Monday, September 15, 2014

Fawning Over Fall

We've had our first "cold spell" (down into the 70s!), and all of a sudden it seems like there's been a flurry of animal/insect activity!

I spotted a little fawn in our side yard.  Now, whitetail deer usually give birth in early spring, but there are so many of them around here, with no apparent predators and lots of food, that I wonder if it's affected their breeding practices. 

This little ornamental turtle crossed our front steps the other day. 

We discovered a yellow jacket nest at the base of a blooming azalea recently.  They're nasty little things that love to repeat-sting.  Poor Todd checked the nest area and gave the ground one tap, and promptly got stung on his chin.  That did it for yellow jacket eradication - for that day, anyway!

Two weeks ago, a little Carolina Wren began overnighting in our little front porch alcove.  He was somehow able to grip and balance on a tiny ledge there.  He comes every few nights and I really look forward to his visits!  I've named him Percival Wemys (after a character in Lord of the Flies) and he is a very charming character!

With cooler days I've started taking the pets outside in our little fenced side yard.  I don't dare let them loose, with the foxes, owls, and hawks around, but I can keep a sharp eye on them within that small space.  Borga is very alert...

...and Tabitha, our great escape artist, takes just a moment to discover the gap in the gate recently skewered by a falling limb.

The beautyberries are turning deep purple now and they're so lovely.

I've been baking a lot, as usual.  Last week I made some basic chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, using Sweetapolita's recipe I think they turned out really well, even thought it was almost dark by the time I got around to finishing the pictures.

They're bakery-style, with a very light and soft crumb.  I'm not much of a cupcake person, but it's nice to have a good standard chocolate cupcake recipe in my arsenal. 

Looking forward to cooler days with more exploration and baking.  Have a great week!  

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