St James City and Galt Preserve

Maybe it is because it has been cold here recently.

Maybe I just want to remember what it feels like to have warm sun on my bare skin and brightly colored flowers blooming.

 Maybe it is because my screen saver popped up a few of these photos and I just felt like sharing them with you.

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Life has been happening all so fast and full lately.   Some good, some not so good.  That’s life, isn’t it?

How about with you?  Are you out in the garden?  Making art? Taking care of your animals? Continue reading

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Morning Y’all. What’s new in your neck of the woods?


I’ve been working on some changes here.

Same blog name, new look.   A funny thing happened on the way to writing this post.

As is often the case, I started to write about one subject and then it ended up being completely different from what I planned.

Truth is I struggle to blog.   Pretty much every post I make, I think in my mind will be my last.

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Visitors they come and they go.  We have our share of them.  This one has decided he would like to live under our front porch.

Sadly, he may have to be evicted, they can cause serious damage to building foundations.  For now, I’ll enjoy the chubby cheek adorableness from afar.

I’ve read that they can be made into pets, however it requires a lot of work, and that it is quite difficult to attain the cute and cuddly stage.

Also, they are good swimmers.  Whoda thunk?  And so Mr. Cottage named him Phelps.

They are herbivorous and receive their hydration from eating leafy plants.

They can move up to 35 cubic feet and up to 5,500 pounds  of soil when creating a burrow.

What is it?

Whistle-pig (I never heard that term before), woodchuck, land beaver, or more commonly known in our area as a ground-hog.

I took a photo this morning through the window as Phelps was hanging out on the front porch.


Phelps is smiling at me with his long front teeth.  He said “Hey lady, I was thinking about making a meal out of your Chinese cabbage you got planted out here on the porch.”

I set the critter cam out in the yard last night and managed to catch a few candid shots of him this morning as he was coming and going.


Good Morning!


Hey – What’s the funny looking square thing with the flashing lights?  Maybe I’ll take a step closer and investigate.



You can tell he was thinking about doing some pole dancing on the tiki torch pole.



He decides to go hang out on the porch instead.


Any advice on relocating Phelps?

See you later bye!


freedom flyers


This is the third  summer we have hosted the same Phoebe family.  They have built a lovely condo for themselves up in the corner of our front porch roof.

I took these photos through the glass of my front storm door.  The smudges on the glass are from me pressing my face against it trying to get a better look at the babies.  There are three in this group, the fourth fell to his death during a storm last week.  That was horribly sad and broke my heart.

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They poop all over the porch and make a mess with their nest droppings and bug guts.  Each summer we say perhaps we will pull it down after they fly away, hoping they will re-locate.  We don’t though.

For a few weeks twice a summer it feels like a great honor to have them.  I am always amazed when I come down stairs and open the front door and discover that the parents have moved them out of the nest in the dark of the night.  It seems so brilliantly smart, especially when you know that my cats lay on the porch under the nest each day patiently hoping that one will slip out and into their waiting paws.  Rest assured it hasn’t happened yet.


Both parents take turns catching insects and feeding the young.  I am not sure which one is placing the moth in the little waiting mouth.  Too  sweet.  Sigh, I am going to miss their sweet peeping.

I feel fairly certain they will fly away either tonight or tomorrow – just a gut feeling, and so I’ve named them the freedom flyers in honor of the holiday.

For my fellow Americans celebrating Independence Day tomorrow – I hope you have a safe day.


 I’ve made an attempt at cutting some red,white and blue flowers from my garden to place on the kitchen table.

See you later, Bye!


P.S.   6:15 am July 4th – The Freedom Flyers safely left the nest in the night.  My porch seems very quiet and still this morning. If they keep the same traditions as the past few years Mr. and Mrs. Phoebe  will return in a few weeks for a second brood.

P.S.S. 8:00 am – I just discovered one of the babies, has been left behind in the nest.  It is crying to be fed.  I will keep you posted.