Monday Musings — Spring Wildlife, Babies, and What To Do If You Find One!

Happy Spring and Baby Wildlife Season!

It finally seems the warmer weather is here to stay after more than a few false starts this year. Reaching 91 one day and then freezing the next. What’s up with that? For a while, it seemed as though Mother Nature herself had contracted the COVID-19 virus and wasn’t quite herself in how the weather bounced up and down for weeks on end early on. One of the strangest Spring seasons I recall in quite a while. But then again, this whole year of 2020 has been something to behold so far, hasn’t it?

I would not want to be in the shoes of whoever Mother Nature ultimately tracks down thru contact tracing as to who gave her the virus, if that is the case. How many remember the old adage — “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature?”



Personally, I have been looking forward to the arrival of Spring since the last Christmas present wrapping hit the floor. And I am not alone. Mother Nature’s critters, huddled in winter dens, have all been awaiting the first warming rays of sunshine, too.

So, let’s talk about Wildlife. The four-legged, feathered, and furry sort mostly, and save Las Vegas, Party Barges, and Weekend Bingo Binges for another discussion and time.


Where I live, we have had a Skunk lurking around the trash cans and smoking area in the rear of the buildings for a while. A Possum, too. It crossed in front of me walking the dog a few weeks ago. Mid-morning, no rush at all crossing the street as if it owned the crosswalk. And it has been sighted again around the area more recently.

Given the old-growth trees around the neighborhood, I would expect to see Raccoons and hear some Owls anytime, as well. I stop and listen when out at night trying to hear or see one. No luck so far, but I have seen bats zipping around overhead from time to time.

And we have countless Squirrels scampering about gathering acorns and other food treats. And a very special little tailless squirrel. It lives nearabout the twin fir trees at the end in the side yard area.  I saw him on two occasions last fall scurrying along the curbside of the rear parking lot.

I first became aware of the presence of the tailless squirrel after noticing a scribbled “Reward Note” posted on a Sweetgum tree out front –

“25 Acorns Reward For Information Leading To The Whereabouts And Speedy  Recovery Of My Missing Tail.”

The note was signed by “Stubby the Grey Squirrel”.

Assuming the tailless little guy is still anywhere around to be seen now, of course. Being somewhat of an oddity, he may have run off already to join the circus, hit the talk show circuit, or to pursue a movie career with the Muppets in Hollywood. What some see as misfortune, others see as a blessing and opportunity! It just depends on your mindset, I suppose.


As I have advised my friends here in the seniors’ community, there is no reason to be alarmed by any of the little neighborhood critters because they generally do not want to have anything to do with you. But please do not rush out to change your deodorant or take that personally. It is not about “You”.

By nature, wildlife does not want to have anything to do with any other human, either. It’s a survival thing. It seems humans have unfortunately established themselves as a threat in the eyes of most wildlife. Accordingly, practicing the original form of social distancing,  they will avoid you at all costs if they can, just as we are the COVID-19 virus at present.

The best thing whenever you see any of Mother Nature’s friends is to simply ignore them and go about your business while they go about there’s. Or simply turn around and go back the way you came. Chances are that once the little guys see you, they will be hightailing it out of there to the safety of a nearby tree or hidey-hole, anyway. Again, they really do not want to have anything to do with you. Trust me, you are not on the menu or in any of our local critters’ food groups, so you can feel pretty safe about that.

The odds of you being chased down and eaten by a chipmunk in the backyard are pretty slim. Actually, the first, last, and only recorded chipmunk attack on a human being was when an exasperated Alvin the Chipmunk allegedly attacked a record producer for not giving him a hula hoop at Christmas. And there are some doubts as to the neutrality and impartiality of the witnesses, Simon and Theodore. In the end, Mr. Seville was not actually eaten and consumed by Alvin anyway, merely bashed and battered around a bit by the disgruntled chipmunk crooner. Just do not promise a hula hoop and then fail to deliver on it, and you should be fine. Chipmunks and other small critters do not eat people. Really, I’ve studied this stuff.

Except, possibly for coyotes. But probably not them, either. Coyotes do not typically attack humans, but as they increasingly spread into urban areas, pets may be at risk. Coyotes may view large dogs as rivals and seek to eliminate them and see small dogs and cats as prey (i.e. lunch snacks). I have neither seen nor am I aware of any coyotes in our neighborhood here, but putting the word out anyway for our dog walker friends to be aware going forward and to keep little Spot and Fido safe, because that is not to say they may not be in your neighborhood. As well as bears, wolves, and mountain lions depending on where you may live.  So while not purposefully ignoring those larger guys today, we are mostly just talking about the smaller, everyday, urban critters we encounter more frequently in our neighborhoods.


Otherwise, it is springtime, and springtime in the animal community means “Babies” and the beginning of Baby Wildlife Season.

Wildlife babies of all varieties are either emerging from nests and dens about now or very soon will be. Lots of them. And we all know that a Mother will always stand her ground to protect her Babies.

In the event you happen across a Mother and Babies, the best thing to do is to give them plenty of space no matter how cute they seem, and by all means, do not appear threatening to them. It is best to just calmly and quietly leave the area.

Mother and Babies will move along soon enough so that you can get back to whatever you may have been doing, and everyone can go safely on about their business.


But what to do (or not do) if you come across a wildlife baby and there is no mother around?  It depends.  The best advice from the National Wildlife Federation is to simply leave it alone.

For most of us, our first instinct may be to “rescue” it. But before intervening and quite possibly interfering, we really need to make sure that the baby truly needs our assistance in the first place. In many instances, it is totally normal for wildlife babies to be on their own.  Mother deer and rabbits leave their young alone for most of the day to avoid attracting predators, for example.

If a baby bird is fully feathered, it is called a “fledgling” and it is normal for it to be out of the nest. Fledglings spend several days on the ground hiding in the vegetation until they can fully fly. It is a dangerous time for them to be sure, but the mother bird is usually close by keeping a watchful eye. If you get too close or interfere, you may get divebombed by one or both parents.

On the other hand, if a baby bird is featherless or covered in fluffy down, it is called a “nestling” and should be returned to the nest if possible. Contrary to popular belief, touching a nestling or baby animal will NOT make the parents reject it.

Regarding reptiles – baby snakes, turtles, and lizards hatch from eggs (or are born live in the case of some snakes) and are completely equipped to care for themselves right from the get-go. Simply leave them right where they are and they will be fine without any help.

So again, before intervening in the “rescue” of any wildlife baby, make sure it actually needs help, to begin with. Again, in many situations, it is totally normal for wildlife babies to be on their own. “Rescuing” an animal that does not need rescuing actually decreases its chance of survival, and of course that is the last thing we want.

Though it might seem harsh, the fact of the matter is that it is normal and natural for wildlife babies to be on their own and that in the grand scheme of things, not all wild animals survive to adulthood. A wildlife baby sadly may not make it, but in many instances may end up being the food that allows other wildlife babies to survive. That is the natural way of things. Stepping away and letting nature take its course is usually the best thing to do.

The exception to all this is if an animal is injured as a direct result of human activity –  getting hit by a car, attacked by a pet, striking a window, falling from a nest during tree work, or if you have witnessed its parent being killed and know without a doubt that the baby has been orphaned.

At those times, the ethical thing is trying to help, but not necessarily by intervening directly. Contacting a local wildlife rehabilitator or wildlife rescue group should be our first step to provide help because they are trained, properly equipped, and know what to do to provide the best treatment, care, and chances for the animal’s recovery and survival.


And a word about Snakes. Snakes are beneficial because they prey on and keep down the number of real pests and possible disease carriers – Mice and Rats – the most common urban animals whether we like to admit it or not. Yes, mice and rats are likely in the backyard and around the trash cans and dumpsters, too. Snakes help keep mice and rats under control. That is a good thing.

The scary thing would be if there were no snakes at all. For example, snakes play a major role in controlling the spread of Lyme Disease by preying on the mice and rats who play host to the ticks that spread the disease. If snakes all disappeared, Lyme Disease would rapidly become much more prevalent and more widespread. And that is merely one example of the importance of snakes.

With the rising temperatures, you may see a snake basking and warming itself in the sunshine. Again, not to panic. If you see or unwittingly disturb a snake – simply move away quietly and let it be. Snakes, like all critters, do not consider humans a food source so have no reason to bother you unless you give it one and they feel cornered or threatened with the need to defend themselves. They merely go about doing their jobs as Mother Nature and God intended.

But, a necessary word of caution. Being reptiles, with warmer weather upon us snakes will be more active, and it must be said that a few are venomous. Again, they do not want to eat you and should not bother you unless you provoke or give them a reason to. Or, startle them and catch them by surprise.

So when working in the garden or out and about, it is best to be aware and alert to their possible presence.

Snakes and all of the other wildlife have every much of a right to be here as we do. Maybe more. They were here first, after all.

“Live and Let Live” is the best policy for snakes and all wildlife.


So, as you are out and about enjoying the beautiful Spring and Summer weather to come, please be aware of the miracles and wonders of nature surrounding you where you live. Simply stop, listen, and be aware of the moment.

And, please do not leave food out for or feed local wildlife. They have a natural role to play in nature and must be allowed to do that. Foods that we leave out or unsecured garbage in trash cans is not their natural food or healthy, and it frequently ends badly for the animals as they suddenly become classified as “pests” to be eliminated.

It is best for all not to do it. Wildlife will do much better on its own being allowed to simply function as Mother Nature intended.


Possums, Raccoons, Skunks, Groundhogs, Squirrels, Chipmunks, Rabbits, Snakes, Turtles, Moles, and Deer (and Mice and Rats, too), not to mention the wondrous varieties of birds, all call our neighborhoods home and raise their families right alongside us. They are out there. And if we are mindful, we can enjoy all of the local wildlife and live together in Peace. I encourage you to venture outdoors, take a walk, and breathe the fresh air. Take a  break from the daily news and avail yourself of the beautiful World and  Wildlife surrounding us.

If you would like to learn more about what to do if you do find baby wildlife, please visit The National Wildlife Federation for more information, specific to each species.

When outdoors, please keep your eyes and ears open and listen for your local wildlife neighbors because they are all around you whether you see them or not!

And for Bigfoot. Always Bigfoots. Because like UFO’s and ghosts, we never really quite know for certain, do we?

Please remember that wearing a mask when in public right now is not solely about protecting ourselves, but moreover a showing of respect and concern for those around us, a way of protecting them.  And that is a very simple and kind thing we all can surely do for each other.

Because we truly are all in this together.

Thanks for visiting with us today! Best wishes and health! — Jim  (and Red!)


PS — As a friendly reminder, Little Red Bear and I have changed some Amazon marketing structures and eliminated all royalties on his “Adventures of Little Red Bear” stories to make them as affordable as possible for leisurely and relaxing reading during this time for everyone. They are always Free with Kindle Unlimited. 

And if you have already read and enjoyed Red’s adventures, we would sincerely appreciate if you could take a minute to leave a review to help others find their way to the books.

Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages! 
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

“If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.” –  Steve Irwin

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.  And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – 14th Dalai Lama


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!


“A simple act of kindness and compassion towards a single animal may not mean anything to all creatures, but will mean everything to one.” –  Paul Oxton


 

Pausing To Savor A Special Moment — “Yeah, That’s Good!”

As a writer, occasionally you sit back, read what you have just written on the page, and declare — “Yeah, that’s good.”  It is at those infrequent and exceptional moments when you feel that you are doing what you are intended to be doing — writing.

So it was yesterday morning with the second collection of Little Red Bear’s adventure stories, “The Second Holler Over!”

With the next collection of short stories well more than halfway completed, a new inspiration came to me stepping out of my morning shower. It was so strong and compelling that a planned breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast was scratched in favor of a dry bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal to munch on in order to set to work immediately, not to lose the revelation.

Initial thoughts were quickly added to the end of the second story, already written.  Then they were refined, edited, refined, and edited again. Over and over thru the morning.  My normal process of writing, editing as I go.

When finished hours later just in time for lunch, I re-read what I feel are the twelve most well-crafted and impactful paragraphs I have ever written. Twelve short paragraphs linking two adversaries, establishing an ominous tone, and underpinning all subsequent themed action to follow in the ensuing stories and coming books.

Admittedly not one to be easily impressed, I myself felt the impact of the new addition on the stories and was moved. Where the sudden inspiration for the addition to something that was already “finished” came from, heaven only knows. Literally, perhaps.

And after years of progressive study, reading and examining the works of others, writing, editing, more writing, more editing, rewrite work and more, it suddenly occurs to you over a lunchtime fruit smoothie a few minutes later that your writing ability, just maybe, has taken another small step forward to being truly proficient at what you do.  And, yeah — that’s good.

If you are interested in what the twelve paragraphs were, you will need to wait until “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The Second Holler Over!” is available in the fall. They will be the closing paragraphs of the second story, entitled “The Great Bramble Scramble.” I hope you are moved by them, too.

If new to Little Red Bear and his adventure stories, right now in the midst of summer reading season while even the leaves on trees seem to be melting on some days, it would be a good time for catching up with all the prior action, since the short stories run in sequence.  “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” is available in both Print and eBook versions on Amazon. The book will also be available in a Large Print version soon, as requested by numerous senior fans of Little Red Bear.


By this time, a few may be thinking “this guy is a bit full of himself.”  But to conclude that would be to miss the real point.

Whether our main activity and focus be on career, child-rearing, hobby pursuit, or personal passion like my writing is for me, often as we go along it can seem like we ourselves are Sisyphus reincarnate,  doomed to repeatedly push a huge boulder  up a steep hill, endlessly for eternity, only to have it roll back to the bottom each time, never progressing or making a difference. The view on life’s treadmill can become monotonous and seem unchanging.

It is beneficial to be aware and recognize special moments when they present themselves, to press the “Pause” button, step off and realize that we have done something out of the ordinary, above and beyond expectations.  To savor the accomplishment and personally acknowledge that yes indeed, we are making progress on our journey, however small it may be. A step forward is however measured, a step forward nonetheless.

And then, purpose reaffirmed and heartened a bit, we get back at it with a refreshed energy and spirit to move forward another step. And then another.

Pause occasionally, to savor a special moment.


Thanks for visiting with us! We never know what very special surprise or revelation may be awaiting us as we begin each new day.

We hope that whatever your passion and pursuit in life, that you may also experience such uplifting and reaffirming moments.  So that you too, can say — “Yeah, that’s good.”

What can you do to help someone find a happy moment today? Share your smile or a kind gesture? Or an unexpected flower, perhaps?

A simple act of kindness has the power to be life-altering for someone. That is pretty special in itself, don’t you think?  — Jim  (and Red!)


If you enjoyed this piece, you may also enjoy → “Finding A Purpose Driven Life — What Would You Do If . . . . . . ?” 

(And if a new visitor — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)


“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” – Orson Scott

“If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.” – Wally Lamb


Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages! 
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

      “People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’  I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those        people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.”       –  R.L. Stine


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, each month we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a non-monetized, ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of happiness, inspiration, and kindness with everyone. We invite you to join us in making a positive difference in the world!


                  “I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it.” – Chinua Achebe


 

Happy Hummer Season! Welcoming, Helping, and Attracting Hummingbirds In Your Neighborhood

Happy Hummer Season!  Soon the buzzing and whirring sounds of rapidly beating wings and flashes of color will be filling the air in our backyards once again. The hummingbirds return!

My earliest memories of hummingbirds from many years ago recall the stern admonition and warning from my Mother, taking a page from the ‘Mother’s Guide to Eyes & BB Guns’ — “Don’t go anywhere near the hummingbirds or bother them. They’ll poke your eye out with that bill of theirs!” 

This has always seemed out of character with my Mother’s deep love for all things ‘nature’, but she nevertheless firmly stood by it all thru the years. Maybe she knew someone from her past that had an unfortunate run-in with a disgruntled hummingbird. But I tend to doubt it.

Despite the “Eye Poke” warning, we planted a never-ending stream of flowers and butterfly bushes over the years to attract them, and it was always a special time celebrating new arrivals each Spring. It seemed that Summer would not really be Summer without Hummingbirds buzzing around our flower gardens!



Hummingbirds are a joy to observe in the backyard as they hover, flit and fly about, and will very soon be arriving back to summer homes in North America from winter stays in Southern Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and other regions of Central America. Hanging a nectar feeder to greet their arrival in Spring will help immensely as they arrive thirsty and in quick need of nourishment following their long migrations northward.



To find out when to expect the arrival of regional hummingbirds in your area, check out the Audubon Guide.  Residents in the South and along the Gulf shores should expect them first and have feeders out, available, and at the ready. When the tiny hummingbirds arrive after long journeys across the Gulf of Mexico from Central and South America they are famished, exhausted, and in need of quick energy resupply!


Providing a hummingbird feeder in your yard helps to renourish the little hummers quickly and get them off to a healthier start for the coming breeding season after their arduous travels northward, and can be both a source of entertainment and a healthy learning experience for the children in your family as they learn more about nature.

If unprepared in the Spring, not to worry. It is never too late during the season to put your first feeder out for hummingbirds, and extra feeders in the fall are very important for both local birds to prepare for southern migrations and for those passing thru from up north on their way south. It’s never too late to start.

Hummingbirds need to consume several times their body weight in food intake each day and are necessarily always on the lookout for flowering plants to quench their thirst and maintain energy.  Flowering plants for the hummingbirds are much more numerous and available during the summer months, so providing an early supplementary food source with a hummingbird feeder can help them get thru leaner spells in springtime when flowers and natural food sources are not yet as numerous.

There is no need to worry about supplementing their diet with a feeder and distracting hummingbirds from natural food sources, as they will continue to seek out and consume plant nectar, small insects, and tree saps to prepare for the breeding season, and then later feeding their young in the nest. And later still, preparing for fall southern migrations back to their winter homes.


To select the best feeder, choose one that can be easily cleaned on the inside to prevent contamination and illness for the birds, and one that is brightly colored with lots of red to get their attention and attract them to your feeder.

If you have few hummingbirds in your area, completely filling the feeder is not necessary, to not waste the nectar mixture. As the season progresses, filling the feeder to the brim may be more advisable as the birds will be visiting more often to drink and the feeders will probably be even busier with greater numbers in the summer heat and growing families.

If there are a large number of hummers in your area, a larger feeder with a greater number of feeding ports can help to reduce territorial conflicts brought about by the hummingbirds’ natural territoriality and competitiveness to guard the feeding source by allowing more birds to access the feeder. Everyone enjoys a little elbow room.



Feeders can be inexpensive and plain, or very decorative and ornamental.  The hummingbirds only care about the nectar and happily leave design and decor choices to the humans’ personal tastes.  But it is important for any feeder to contain a good deal of bright red coloration.  Hummingbirds are naturally attracted to brightly colored flowers, including yellows, oranges, pinks, and purples, but are drawn to the color red much more than any other color as it signals a food source to the tiny bird, so they naturally associate the color red with food.

Wearing a bright red shirt one hot day last summer, a hummingbird approached and examined me closely before sadly moving on, clearly disappointed after determining that the giant flower he thought he had joyfully discovered was not in fact, a flower.


There is no need to purchase pre-packaged hummingbird food mixes in the store, as a perfect nectar mix can be easily and inexpensively prepared in your home kitchen using only sugar and water as the ingredients.

It is important to prepare the nectar supplement mixture using only Refined White Sugar, as honey can promote dangerous and harmful fungal growth and should never be used. In addition, organic, natural and raw sugars may all contain excessive levels of iron which can be harmful to the birds. Plain, white refined sugar is sucrose, which when mixed with water comes the closest to matching the chemical composition of naturally occurring nectar in the wild.

With a brightly colored red feeder, there is no need to add red food coloring to the nectar mixture, as the chemicals in food coloring can be harmful to the hummingbirds.


Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

To prepare the nectar mixture, simply mix 1/4 Cup of Refined White Sugar in 1 Cup of Boiling Water until the sugar is all dissolved, or a ratio of 1 part sugar to 4 parts water if preparing a larger amount. Let the mixture cool and then fill the feeder and hang it outside for the birds. Simple as that.



For best results, hang the feeders preferably about head high so you do not need a ladder to reach it for cleaning and refilling, and also in the shade to keep the nectar from spoiling as quickly as it would in the full sun.  The nectar will serve as a healthy and beneficial supplement to the birds’ natural nectar diet in springtime, and then all summer long as well, providing the birds with an extra and welcome energy boost at the end of long, hot, and dry summer days.



Keeping the feeders freshly filled and available for the birds when fall arrives and having the extra nectar nourishment available will help your little neighborhood hummingbirds restrengthen after the breeding season is finished, boosting energy and helping them to prepare for their long migration back to southern wintering grounds.

Autumn feeders will also provide welcome and needed nourishment to hummingbirds in winter migration passing back thru on their way south. Because of the influx and numbers of migrating birds, putting additional hummingbird feeders out in the fall can actually be very helpful in providing needed migration energy for all who stop by to visit.



Extra nectar mix may be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in a clean glass or plastic container.  If the mix in the feeder becomes cloudy or mucky, it should be discarded and the feeder cleaned.  The feeder should be cleaned regularly every few days, especially during hot weather to keep it free from mold and mildew, as nectar is a food and will spoil. We usually clean ours every other day just to be safe.

Feeders can be cleaned using various sized bottle brushes and by soaking them in a mixture of 1 part plain white vinegar and two parts hot water, then thoroughly rinsing to keep the birds healthy.

If black mold is detected, soaking for an hour in a bleach mixture of 1/4 cup bleach to a gallon of water can be done, followed by very thorough rinsing. Mold should not be an issue if the feeders are cleaned regularly.



To control and keep away uninvited wasps and bees which may visit hummingbird feeders, avoid choosing a feeder with the color yellow on it, as yellow is known to attract them.  Some feeders have built-in water moats which protect against ants contaminating the nectar, and some have screens over openings which only allow the hummingbird’s long tongue to enter, keeping bees and other insects out.

For additional tips to prevent the problem of unwanted insect visitors,  visit Control All Insects On Nectar Feeders.  In years of feeding hummingbirds with different types of feeders, we have never really had a problem with either mold or uninvited guests.


Hummingbirds can be territorial, especially during breeding season, so there is no harm in hanging out more than one feeder, which may result in even more visitors to your yard.  If possible and for the best results, hang additional feeders out of the line of sight from one to another to attract more birds and to diminish conflicts over territory.



Adding native plants for your regional area and growing them in your garden and yard will also help the hummingbirds by providing natural shelter and food, including a healthy environment for insects. Many are surprised to learn that insects provide an important part of the hummingbird’s diet, especially during the breeding season.

For help in selecting the best native plants for not only hummingbirds but all birds, a great resource to check out is Audubon’s Native Plant Database. Simply enter your zip code to find the recommendations of local experts in your area for your yard. Then you can narrow down the search by the type of birds and/or plants you have in mind.



So, happy Hummer Season!  Little Red Bear and I hope this guide to helping the hummingbirds was helpful, and that both you and your family are able to experience the joys and delights of watching the amazing aerial displays and acrobatics of hummingbirds all summer long. Teaching children about the wonders of Mother Nature can never begin too early, and hummingbirds are fascinating and captivating to watch for all ages.

Likes, Comments, and Shares are always appreciated, in addition to sharing with family and friends to help spread the word to others about Mother Nature and helping to make the world a better place for everyone. Including the Hummingbirds!

Thanks as always for visiting and spending part of your day with us.  A small gesture or kind word can brighten someone’s day or change a whole life around. Join us in the “Smile & Compliment” club and help brighten someone’s life today!  — Jim (and Red!)


If you enjoyed this feature, you may also like — On Singing Birds, Baby Rabbits, and Our “Springtime in Little Red Bear Land!” Video 

(And if a new visitor — Welcome! To find out what we are all about here, please check out — “Welcome To My Writing Pages!” — and sign up to follow and be notified of every new post!)


“Kindness is the sunshine in which virtue grows.” — Robert Green Ingersoll

~ Every Day is Earth Day.   Think Globally — Act Locally. ~


Meet Little Red Bear & His Friends —  “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages! 
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

                   “The woods hold not such another gem as the nest of the hummingbird.                   The finding of one is an event.” – John Burroughs


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!

With the help of patrons, each month we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens,  School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.

Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a non-monetized, ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of happiness, inspiration, and kindness with everyone. We invite you to join us in making a positive difference in the world!


“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” — Vincent van Gogh

 


 

Happy Spring! — On Singing Birds, Baby Rabbits, and Our New Video “Springtime in Little Red Bear Land!”

Happy Spring!  Long awaited, Spring seems to have finally arrived here in the Central Midwest, while other areas to the north are still being buffeted by Winter-like storms.  Two days in the past week reached 80F degrees and doggone it the calendar says April 15th, so with all due respect to Jack Frost and Ol’ Man Winter, Little Red Bear and I are firmly declaring “Welcome Spring!”

As I write this, the windows are open and two Cardinals are singing lustily back and forth in the front of my home, while a House Finch sings for his enchanted in the back. An untold number of English Sparrows are embroiled in loud and urgent arguments over prime nesting spots behind outdoor lamp fixtures around the building.

Robins have been hopping along on the grass for a few weeks now, and I was blessed to see the arrival of a pair of Goldfinches yesterday morning, the first seen this year. The House Wrens have yet to arrive in my neighborhood, but they are usually among the last to arrive, along with the Hummingbirds.

Birds are dashing here and there hurriedly weaving and constructing new nests, while bear cubs, fox kits, and other babies are emerging from dens. A good time to remind to please be careful when driving or out and about with activities, to please be watchful for Mother Nature’s sometimes clumsy and careless new youngsters scurrying about, and to be mindful of spring families and nesting sites, including nesting shorebirds if visiting the beaches.

Because — Spring has arrived!



Little Red Bear has been hard at work on a new video celebrating “Springtime in Little Red Bear Land” and decided it was time to share it with everyone. As the Director of our videos, Little Red Bear has added a new wrinkle to this one, incorporating mini videos within the primary video.  Please let us know if you like our new mini “videos-in-a-video” approach because Red’s always trying new things to make them better and more entertaining for everyone.

Very special “Thank You’s!” to our dear photographer friends Adele Barger Wilson, Marilyn Schroeder, Matt and Delia of M&D Hills Photography, and Sallie J. Woodring Photography for the generous use of their images to create this video, along with images and video inserts from Pixabay.



Our hope is that even though some areas may still be held in Winter’s icy grip, Little Red Bear’s video will help bring warming thoughts of Spring to arrive soon.

We hope you enjoy Little Red Bear’s new video, and if so would truly appreciate a “Thumbs-Up” on YouTube to help other people find their way to it. Likes, Comments, and Shares are always appreciated! Happy Springtime!



When Spring arrives in your backyard — Open the windows! Listen to the songbirds! Watch the baby animals bouncing around! Walk barefoot in the new green grass! Plant a garden with some flowers for the bees and pollinators! Get dirty! Jump in a rain puddle! Take a hike and enjoy all of Mother Nature’s Springtime blessings!

If you have Dandelions popping up here and there in your yard this Spring, please check out “Please Don’t Pull The Dandelions — They’re Nature’s Gift!” before cranking up the lawn mower or reaching for the weed puller.


Jeffrey and Jolene are a pair of cottontail rabbits who live with their family beneath Red’s cabin in “The Adventures of Little Red Bear” stories, invited there along with others by Little Red Bear for protection against marauding packs of weasels. But not all rabbit families are so lucky to have a caring and helpful bear in the neighborhood. So, while pushing or riding the lawn mower this Spring, please be watchful to navigate around rabbit nests with babies in your yard.



A quick walk around the yard while picking up winter twigs and debris before mowing, searching for depressions in the ground and grass, can reveal any nests to be easily avoided later when mowing. Be on the lookout for fluffy tufts of the mother rabbit’s fur or for what otherwise may appear to be simply brown patches of dead grass. There may be a nest beneath, and a quick inspection will reveal it.



If you find one, simply leave a six-foot circle of unmowed grass around the nest, and then keep children and pets away for a few weeks. For more information and a quick little video, check out How To Spot A Rabbit Nest Before Mowing Your Lawn from Ontario Wildlife Removal, Inc. The mother rabbit rarely visits the nest during daylight hours (to avoid tipping off the nest’s location to predators), so not seeing any rabbits in your yard is not an indication that there are no nests. Please take a few minutes to simply walk around your yard before mowing to avoid any tragedies.

The baby rabbits only stay in a nest for about three weeks, so while leaving a circle of uncut grass around a nest for a few weeks is not really a big deal for us, it can be a lifesaver for baby rabbits!


If you would like to check out more of our videos, please visit Little Red Bear’s Homespun Videos page to see all that Red has produced to date.

Thanks always for visiting and spending part of your day with us!  Wishing you and your family a very Happy Spring! — Jim (and Red!)


“In spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” –  Margaret Atwood

“To pick a flower is so much more satisfying than just observing it, or photographing it . . .                        So, in later years, I have grown in my garden as many flowers as possible                       for children to pick.” – Anne Scott-James 


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly, Multi-generational Stories and Fun for All Ages!
~ About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends ~

“In springtime, love is carried on the breeze. Watch out for flying passion and kisses whizzing by your head.” –  Emma Racine Defleur


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today. Patrons help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as an ad-free site,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes.

Because together we can do so much!


” Spring is nature’s way of saying — ‘Let’s party!’ ” –  Robin Williams