Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bird-Identification Call

So, perhaps this blog should be re-titled "Urban Wildlife" or something, because I'm constantly in awe of all the crazy animals we see. This morning, we saw some kind of large bird across the street:

Looks like some kind of turkey. Turkey vulture? I don't know, but if anyone can identify it definitively, please do!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another Day

Once again, we've let time slip by on this blog. I still entertain hopes of making it happen, though. This past month we've seen more and more fauna around our house. Here's one deer that we've seen (and finally got a somewhat good shot of):

We've counted as many as seven at a time back there! At least one is a buck; a four- or five- point.

Gabriel's been developing up a storm since Christmas. Shortly after the 12th day of Christmas, he mastered crawling. He wasn't content to plateau there, however, and since then he learned to pull up onto the furniture and cruise along. There are fewer and fewer surfaces in the house that he can't invade. The doctor is pleased with his achievements, and so are we, but our valuables are becoming more and more difficult to keep our of harm's way. Still, we're very proud of our not-so-little-anymore boy.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Today, in honor of St. Nicholas Bishop of Myar, we woke to find that somebody had put chocolate coins and gifts in our shoes!

Gabriel was very happy with the Christmas ornament, even though he didn't get any candy.
Later, he showed off his newfound technique of getting around the house (and possibly into trouble):

Friday, September 25, 2009

Long Time, No Post

So, this whole blog may have been a flop...but I'll give it another shot!

For those of you who haven't seen Gabriel's new skills, here is one that we have a love-hate relationship with. It testifies to the strength of his lungs, and he screams out of delight a lot. However, he's also managed to work this scream into his cries, which makes for a very distressing experience. I won't post his unhappy scream; you'll have to experience it for yourself.

A couple of days ago, a visitor imposed on our hospitality. This picture was take on a bookshelf very close to our front door, and we haven't seen any more mantises or other creepy bugs in the house since, so we're breathing easy. We've taken precautions to prevent further invasions, but at least we have a cool picture and example of just how exotic our neighborhood is.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Killer Yellow Jackets

Last night I noticed what I thought at the time were bees buzzing into two holes in the ground at the front of our yard. These looked to be nesting holes. Since we moved here I noticed lots of half dollar sized holes in the yard, but no creatures were ever going into or out of them. My idea was that these holes belonged to the larger-than-I-like spiders that frequent these parts. After seeing the "bees" I decided that something should be done about them, so I looked on the internet for a solution. Most people said to pour gasoline down the holes. I didn't really want to do that, but there was another good idea posted: cover the holes with a tarp and leave it there for a few days. That seemed about as un-invasive as ideas involving flying, stinging insects come.

Well fast-forward to this morning. I open the front door to leave and notice a few "bees" between the screen door and the front door. I decided to go out the back door and come around the front to see what was going on. I found a bunch of yellow-jackets (they aren't bees) crowding around the address letters on the front of the house, right under the porch light. They were trying to keep warm. I also noticed that there was at least one new hole dug in the yard, and one of the holes I saw last night had greatly increased in size. Now I knew it was getting a bit out of control. I decided to stay home and call the pest control guy, because I didn't want to mess with that many yellow-jackets myself. The pest control guy couldn't be here until 12ish so I went into work. He dispatched the yellow-jackets without issue. Apparently he donned one of those bee-keeper suits and sprayed powder into the holes where they nest. The dust gets on the yellow-jackets and the insects then ingest it when they clean themselves, and that is what kills them.

Apparently yellow-jackets are pretty aggressive, so I did not want them hanging around for long. Now that I know how to take care of them, I may just have to do it myself next time. I will have to buy one of those cool white stinging insect proof suits first, though.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday, and we celebrated by spending the day at my parents' house after Mass at Resurrection. We had a steak dinner with banana sundaes for dessert. Jake also took me out on Saturday for burgers at Red Robin. Grandma Poynter came over on Friday with the lovely cake shown above. She also had a fun time with Gabriel, who seemed to have fun with her, as well:

Finally, last night Jake introduced me to a disgusting visitor. For scale, notice the black door latch in the upper right of the picture. This guy was huge!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gabriel's Bad Mood

I finally got a good shot of one of Gabriel's AMAZING frowns. Usually, I'm too compassionate to take pictures while he's upset, but today I took the time to shoot this before snatching him up. I tried playing some Bach on youtube for him, but that seemed to make the situation worse! I guess he still needs time before his tastes refine enough for that.