Monday, November 21, 2005

My Online Habitat

Check out Jayla's online habitat. I registered my habitat on the National Wildlife Federation web page. I might get our yard certified at some point.

Monday, November 14, 2005

More deer, new frog update

The other morning I saw a doe and her two fawns, which did not look all that young. We put a net over the pond to catch the leaves, but we left part of it uncovered so that animals could still drink from it. I scooped some of the leaves off of the uncovered part the other day, and this morning I saw that tiny frog again! I thought he would have hibernated by now, although it has been quite warm for November.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Deer, new pond inhabitant

I've been lax about posting, but we saw 4 does the other week. I also spotted a new pond inhabitant--I saw something that looked like a small frog in the pond, and sure enough it was! It looked like a baby, which is strange considering the time of year. It appeared after it had rained several days in a row. I'm not sure whether it came from somewhere else, or was one of the original tadpoles. It seemed awfully small to be one of the original tadpoles. Hopefully it is big enough to survive the winter.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Fox Sighting!

I was looking at the backyard and saw a fox again! This is the first time in several months. It was not really in our yard but more in the park land trotting through the park. I will have to be on the lookout again now that I know they are still around. The pond has at least one frog daily. I was looking with the binoculars and one frog has a bright green mouth, and reddish brown eyes, whereas the larger frog doesn't have a bright green mouth but has a yellowish lower lip.

Monday, August 22, 2005


We have had a hummingbird feeder out for a few months now, but I had never seen any hummingbirds at the feeder. I stopped changing the nectar since I thought nothing was coming, but then the other day I saw a hummingbird! I was afraid the old nectar would make it sick, so I put in new nectar and bought some more. Since then I've seen the hummingbird on at least two separate days. On Saturday we must have seen it like 5 times. It is so tiny and its little tail waggles when it is flying.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Tonight we saw a young buck in the backyard. We watched it eating vegetation as it walked farther in the back yard. Then up walks another buck! ...And another!!! The poor third buck was skinny, kind of mangey, and had a slight limp. Considering this is the suburbs, it was kind of surprising to see any deer, although I knew deer had been here before.

Pond Fiasco

Over the weekend we removed the pot we tried to use as a fountain, and tried to set up the fountain with just the slabs of rock. It seemed to work, so we let the fountain run a while. I turned it off that night, but in the morning most of the water was gone! Apparently the hose had come off and the water didn't get back into the pond. The poor baby frog was still sitting in there without much water, but the large adult frog wasn't there. So we filled the pond up again and fixed the fountain. Two frog have been spotted since, so I guess the adult frog came back.

Mouse in the House

The other day, we heard a screeching, and then our plumpest cat came running through the living room with her mouth full and a tail hanging out. :/ We managed to get her to release the mouse, and I thought it was dead, but then I saw it breathe! So after observing it for a little while, we thought it looked okay because it could run around in a garbage can, so we released it outside. We saw the ground cover move so it must have run off. Poor thing. It was just a baby Peromyscus (white footed mouse). I had done a science project once on homing in white footed mice, and no matter how far away I released the mice I caught, they would always come back and get caught in the live traps again. (We would snip their fur to be able to recognize them). This one mouse I had caught several times, except one cold night it had gotten into the trap even though I would close the traps over night, and we thought it had frozen to death. My mother gave it CPR (well, she rubbed its chest) and I saw it breathe! So we kept it in a cage for a week, and then released it. "Frozen Boy" kept getting caught in the traps after that and I can't remember if I continued to transport him and release him, or if I decided to retire him from the experiment.

Buck in backyard.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Frog Update

The large frog has been out regularly and I occasionally see a baby frog. I never did see 200 baby frogs all at once, but have seen one baby frog at a time every now and then. I wonder if it's the same one the whole time, or a new one? I was looking at the baby frog today which looked kind of different, but then it went MIRP! and dove off the plant pot into the pond, which confirmed it's the same species. The katydids are chorusing up a storm. I love the sound because it reminds me of home.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Zoomed in picture of hawk (Oct. 4, 2003).

Hawk sitting on the deck near the pond. (Oct. 4, 2003)


This morning at around 8:30 I heard "ee-yahr!!!" so I looked outside and saw a hawk flying through the forest. It landed high up in the tree canopy. It had bands on its tail and was pretty large-at least macaw sized. There may have been another hawk calling in the distance. It is probably the same species we had seen in 2003. The pictures are of the hawk in 2003, which spent a good 15 minutes taking a bath in the pond.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Baby frog sighting

A baby frog, maybe the same one from yesterday, was in the pond today. I saw a bug, and then I saw it eat the bug, and then it hopped up on the edge of the pond. I also saw the chipmunk today, but it was missing half its tail. :(

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Cat Snack or Frog Rescue?

Earlier today the large adult (male?) frog was out, and what I thought was the smaller adult (female?) frog sitting on a pot of marginal plants. On closer inspection, it wasn't the small adult, but a baby frog! It was much larger than the puny froglet I had seen the other day. If it's the same one, it sure did grow fast. It's about the size of a golf ball or silver dollar. Then around dusk, I spotted the stray cat. It looked like it was trying to catch something in the ground cover, and then I saw something jump and I thought it was a toad! So I raced out and shooed the cat away, which at first wanted to ignore me and continue pawing at its find, but then it walked off. It wasn't a toad but a baby frog! It was just sitting there, not moving. We wondered if it was alive, although it had its eyes open. So I picked it up and turned it over to see if it was injured. It was breathing and seemed okay, but it must have been scared. We held it and took pictures, and then were debating where exactly in the pond to release it. It didn't have the patience to wait, and leapt out of my hand and did a belly flop into the pond and went swimming off. So it felt good to save its life, although I feel a little guilty that I deprived the cat of a juicy morsel. Still, I get the feeling the cat is well fed because if it were that hungry it probably would have eaten the frog already. I wonder if there were other fledglings that it already ate. It's the same cat in the picture lying near the pond. So that was exciting to hold the frog. It felt moist and squishy, but he had cute big eyes.

Holding the baby frog.

Baby frog posing for a picture on the pond deck.

Baby frog on walkway.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

First baby frog sighting

Last Friday the 24th, I saw that a little frog was sitting on the edge of the pond. It was only thumbnail sized, and didn't move, but it appeared to be alive. I didn't think the tadpoles would turn into frogs that small. The tadpoles are harder to find these days, but they are still in there. The toad was spotted on Saturday in the garage, and the frog has been out recently too. Tonight the large adult frog was out, and then a stray cat walked up, and lay down on the shore of the pond about a foot or two from the frog. I thought it was stalking the frog, but it didn't seem interested in it. When I went outside to try to get a better picture, the frog jumped in the pond, and the cat walked away. I also saw something else new the other day. I saw a bright red bug in the water. I fished it out with the net, and it didn't seem like it wanted to be in the pond, so I put it on a fern. It almost seemed like a large spider mite. The water lily is doing well, and all of a sudden the algae on the pond has disappeared.

Stray cat lying near the pond.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Toad in my Abode

On Friday we had a toad visitor, found in the garage. I held it, and it was real nice. We released it near the pond, and it ate a bug and then crawled off into the vegetation. I had been wishing for toads because unlike frogs, you can easily hold them. I hope we see him again. As for the tadpoles, I found a couple more dead ones, which had legs! Fully formed thighs and calves, but still very puny. They were still attached to the tail, but I saw some live ones with the legs already free from the tail. So that was neat. I wonder what will happen when they all are ready to fledge? If they will stay in the pond or disperse? And I wonder how long it will be until that happens.

My toad friend.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Tadpole Re-count

The frog was out today, and I recounted the tadpoles. There must be at least 200! Plus there was another dead one and we could see that it was just barely starting to get legs.

A couple tadpoles in the net.

Frog sitting on fence in pond, half underwater. Tadpoles are in lower left side of picture.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Tadpoles Galore!

It rained today so the algae was gone from the pond. My water lily had disappeared earlier in the week, but it looked like it was still there today. Then I noticed that the tadpoles are getting so big (although they are only dime sized) that I could see them from inside the house! So I went outside and did find my lily plant, so that was good. Plus the underwater oxygenator cabomba plant is getting longer and you can see the tops of the plant poking up near the surface. My water lettuce I thought was practically gone, but it has divided into 3 small pieces with new growth. There was another dead tadpole on the surface, with obvious eyes starting to form. When I said we had foxes galore, we had like 6, but when I say we have tadpoles galore, I mean we have TADPOLES GALORE. I counted a whopping 73 tadpoles!!!!! I may have counted some of them twice, but still there are at least 50. They must have been hiding before, but when the water is clear they come up to suck air, so I could see them all hovering there at the surface. I took some pictures so we'll see if they turn out. I think they must eat the decaying leaves in the bottom of the pond. Plus I saw a new pond dweller--a beetle swimming around under the water. I had skimmed it off the other day but it seemed like it wanted to be there, so I put it back in the water. So it's like the pond is an ecosystem now.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Frog Identity?

I tried to identify what kind of frogs we have, from the following website, but none of them look like what we have.
The closest thing is the Green Frog, Bronze subspecies, except our frogs are dark brown or black and smooth. I didn't think they had any spots either. When they hear me coming, they go "MIRP!" and dive in the pond. I found a dead tadpole yesterday, but I guess that's not too unusual considering I had already found 2 other dead ones. Plus the rest of them were still swimming around so I guess the deck stain didn't do too much damage, if that's even what killed the tadpole.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Tadpole Update

Today I stained the pond deck to make it waterproof. Wouldn't you know it's raining now, when it needed 24 hours to dry. Unfortunately a few drips of the stain fell into the pond, and made the water murky, and dispersed about 1/3 of the algae on the surface. I could see into the pond, and saw at least 12 tadpoles. They are getting bigger, and look more like fish, because you can see their lips moving when they come to the surface to get air. I hope they didn't get poisoned by the stain. At least the rain will refresh the water some. A chipmunk was on the deck after I stained it, so I had to go shoo it away so it wouldn't get stain all over its feet. I saw the black cat today walking towards the woods on the same log that I had seen the mother fox and babies walk on.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Visitors of the Fox Den

We have two new visitors--stray cats. One we've seen twice in the past day, a black cat with white paws. We think it's a cat who lives in the neighborhood. Then tonight there was ANOTHER cat--a calico black, white, and orange cat. It went into the fox den under the main deck, and it wasn't interested in being friendly. The frogs have been out pretty regularly. I had found another dead tadpole maybe a week ago, but judging by the movement in the pond, there are probably still plenty of tadpoles. The deer might have come back and ate my dwarf cattails, which are missing, and the cardinal plant isn't in its pot anymore. Since it's been a while since a fox sighting, I'm thinking of getting a camera trap so that whatever walks by will get its picture taken.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Skinny Fox

I was starting to go through fox withdrawal, since I hadn't seen any foxes in a while, but I got a fox fix tonight. I caught a glimpse of a fox going into the den under the main deck. I think it might have been the scrawny fox. Probably all the heavy rain today made him want to come back to a dry den. Hopefully I will see him some more, otherwise I will have to change my blog title and report on other creatures, which I've sort of been doing already.

Monday, May 16, 2005


What we saw yesterday was a short tailed shrew, not a mole.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

New Wildlife

There is a hole in the ground under the birdfeeder, and we saw some movement in it. We thought maybe it was a bug, but then something appeared briefly...a mole! We think. Or is it a vole?

I found my water lily plant which was submerged under the ladder in the pond. I took it out and a tadpole fell out on the ground. I managed to get it back in the pond. I had found a dead tadpole earlier, but there are still more live tadpoles. I read they don't turn into frogs for like 6 to 12 weeks. I planted my aquatic plants in aquatic plant mix, so hopefully they will grow better now. The lily pad had new growth on it, so that is good.

April 21, 2005 Baby fox.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


We have a chipmunk that eats the seeds on the ground that fall out of the bird feeder. We think it lives in a stack of twigs we put near the house, near the birdbath. I wondered if the chipmunk could hop up to the birdbath to drink the water, and figured it probably could crawl up a nearby bush, and sure enough just then, lickety split, it zoomed up the branch and drank from the birdbath, and zoomed back down again. It also likes to hang out at the pond, unless that is a different chipmunk.

April 21, 2005 Baby nursing from between mother's legs.

Friday, May 13, 2005

April 21, 2005 Another pic of momma fox nursing a baby fox.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

April 21, 2005 Mother fox nursing an older baby. You can't really see her head because she's looking away with her head down. The runt might be on the other side of the mother.

Morning Sighting!

8:50 a.m. I opened the curtains and saw a fox kind of turning around near an azalea bush and it went running off in the other direction. It may have seen me open the curtains suddenly and got scared. I'm not sure which fox it was. It was either the mother or the skinny fox. I wonder if it was stalking a frog because it was about 10 feet away from a large frog sitting on the ladder in the pond.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


The tadpoles are still alive and well. I skimmed the pond surface again and found a few.

Prior Fox Sighting: Apr. 22, 2005

This morning I saw an older baby run from under the main deck, where the mother probably lives, to under the pond deck where the babies emerge from. I hope it was the one I scared off.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Prior Fox Sighting: April 21, 2005

Tonight we saw the mother nursing two babies! But I'm sad the baby I scared off wasn't there. They went and played on a log and the babies got in a scuffle and the mother was knocking them off the log. Then I moved to the big window and I thought the mother might have seen me. She made this motion (and probably a sound that I couldn't hear) with her mouth and the babies went running to the deck hiding place. Then she went off in the opposite direction that the other baby ran off in yesterday. I hope she finds him.

Monday, May 09, 2005

April 20, 2005 Two older fox babies and dark brown runt.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Pond Life

No fox sightings tonight, but as I was skimming the tree blossom debris off the pond, I saw something was a tadpole! Then I found 3 more! Neat. Will post pictures of the tadpoles' parents.

Frog sitting on the fence in pond. Also shown are the other aquatic plants before the deer pulled them up.

Frog on edge of pond. Also pictured is the water lettuce, before the deer munched on it.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Fox Dens

Here are pictures of the baby fox den under the pond deck, and the larger den under the main house deck.

fox family den (gap in lattice near bushes)

baby fox den

Friday, May 06, 2005

Fox Sighting Tonight

The same fox I saw last time just came by (the young skinny fox)! He was sort of running in circles following a scent trail. I wonder if he smelled the deer? Or was smelling something for his dinner? Then he ran off to the azalea bushes and disappeared. He's the only one I haven't gotten pictures of because he is pretty fast and I only see him later at night.

Aquatic Plant Vandal

Yesterday evening I saw something run off into the woods, but didn't really see what it was. I'm pretty sure it was a deer based on the way it ran and the size of it, although I didn't think deer lived around here. Then around midnight I heard a noise that was sort of like a bark but didn't exactly sound like a dog. Then this morning I noticed all my aquatic plants in the pond were gone! I had just planted them like a couple weeks ago. I just now assessed the damage, and my water lettuce had been chewed on, the lily pads had been bitten off and the rest of the plant was nowhere to be seen. The zebra rush, cardinal flower, and dwarf cattails were missing their pots and were knocked over, but not really eaten. I had put about 4 of the plants in plastic bags so that the dirt wouldn't wash out (I should have used aquatic plant potting soil), but the odd thing is that I only found 1 bag with a pot in it, and didn't find the other pots or bags, unless they are submerged. The oxygenator plants were still there but kind of strewn apart--jungle vallisneria, hornwort, cabomba, and anacharis. So much for my attempt at water gardening. Plus I just planted basil and spinach in the yard and don't expect those to last if the deer is still in the area when they start to come up.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Two Baby Foxes: April 20, 2005

Here are the two older fox puppies.

Two fox puppies playing by the pond.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Baby Fox Pic: April 20, 2005

This is a fox puppy standing on the fence we put in the pond in case a fox fell in and couldn't get out.

Fox puppy standing on fence in pond.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Fox returns

It had been a while since I had seen a fox, but I saw one tonight! It might have been what I was calling the juvenile, although I'm wondering if that is the father of the babies, although he seems smaller than the mother. It came from the woods up our stepping stone path, onto the pond deck, into the azalea bushes and out of sight. Then I saw a fox (probably the same one) back in the woods like a minute or so later. Glad they are still in the area, although I haven't seen the mother or babies recently. Will post more baby pictures on a fox-less night.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Prior Fox Sighting: April 20, 2005 Foxes Galore

The foxes were out early tonight, 3 babies! I feel bad though because I went outside to plant my aquatic plants in the pond, and I thought the babies had all hidden, but one was still out there in a bush when I went out there. It got scared and went running off real fast into the woods. It seems too tiny to be out alone in the woods. Then we were out there planting the plants for a while so I feel all guilty I scared off the baby. It was one of the older ones, at least. One was real tiny and black. The runt went off behind the shed and then came back and went under the deck (with the mother I assume). One other went under the pond deck. The two bigger ones had been hanging out around the pond for a while.

Baby fox

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Prior Fox Sighting: April 19th, 2005

I saw the baby fox again tonight. It appeared from the pond deck, then heard noises at the highschool, got scared, and ran to the other side closer to the house where the mother might be. It sat there for a while listening but then went where I couldn't see it, maybe under the deck.

Second fox sighting of the night! Just saw an adult trotting down the front sidewalk and it peed on our flowers and kept going! This place is swarming with foxes.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Prior Fox Sightings: Apr. 17th, 18th, 2005

April 17th: A dead fox baby was by the pond with pink blood near its mouth and it's fur might have been wet, but it wasn't in the pond it was near it, which is also near the fox hole under the pond deck. Poor fox baby. :( We're not sure why it died.

April 18th: We saw a fuzzy fox baby wandering around the deck tonight near the pond. It was too dark to get any good pictures. It was too young to really even climb the stairs but it was kind of a toddler. We put a small fence which is sort of like a ladder in the pond so that the fox baby would not drown.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Prior Fox Sightings: Apr. 5th and 9th, 2005

April 5, 2005: I saw the skinny fox across the street scent marking a fence.

April 9, 2005: I saw 2 different foxes today! One in the middle of the day, the same puny one I've seen a couple times recently. Then just a while ago I saw the more adult looking one farther back in the woods. The puny one ran right up our back yard, up the deck and disappeared. We raked leaves and put rocks around the edge of the pond. Then we dismantled the old barrel fountain. The pump still works so we'll probably assemble a new fountain so the water can cascade into the pond. Hopefully moving water will cut down on the mosquitoes. The pond had all these wrigglers in it. They had 4 legs and 2 antennae and moved the front legs. There were a few adult water striders. Plus I raked some leaves out of the pond and took a glassful of the dirty water. I let it settle and it was like this jelly layer with sort of a clearer brown water layer above it with chunks. Plus there were tiny things swimming in it! They were the size of like a pin head.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Second fox of the night

Unless it was a cat. I saw it walking along a fence across the street, the same fence that the juvenile fox had peed on once. It was a pretty small fox, but not a baby, so it was probably the same one I'd seen there before.

Prior Fox Sighting: Mar. 24, 2004

I saw a fox! I saw it in the front yard going to the neighbor's yard. It was a puny skinny pointy nosed fox, not like the other big one we saw. At first i thought it was a reflection of one of our cats on the glass window, then i thought it was a cat outside, but it was a fox! I think.


I caught a glimpse of a fox going towards the den under the deck. It was too dark to tell if it was an adult or a baby. I think the babies are no longer under the pond deck (as opposed to the main deck) because they probably got too big to fit under there.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Adult Fox

Tonight I saw an adult fox come from the woods into our yard, and it went probably to the woods to the left of the house. About 20 minutes later, it came back from the left and sniffed our deck stairs on the right side of the house. Then it disappeared, probably into the den under the house. I assume it was the mother fox.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Pictures Coming

No fox sightings tonight :( but I learned how to post pictures. When I don't see foxes, I will post about prior fox sightings.

Prior fox sighting: Jan. 22, 2005 Saw 2 foxes this morning! I got a picture, which is not that great, and then later one came back, and reared up and then pounced down at something. I ran to get my camera again but it ran off. Drat.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Second fox of the evening

Just saw the juvenile fox (maybe a year old?) run off into the neighbor's front yard, no sooner than I said "This time of night is when the foxes are in the front yard".


Just saw one of the older babies (more like a toddler now) come out from under the pond deck. He was kind of scared and sat there near the pond listening, because there are dogs barking in the neighborhood and noise from the highschool. He kept popping his head up from behind the deck, then ran off into the woods. He disappeared from sight for a while, but then we saw him faintly. It looked like he was jumping off a log that he and his sibling and mother were on the other day. Then he came back and ran under the pond deck, popped his head out a few times, then ran under the crawl space under the main deck. Maybe the mom is under there and he is nursing.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Juvenile Fox

Saw the juvenile (small skinny) fox crossing the street. It sat there for a while in the road, luckily no cars were coming. Then it sat in our flower bed and ran to the neighbor's yard. I've always only seen that fox in our front yard (and had seen it scent mark a fence across the street).

More fox activity

Didn't think I'd have more to post about tonight. Saw the mother fox and 2 babies! I think it was the two older babies, which means that the baby I scared off the other night returned home. Or it could be that the blackish runt got yellowish fur like the older babies. But I think it wasn't the runt. The babies kept running back and forth from the den under the house, to the pond, to the woods. The mother at one point opened her mouth at the baby to make it go back to the den when it tried to follow her. The babies seemed extra hyper tonight running real fast. One baby stepped on the fence we put in the pond and took a drink. I thought one baby went out in the woods and hadn't returned, unless I didn't see it come back. At another point the mommy fox attacked the baby momentarily and they made these growling noises! I wonder when the babies will fledge because they are getting more independent. We must have watched them for 20 minutes.

First post

This blog is for posting about my sightings of the members of the red fox family living under our deck. Just saw what might be the mother, crossing the street towards our house. It was heading straight for our house, then turned to go towards the woods. I turned off the dining room light, and then it appeared right under the bay window! It ran around the house, so I went in the basement to the sliding glass window and saw it right by the window! Then it ran off into the woods. We saw one of the baby foxes tonight on the deck near the pond. It was playing with a stick and jumping sideways.