if not careful. I think I pass…for today anyways. There is probably spiders up there too and it is one thing I won’t do. I scream and it is the one thing you can make me really mad about. Chase me with one and our friendship most likely will end. It’s that serious and it dates back to a spider jumping on my head as a child. Yikes I don’t want to get sidetracked and I definitely don’t want to recall that moment.
I was in the bathroom, sitting at my build in vanity when I heard it, and something ran across…well…whatever it ran across…upstairs. In the attic, in that space you can’t even stand upright and have to crawl. Silence, and nothing more happened. I didn’t know what to think. Where monkeys scaling the house and sitting on top of the roof? I even went outside, stepped back, looked from all angles and saw absolutely nothing. My first thought was consumed with rats living under the roof. How did they get up there? Where they inside the walls? My thought process was most likely provoked by one too many shows of “Turtleman – Call of the Wildman”. Pure amusement, until now of course that something was running around in my attic. The thoughts continued as I visualized Turtleman pulling up sounding his typical call of a true wildman. Ok that’s enough, I’m bringing it back and no further noises were noted. I couldn’t be sure of what it was I heard, but it sounded close, within inches away from me. The thought of a rat crashing through the ceiling was less comforting, but for the moment I was safe again as all went back to normal. Life went silent up in the crawl space…
Days went by and no rats crossed my mind. It was quiet and life was without any creepy incidents, until of course it happened again. The same thing happened and I chased the noise out of the bathroom, down the hallway, into the office. Silence again, as I stood and listened with anticipation. Nothing…
The same would happen one more time, but in this incident I got bold and tapped the ceiling with a broom stick. I was forceful and careful at the same time, if there is such a thing. There was a scatter and then I heard the sound of pigeons or doves, and there were lots of them it seemed. I’m not sure where and how they have entered, but it appears their home is now under the roof out of the elements. I can’t really blame them and I think there is a broken vent screen on the side of the house. I have seen them approach from that way and although I have to get this fixed and evacuate the pest, I’m comforted it’s not rats. There might still be, you can never know, but I rest my mind imagining doves spreading peace upon my house.
Two of my favorite ladies created fun challenges for us, and I’m late with my play/contribution this week. You know the reason, but this week I am combining both challenges into one post for time sake.
Meet my dear Fairy Sister Roda who created a critter challenge for every Monday. I swear we were fairies in a previous life and roamed the Forests together, protecting all life while sipping on sweet nectar, and soaking up the rays of each new day. All you need to do is grab your camera and snap a picture of whatever critter crosses your path. Personally I collect a critter picture from that week since I don’t always get a chance to adventure on Monday’s and I’m sure it’s fine. I love the challenge because it prompts us to pause and take a moment for all things big and small. Anything is beautiful if we can slow down a bit to notice the wonder that surrounds us.
And then my dear Dragon Keeper Linda who has created a fun black and white, color challenge that presents us with a choice of how we want to see the world. Sometimes color wins and other times it’s black and white that adds more drama and interest. Besides that Linda’s blog is Home to the “Guest in Jest” series and spreads laughter and fun with her sense of humor that won’t allow you to hold a straight face. Pssst. Have I mentioned that the Dragon Queen hates snow? If you know her, this won’t be any news to you and you’re in on a little appreciation gesture to show our love for her.
I’m blessed to know both of these incredible ladies and proudly call them my friends. They are the most beautiful example when it comes to building strong bonds even if you never met in person. After all we are connected by the universe and I am grateful that our paths have intertwined. And this goes for so many of you out there who touch my life on a daily basis. Thank you.
Here is a picture from a visitor and spirit animal I had earlier last week and you better believe that a follow up post about it’s meaning is soon to follow. In the meantime I bring you this flying critter and you decide if it is the color version or the black and white that strikes your fancy. I hope you enjoy.
Why didn’t I think of that before?
I really didn’t have to go all that far to contribute this picture of Ms. Luna to Roda’s Critter Connection Challenge. Ms. Luna is a feisty guinea pig who thinks she is human and one of us. She is often referred to as being too smart for her own good. She utilizes different sounds to vocalize what she wants, or just nods her head in the direction of her favorite treats, in an attempt to order you into giving her one. Luna is very familiar with where her cooled veggies live and if given the chance, she has no problem as to self serve herself. See for yourself.
I always find myself amazed and it’s hard to believe that these sightings are in my neighborhood. The day is off to a good start with the encounter of 35 Pronghorn Antelopes. I always feel like they don’t belong here and that their exotic looks belong in a place like Afrika. However, it’s not the first time to see them and I usually find them grazing along this one stretch. I look for them each time we drive by, but I haven’t seen them anywhere else but here. Today it was the number of animals that I found unusual and unique. It takes me to believing that there is some significance and that it is a sign. Perhaps to explore the symbolic and spiritual meaning of these beautiful animals in a different post.
The wind was picking up at Ice Kapelle and there was a chill in the air that could be felt to the bone. That, and the combination of snow, the little run off streams and the dripping water added to the overall cold conditions. It was time to say our goodbyes and head for cover. We made our way back over the majority of the dried up riverbed, along boulders and faint signs of a trail that was mostly washed away along steep ravines. The boulders were challenging in spots, but still a better option than to slip and slide off the mountain in a not so planned descent. I have to admit I always have a bit of a phobia about that, as well as being buried alive by snow. I never had anything like this happen and I’m not sure where that fear is coming from. Maybe the hunch of a feeling from a past life or maybe intuition that all of these things are very possible when I’m out there. Perhaps it is exactly that, that is keeping me safe. The fear and respect to be cautious and not take things for granted. After a good distance away from the Ice Cave, the winds softened and the air didn’t feel as cold anymore. We spotted the perfect boulder for a picnic and this time I wouldn’t have to awkwardly jump off this one, like I had to from the one coming up the trail. The rock was flat on top and the perfect size. People were still coming up the trail even though it was getting late. There was no doubt in my mind that we would not make it back down to the boat ramp any other time than to take the very last run back to Schönau. The last boat would depart at 6PM and it wasn’t a surprise that this one would call our name. We always stayed until the very end, soaking up every moment, every bit of daylight and this time was no different.
Sitting atop the rock, the Ice Cave was to the left of us and you could easily make out the opening of the cave with it’s dark background. Mysterious and cold, it saw visitors come and go, throughout the years and the seasons of time. To the right of us was the riverbed that had widened now, and the woods that would engulf the trail on the way back down. Straight ahead was a sheer cliff outcropping of granite and with certainty it was where the rocks from the riverbed must have came from at some point. Slowly, it was eroding away and causing a variety of landslides, elevating the grounds of water, while reshaping the landscape. We sat in silence and ate, looking around until I spotted something a short distance down the trail from us. At first sight it appeared to be another person who had found their own spot on a boulder, but wait….no, that was no person, no way. I had a feeling of what it was and the excitement started to rise. Still, I had to zoom in with the camera to confirm my theory. Low and behold I was right and the so called person was actually a Chamois. And then there was another on a nearby rock and all of a sudden we spotted two more climbing on the sheer rock face as if it was no big deal. They sure made it look easy and you could feel dizzy just by watching, wondering how they could even get good enough hoofage (haha… footage and I made up a new word) in order to not fall off the mountain. Perhaps, we had been surrounded by these beautiful animals the whole time, without noticing until now. Of course it added to our experience and wildlife always does. Somehow the trip felt complete now, it had been worth it to tackle the switchbacks and the moments of “Are we there yet”. Besides the unexpected Ice Cave, we also were bestowed with the unexpected visit of the Chamois. Eventually, we bit farewell to these amazing climbers and continued downwards on the trail. If we wanted to catch that last boat back, we had to move it. I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if we didn’t made it, were people ever left behind before? Sure they had been, but of course we did make it back in time and spotted many more Chamois on the way. Aware of their presence, I was lucky enough to see them high on the mountainsides. Some alone, while others were grazing together and travelled as a herd. Life was good and I was grateful for the opportunity of being allowed to see such wonder.
I had a special guest visit the store today and this fourteen year old pooch and his owner came walking towards the registers to pay for their purchase. Apparently it was time for a new toy and off to the plush aisle it was, where he (the pooch) picked up a new stuffed animal. Seeing him walk across the sales floor was definitely not something I expected, or for that matter ever seen before, but it instantly brightened my day. Between conference calls, a dentist appointment, interviews and a corporate visit, he was a heart warming sight to see, and seemed happy and content with his selection. After asking the owner for permission, I got this shot and a few cuddles, which I thoroughly enjoyed. 💙
It was unusual how this animal entered my life today and I can’t help but look at it as a spiritual sign. When a dog spirit enters it brings the gift of awareness and protection. You might be surrounded by problems you can’t see and it is time for the dog to sniff out the situation. Trust in the power of protection and remember that it is ok to play. The dog spirit belongs to those who love unconditionally. Dog spirit also indicates adventure, excitement and something new. It is time to feel very excited because something exhilarating awaits. There is a playfulness and curiosity, a reminder that we should never hesitate to ask questions and pursue our interests. You could also be urged to evaluate the people who have treated you badly and consider how you are dealing with them.
We are a growing family and where there was only one, one turned into two and now we are three. Three little furry bushy tailed squirrels, all adults have moved into my backyard and provide me with frequent (daily) visits to collect their food rations. I don’t mind and it is quiet amusing to watch them enjoy their fruits, vegetables and nuts of course. They are not picky, although you can clearly tell that they do have their favorites and like some things better than others. Grapes and cantaloupe, as well as mangos belong to the favorite list which leaves me to believe that these little critters are driven by a sweet tooth. 😉
I’m held at ransom by this little guy which is otherwise known as “Dirty Jake”. Some of you may know that he lives in my backyard, under the house, or up against the house to be exact. Various, elaborate holes are pushed up against the house foundation, entry and escape routes and my mind imagines an extensive subterranean pad with separate rooms such as a sleeping / lounging area and a huge pantry to store all the food he is collecting from me. Daily appearances are pretty common to pick up his food ration and stock the pantry. He is not too picky and eats everything from vegetables to fruits to nuts, even grapefruit has been on the menu. But he definitely has a sweet tooth and goes crazy for mangos. Besides living here rent free, he long has demanded to be fed in order to leave my flower bulbs alone. Should I miss one day, I can with certainty find a few craters and holes dug where there used to be a beautiful tulip grazing the land. Urghhhh. I kid you not that I suspected the neighbors dog the first time, due to she sheer size of the holes he digs. That was until one day when I was home and heard something hitting the house over and over. It appeared to be sand, only problem, it was a beautiful calm day. I looked out the window and right in front of me I got a backside view of this little rascal digging through the dirt of my flower bed while throwing it up against the house. BUSTED.
Still he remains to be one of the cutest thieves I know and he has invited a friend as of recently. Perhaps he has found love and she is his significant other. Soon I will have to make adjustments for extra rations and once more feed a cute, furry, bushy tailed family.
This is a more usual sighting in the Sierra vs. seeing a River Otter in an alpine lake like I saw the other day, but no matter which critter crosses my path, they are always welcome and a bonus to my outings. I have to admit though that these furry little guys always make my day as I feel myself transported back to my childhood, watching in awe and feeling my heart beat with happiness to have crossed paths. I remember the first time seeing them and we were on a long hike up to Cottonwood Lakes. Finally reaching the top and the Lakes, boulders were strewn all over the beautiful setting. On top of several boulders where Marmots sunning and soaking up the warmth of the rocks. I couldn’t get enough of them and it was a magical moment for me. Unfortunately my pictures from that day got ruined in a freak accident and perhaps those memories were meant to only live in my mind.
Earlier this week I got to witness two different occasions of man diving in and going for a swim with man’s best friend. The water of the lake was still frigid and snowmelt is still entering from the mountains, but that didn’t stop this ambitious duo. I got busted taking the picture, and the pooch stared right back at me while his master was soaking up some rays to warm up after the swim.
The second picture was taken in a little seasonal pool near the lake, which I’m sure was much warmer. Sorry for the poor quality on the second picture due to having to zoom from far far far away. Still cute to see these bonds healthy and well. 🐕💙