Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Cliff Swallow Tree

 The other morning when Katie and I went outside for her first walk I heard a LOT of birds singing.  I looked across the street, and this tree was filled with Cliff Swallows.  They come out in the afternoon and fly back and forth, all over the place, fast.  I’m always trying to get shots of them flying overhead, but they are too fast for me.  That morning I had what seemed like unlimited time to take as many photos as I wanted.

The tree was just alive with birds.  They were constantly coming and going, landing on a branch then flying off.  They were also doing a lot of grooming while perched.  It was hard to get shots of them sitting nicely or flying on and off, but I managed a few.  Here they are. 

All I knew about these birds was that they were fast and flew overhead every afternoon, and had white undersides.

I got some close-ups and found they are really pretty birds.  I didn’t realize they had the rust color on their heads until I saw these shots.

I couldn’t find them in my field guides, so I showed the above photo to Hazel, and she identified them for me.

Hey, find your own branch!


I was happy to finally get some good shots of these little guys.  I love “bird trees” and was pretty excited to see the Cliff Swallow Tree.

Still no horses in the campground, they have been staying on the other side of the lake, but this bull has been around.  We saw him down by the boat ramp the other day…

… and yesterday evening we saw him by the road, munching his way up the “Private Road” to the Rangers house.   This is the one that was outside Hazel’s rig waking her Greyhounds up at 2 am the other night.

He seems to travel alone, because so far we haven’t seen any cows with him.

Well… I haven’t yet gotten under The Palms to fill in the holes the mice are using to visit us.  Late Monday evening Katie was asleep and I was starting this post and I heard some rustling noises under the driver’s seat in the cab.  I looked at Katie and she didn’t move.  Then I heard a click noise and Katie raised her head and we looked at each other.  S**t, another mouse.  I got out my flashlight and went outside, opened both doors and checked under the seats for the traps I had set there.  I was actually hoping to find a dead mouse in one of the traps since there was a click.  No such luck.

Look what I found:

It almost worked.  The mouse went right past the two kinds of traps I had set and stepped on this glue box that was baited with peanut butter.  He took one bite out of the peanut butter, but maybe it was too old.  He didn’t want more, and was able to step off, leaving only muddy footprints.  Now, don’t you all be telling me how cruel these glue traps are.  I have about 6 different kinds of traps, and whatever works is what I’m going to use. I have three different kinds of traps under each truck cab seat.  I think mice are cute and they are definitely God’s creatures, but if they are in my house, I’d rather catch them in a glue trap than stab them with my butcher knife and impale them to the kitchen floor.  Besides being cruel, that definitely puts holes in my kitchen floor!

I got out the bag of traps, etc., and baited a couple more plastic traps with peanut butter and renewed the bait in the traps under the cab seats. I put  two under the couch and the rest under the cab seats.  I was sooooo hoping we’d get him during the night.  Katie and I were awake on and off all night with Katie barking whenever she heard a sound, going up to the cab area, which I have blocked off so she can’t get up there, and growling and wagging her tail.  Jeeeezzz – what a night.

Check back tomorrow – Wordless Wednesday - for the second installment in photos.

WELCOME to our newest Follower, Dawn Fine!  She writes that she and her husband have been full-timing since 2001, and they love hiking, birding, mushrooming, shelling, rocking, and hanging out in the great outdoors and spending time with family and friends.  Her newest blog post has many pictures of a rare bird, the Red-necked Stint.  There’s something about water birds - whether they are at an ocean, creek or lake - that I love.  Great photos, Dawn.  That must have been fun.  I’m enjoying reading your blog, and love your photos.  Thanks for following me and Katie – we’re happy to have you along!
From me and Katie, have a great Tuesday night, everyone!  Smile


  1. I am with you 110% on mice in my camper. I spent 2 sleepless night in June trying to eradicate them and only had limited success. They are cute and left alone outside but inside, it is war. I never did figure out how they get inside.

  2. Would you or Katie put up with a cat? They love the little mousies, yum, yum!

    Good luck in eradicating them!

    Jo and Stella

  3. I maintain that an rv mouse is far worse than a house mouse. Far far worse. It's a terrible experience.

    Love the bird photos.

  4. I love wildlife but not rodents. You do much better than I would - I go straight for the bait cubes.

  5. love the swallow tree and bird pictures ...

    This bull belong to anyone? he just strolls about? I guess they're free range cattle? well? at least he's roaming free until he's eaten... hate eating a burger... and I don't often

    poor little mice. had one once that only ate chocolate. I'm not kidding. I would let the cats or Joe kill it.

    a chocolate eating mouse? surely they can't carry too many diseases or bite you. I know nothing

  6. Great pictures of the Cliff Swallow.

    Hugs to Katie!

  7. I loved the pictures of the Cliff Swallows. When I was in Amarillo I came across a tree that had birds on every available space. I wondered what they were, took the best pictures I could, but could never identify them.

    As for the mouse/mice...I hope I never have the problem. Someone advised me to put pur peppermint oil on cotton balls to keep them away. After reading your dilemma, I'm concerned about my trailer. It's been stored for the past few months. Usually it's in the driveway where I can check it. Well, good luck to you and Katie getting rid of them.

  8. The first photo is a cow, the second a steer- as it does not appear to have it's 'family jewels' (castrated). Steers are raised for meat.


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