GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

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LovelyLadyLux
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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

@Grandad - in photos #2 and #3 of the foxes there is a red clay plant pot with something red growing in it. Is that by chance a Japanese maple tree?

And the foxes are definitely looking fit and trim! How long do you figure the kits will stay in the same territory as mom? And I often wonder if they actually stray far to establish their own stomping grounds once they're mature.



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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Horus »

Wow they are looking really fit Grandad, keep chucking them the jam sandwiches :up

LLL, looks like Japanese Maple to me and at a guess I'd say its 'Acer Palmatum' :)
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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Grandad »

LLL and Horus,you are both correct, it is one of two new acers. They are different varieties so we will see how they develop. That one is Acer Palmatum Atropurpurem, the other is Acer Palmatum Phoenix.

I will probably keep them in small pots and they then become restricted in growth and little more than bonsai. This one is over 12 years old and still only 80cm above ground. Small backyard, small plants :lol:
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The cubs (kits are young squirrels LLL ;) ) have benefited by there being just the two and they are really looking great. LLL, they will disperse around end September into October but as there are just the two on this patch I would not be surprised if they stick around. They both have distinctive white marks on their brushes so we should be able to identify them. We believe they are a dog and a vixen and it is possible that they will mate or even mate with their parents....anything goes in the fox world :lol: :lol:
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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Love Japanese maples and they're so easy to grow in containers. They always look terrific too. Thought it was one..


The cubs (I thought baby foxes were called kits too) are looking good. Jam sarnies must be the ticket but T-bones might have done them better. Anyway was just wondering if the instinct is for a cub to wander far to preserve the gene pool or not. If they're sticking close you'll have to look to see if they're sporting 6 toes!

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Grandad »

Nothing much happening in 'the corner'. All the new young have left their nests and the cubs are as big as their parents. Butterflys are rare visitors and this one stopped for a moment on the warm wall. Jost long enough to get a quick snap. I am no authority but a search tells me it is a 'COMMA' butterfly, Polygonia c-album, to give it is genetic name. A female called Mary. ;) (What would we do without Google? :lol: )

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Quite pretty and colourful Grandad. I get quite a few butterflies in the backyard and this year LOTS of dragon flies. They're always buzzing about, never lite down or stay long enough for me to catch one in a photo. Nice orange colour there on Mary! ;) ;)

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Horus »

Talking of Dragon Flies, I was out yesterday with my mate to see if we could get a few images. I took him and Annie along to a small lake I know of that is full of Lily pads and usually lots of Dragon flies, unfortunately he was late getting home so what was left of the sunshine had already gone and the sky was quite overcast and there were none to be seen.

I had to enhance this one quite a bit as it was very dark due to shooting towards the light.

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This is an out of camera shot and the reflected sky and blue colour was what I tried to capture

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Now on to Grandads Butterflies, well I may be in with a chance here as my Budhleas are about to flower so if the fine weather continues I may get some good shots. Here are a few from my stock images and these two are of a Comma Butterfly who's name is Connie and I think she is related to Mary. ;) Typically the Commas have the ragged wing edge and the Orange/Copper colour and I have noticed an increase over the last few years, they usually frequent open field hedgerows and Nettle patches.

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Another common visitors are the Small Tortoiseshells and I often get several at any one time. They are smaller than their less common cousins the Large Tortoiseshell which are quite rarely seen around here.

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One of my favourites is the Peacock Butterfly with it's large eye pattern on the wings to deter predators, as it feeds it will continually open and close it's wings so as to flash the eyes and to a predator it would be quite startling.

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Just out of interest they lay their eggs on Stinging Nettles and the caterpillars feed upon the leaves, they are black in colour with hairy protrusions to deter birds from eating them.

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Grandad »

Horus, when I see pictures like yours of the lake it reminds me how very fortunate we are to live in our lovely country. Just hope they don't cover it with those dreadful wind turbines.

Great butterfly pictures :up Perhaps I should plant some Budhleas...might even do that ;)
:gg:

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Horus »

I agree Grandad, we live in a most beautiful country and although there may be many things we complain about I would not want to live anywhere else. :up
As to the Budhleas, did you know that you can buy one that is suitable for a large pot? I have two of them :up
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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Terrific photos H. Lovely butterfly shots. Very pretty. Quite like the Peacock and Predator butterflies.

I planted a buddlia in my back yard and it did quite well last year. This spring it seemed to get confused and flowered out way way way too early and all the buds got nipped by frost. Normally Buddlias are not flowering 'til July-ish or even August around here so dunno why I got a mentally unstable one! I got one as my daughter had one growing at her other house and it genuine was attracting lots of butterflies and last year I had quite a few (butterflies that is).

Will be planting another one as the new place should be a mecca for birds, squirrels, butterflies and probably BATS too! ;) I intend to give Grandad a run for his money (or should I say his Wildlife corner!! ;) )

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Kiya »

Lovely photos of your butterflies :)

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Grandad »

Nothing really to report on the 'wildlife corner' :( The birds are all very active and now clear of parental duties. The squirrels are notable by their virtual absence. Strange becaus I know there were at least two new nests of kits because we saw them and they squeezed their way into the bird feeders.

The two fox cubs are now as big as the parents and will soon be dispersing. They tend to visit after dark but I did get this snap of the cubs a few days ago. they are absolutely beautiful but I expect the regular supply of strawberry jam sandwiches has helped. ;) :lol:
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:gg:

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Horus »

The very least you could do Grandad is to throw them cubs a leaving party barbecue and then you could get them those ‘T’ Bones steaks I was on about. :lol: :lol:
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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

The cubs are definitely looking pretty good. Since they're getting easy free meals they may decide not to launch and just remain hanging around!! ;)

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Grandad »

It is almost a month since my last pic of the cubs. A couple of weeks ago I heard a lot of fighting during the night. This was probably to establish who should have this territory, it seems the cubs won. I have not seen the parents since that time so they probably dispersed.
Now the cubs seem to have taken over the territory and are still together. If they stay together it is most likely they will mate in January and produce cubs next March. Not good for the breed but as we know these young foxes and their parents quite well we will be able to determine if they do remain together or if one or both parents return later in the year.

This is the last picture of the cubs, taken at dusk this evening. They are now fully grown, the vixen on the left and the dog on the right. They are really healthy and whatever happens they should be good parents next year.

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:gg:

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Interesting the cubs challenged the parents for the territory and won. I'd of thought the parents would have put the run on the cubs prior to the cubs becoming old enough and mature enough to challenge them.

I'm also going to be curious IF when the female comes into heat if her brother will actually be out-romeo'd by another mature male.

They are good looking young cubs. You got a good shot of 'em Grandad

(BTW - end of this month I'll be in the new place overlooking an eco-preserve + marsh area - THEN I'll be giving you a real run for your money in the Wildlife corner)

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Grandad »

I am sure there could be some contests with other dispersed dogs when she comes into season LLL. It will be interesting to follow events at the end of the year and into next year.
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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by Grandad »

I must stop going on about the foxes until there is something new or interesting to report. Trouble is that when you have had foxes very near to your backyard for so many years you really get to know and enjoy them being around.

This year has been very successful, this was the vixen cub at dusk last evening and she is so lovely I could keep her as a pet and walk her on a lead. ;) :lol:
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Last year was not so happy and one of the cubs became a runt and no doubt soon died. This was him at about the same date as the other picture.
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That's it, I won't say another boring word about the foxes. Hopefully we may get a badger back visiting and perhaps some hedgehogs. No chance of any deer though LLL. :(
:gg:

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Re: GRANDADS WILDLIFE CORNER

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

I'm never bored hearing about the foxes so feel free to comment about them anytime. Those are definitely quite comparison photos Grandad - wow! Definitely was a runt or not doing too well at all.

Badgers are vicious? We get mink and ferrets and they can be 'all teeth and growls' and while they're beautiful to look at they're quite vicious. Same with raccoons. There is a resident raccoon that lives in the backyard next door to me but typically comes out on the other side of the fence so I don't get to see him. On the few times I have seen him I haven't run and got the camera to take his photo as he (or she) is relatively aggressively nasty. I think this particular raccoon became somewhat tamed or used to handouts which means the fear of people has been lost yet all the wild aggressiveness remains. This guy will hiss and spit at the drop of a hat but cause he is usually only seen from the far side of the fence it is the neighbor who gets a look.

And deer!!! UGH!! I gave away a plain gate that I replaced with a more decorative one here and was chatting with the couple who came to get it. They live a few kilometers away from me and were saying that in their particular little cul du sac they don't get deer and hence are able to grow all sorts of plants I can only dream about. Apparently, as per them, this area is deer's natural stomping grounds because of the small creek that flows across the road from me and this area was also first logged off and used for cattle. (Not too sure about cattle unless they interbred with mountain goats and I personally don't see any evidence of grassland sufficient to support cows however being polite I just nodded and said nothing as they explained their theory) which also attracted the deer as they had grazing land. Over time they just established and stayed here.........maybe/maybe not - however deer are HERE. These people were not too sure why the deer don't come into their cul du sac except to say that maybe it is because deer won't go into any area where they could become surrounded ... ??? I kinda see that as the houses in a cul du sac sort of form a semi-circle but - hmmm ? Am not sure that houses in a semi circle would really deter deer.

Will be giving you a big challenge come this spring once the hummers are back as I'll be prepared with my hummingbird feeders for the entire season and have also collected wood for some other bird houses and nest boxes too :) :) :)

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