Category: wildlife

I love the early mornings. The kitchen is my spot, cup and Bible close at hand.
Sitting in the quiet darkness, my only companions the dogs, my coffee, time for meditation, prayers and then computer time.
This morning, as I sipped my caffinated drink, waiting for sunrise I could hear geese flying over and a symphony of owls.
The geese seem to be heading north, perhaps better predictors of spring arriving than the resident rodent of Pennsylvania.
The owls, I’m not sure if they are in an amorous mood, or telling one another about the nights hunting efforts. Whichever it might be, I enjoy hearing them sing to me.
The haunting soudns reach me, make me feel safe.
Of course, I must admit, I am looking forward to hearing the peep frogs and whip-poor-wills to begin the harmony of spring and summertime.

pups, cardinal 005a
Looking out my kitchen window I was treated to this posing cardinal.
The dirty window and the screen kind of detracted from picture quality, but I still wanted to share it.

I would like to state that yes, there was a surprise this morning, new beagle pups were born here on Sunrise Ridge, however, the cold rain that developed shortly after I descoverd this wonder and Mama Rosie’s bad temper at being disturbed has not allowed pictures of that particular ‘surprise’.
So I went through my photo files and came up with another lovely ‘surprise’ from one of the walks Hubby and I took out beyond the barn into the woods.
on the ridge today 006a
Finding this little guy hiding in the brush while its mother was away was indeed a nice surprise.

Recently a young man and his mother asked Hubby if he would take him on his first deer hunt. Hubby has worked with him, teaching proper shooting and hunting techniques off and on over the summer and readily agreed. The boy has shown his skills and been out with us rabbit hunting a time or two.

He is big enough, and excited about this rite of passage in our rural society.

The first weekend of Youth Rifle Season begins tomorrow here in Missouri. It is followed by regular gun season, muzzle loader season and another weekend youth hunt.

They have been busy, up on the hill where I killed a big buck a couple of years ago. Scouting trips have been taken, there is plenty of ‘deer sign’.  Antler rubs, scrapes and tracks abound in the area.

The blind is up, most of the needed items are in it, waiting for the hunters arrival before daylight in the morning.

Pretty much all that is missing is the cooperation of a deer. That part is in the hands of God, I hope he knows how much it will help out in the life of our young man and feeding his family this winter.

October is on the wane. Most of the garden is done, in fact has been tilled and planted to turnips.

Since we finally have had some nice ground soaking rains, those are doing quite well. The tops are now big enough to cut for greens and soon there will be turnips to eat. Hubby plants them every fall, we share them with the deer.

Those deer have already been into the food plot patch and sampled some.

Here in the kitchen, a plate of cushaw seeds are drying as well as a couple of pods of okra. Those were exceptionally good and the seed will be planted in hopes of another crop.

The pretty green striped cushaw and its twin were given to me by a friend. We like them and will try growing our own next year.

Funny, we keep talking about scaling back the garden, but it seems to grow and grow as we add new things. I have no complaints about that. Growing our own, we know what is in it and what has been used on it. It gives us retirees something to do, and if there is more than we need something to share.


It’s a chilly damp day here in my slow land of country living.

It’s fall and orange abounds!  Out in the gardens, Pumpkins, sweet potatoes, winter squash.

In the woods, bright-colored leaves on sassafras, maple and many berries ripen for birds and wildlife. Lots of little orange rose hips this year. They make good jelly, but it has been a rough year, I will leave them for God and the animals to take care of.

In my kitchen a box of sweet potatoes, gift from Hubby, some squash from a friend, some nice tart cooking apples and a pumpkin have raised a  clamor for attention. They await inspiration and energy to become lasting products in the pantry and freezer. Some, like caterpillars into a cocoon are already on the way to becoming ‘something else’.

Last night a friend asked about ways to use yams. Did you know that a yam is NOT a sweet potato? But here we consider them such and use them in the same ways.

I suggested fried,  mashed, and the way Hubby likes them, cut in small pieces, baked with butter and maple syrup.

I have to be honest, if a recipe calls for pumpkin and I don’t have any, I substitute winter squash, or sweet potatoes. Sometimes I have to adjust the spices or liquid, but it seems to work.

THis is a handy recipe for Pumpkin bread: This recipe makes 2 9X5 loaves. 3 cups sugar, 1 cup oil, 4 eggs, 2 cups pumpkin (or your choice of substitute) 2/3 cups water, 3 1/2 cups flour, pinch salt, 1/2 rsp each baking powder, cloves, nutmeg, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 2 tsp baking soda. Mix all together until smooth and pour int greased and floured pans. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour, test as for cake.

Of course, you can use cooked squash or sweet potato instead of pumpkin and add in nuts or raisins if you want, In fact, another friend mentioned adding bananas.  I can see that I have some experimenting to do here in the Sunrise Ridge kitchen this winter.

I wonder if you could substitute sweet potatoes for carrots in a carrot cake? I may have to try that too.

If you don’t hear from me, I’ll be in the kitchen. Cooking, tasting and testing ideas.



Out back we have a salt lick.

This time of year it begins to get busy. We have a couple of cameras out there that way we can sort of see what kind of ‘traffic’ is coming through.

Bucks and does are preparing for the rut. In face, archery season is already open here. Firearm season is coming in about 6 weeks.

And there are others, shredding cedar trees to polish those antlers and scraping the ground.


Last night I was sitting in the kitchen reading a book. An odd noise came throught the open window, I looked out, seeing nothing in the dark. I grabbed a flashlight off the counter and shined it out the window.

There was a raccoon grinning happily at me! It did not waste any time, but turned and waddled back off into the trees.

I’m pretty sure it knows there is some free and easy food available with the dogs and chickens living here.

The Hav-a-hart trap will be set tonight. Sorry fella, it is time for you to find a new home!

Rain! That’s right, I said RAIN! Our first real rain since sometime in May.

We had a show of lightning and thunder and  with it some wonderful falling water last night. Three-quarters of an inch is not enough to ‘save’ things, but as I looked out this morning to dripping leaves and a tinge of green across the food plot, I knew we were blessed.

I can only imagine how the wildlife must feel today. Water holes have been renewed and there may be some fresh tender shoots coming up for them to eat.

Everyone here on Sunrise Ridge feels ‘better’ today. Cool, washed air leads to pleasant thoughts.

It’s Friday, and time for An attempt t0 tell a story in 100 words or close to that. Madison Woods link has a picture to provide inspirataion, the rest is up to participants. This weeks photo was provided by Susan Wenzel

Here is mine.

Camping on the river                              

We walked along the rivers edge

Happy children, splashing, picking up mussel shells

Chasing crawfish into deeper water

Skipping rocks across the stream.

“One, two, three ,four!”

“Mine went farther!”

Eating hotdogs and s’mores

At the campfire

As darkness falls.

Until the sounds of alien creatures

Rustling around the tent

Brings utter terror in the night.