My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

ABC Wednesday: Critters

Happy February, the month of Cupid and candy hearts. Seems a perfect chance to use this week's ABC Wednesday to celebrate a sweet subject close to my heart: critters!

A huge fenced section of Kendrick Park (the park across the creek from our rented cottage) is home to a few bison and elk. While they sometimes choose to congregate close to the park's swimming pool, I most love to climb the big hill to see them in their favorite pasture near the Kendrick Mansion, where the Big Horn Mountains provide a majestic backdrop befitting such majestic creatures...

Bull elk

American bison

Even closer to home, this cutie-pie squirrel in our backyard captured my attention while I was photographing the waxwings and robins for last week's post. The squirrels are certainly cooperative photo subjects who clearly relish the attention!

And especially near and dear to my heart is my charming, captivating, comical and cherished chum Punky. These are the last photos I took of her before we closed on our house in the mountains last October and moved to town. We delighted in her calming and congenial company, and sure do miss her!

I think I could turn and live with animals,
they are so placid and self-contain'd,
I stand and look at them long and long...
~ Walt Whitman

Carpe diem and go C more Cs at...


  1. I love your critter photos and that quote from Whitman too. Punky is beautiful!

  2. Neat looking critters.

    Crystal Palace & Carousel
    Chubskulit, ABC Wednesday Team

  3. A perfect post for a fellow critter lover!
    Jane x

  4. The photographs of the bison, elk and deer are fantastic. How cool to live close to all that beauty. Carver, ABC Wednesday Team

  5. cool critters, tho the one on the top might be the CUTEST.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  6. I echo Roger (above) and think you are so lucky to live so close to such cute critters!

    abcw team

  7. Lovely pics, my dear, and yes, I miss Punky as well ;-).

  8. You sure do live in a scenic neighborhood of the world. Great shots as usual. Do you ever think you'll go back to the old house to check on Punky and friends?

  9. I don't want to seem overly dramatic, but the Walt Whitman quote brought tears to my eyes. Those elk and bison are such beautiful creatures; so strong and robust, and beautiful. I love squirrels, and that is a great you mind if I save the image so I can use it on my desktop!! I love it. Squirrels remind me so much of their rattie cousins.

    And Punky!!! I feel like I miss her too!! True to form, it looks like she;s making a funny face for you in the last photo. What a dear!!! Pun intended.

    Of course, I've seen the little hammie shot before; I think you used it as your avatar for a while (?) It's excellent he/she is a real glamor model with the the fur blowing in the wind. D:

    All in all, Wyoming has some pretty spectacular and CUTE residents!

  10. Just a brief Comment to say how much your Critters calmed my mind which is Currently playing a seried of disChords which Can only be desCribed as a Cacophany, which is best Cured by delightful Creatures. Thank you.

  11. Gorgeous critters... I do love your squirrel photo. I've tried to get photos of the ones in the churchyard near to where I work but they are so flighty!

  12. It's really hard to pick a favorite photo - they are all so good. I think I'll pick the Bull Elk because I love how he is standing there so stately and then with the majestic background, it's a photo worthy of a post card. Not to mention that the sun on the top of the lower hills creating that reddish color makes it even a majestic time of day. It's a REALLY good shot!!!!

    My favorite of the bison was the one that's closer up where he's reaching down to eat. That is a great angle of those massive shoulders - what a tiny behind in comparison. :-) He's obviously built for a specific purpose!

    I've also gotten many great shots of squirrels simply because they are so willing to pose! I've always wondered why they are so ammenable to having their photo taken!

    I'm sure you miss Punky and I'm happy to see her again! She's so sweet.

    Critters was a perfect "C" word for you!

  13. So nice of you to share your feelings for nature and the animals that surround your cottage homestead. Even without your beloved Punky you still have the accompaniment of lovely wild things to soothe your inner self. I believe being around nature creates an awareness of what this earth is all about. -- barbara

  14. Thanks, everyone, for your visits and comments! I was down and out with a 2-day migraine and a day of house-hunting, so am sorry for my delayed and condensed responses...

    and Rose ~ Thank you! That Whitman quote is part of a much longer poem, and I left out the most famous part of it, which is probably familiar to you. Here's the longer version:

    I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d,
    I stand and look at them long and long.
    They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
    They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
    They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
    Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
    Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
    Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

    So they show their relations to me and I accept them,
    They bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in their possession.

    I wonder where they get those tokens,
    Did I pass that way huge times ago and negligently drop them?

    Roger and Leslie and Rose ~ Thanks! Of course, the fluffy heart-holding hamster is not one of my photos, but a graphic I found on the web a thousand years ago. :-) (And you remember correctly, Rose, I've used it as my avatar before, and she does look like a glam model - lol!) I have to agree, that picture is the cutest! And indeed I am, Leslie - it would be very hard for me to live where there are no wild critters!

    Spud and Rose ~ I know, we all miss her (and her adorable expressions!) I wish she could have moved with us! But she'd have been lonesome for her family and friends.

    Andrea ~ No, I doubt it. That would be too difficult for me, so I'll just have to content myself with her photos and my memories and picture her being happy and well cared for by the new people (At least I know she's well cared for by our vegan former neighbors up there!)

    Rose ~ You don't seem overly dramatic - you seem like the sensitive empath that you are. :-) And it is a moving quote!

    Absolutely, save away! I'm glad you like the squirrel image enough to want to use it on your desktop! I'd love for you to enjoy it there!

  15. Ellie C ~ I'm glad that even in photographs, my wildlife friends were able to calm your mental cacophany (bonus points to you for that word!) ;-) I agree that sort of thing is best cured by delightful creatures, and am sure the wild and beautiful visitors to your garden, as well as your more domesticated cats, have the same effect. Just sitting with Jane Doe (Punky's mom) and feeding her alfalfa treats cured many a tension headache that no pain killers could ever touch.

    veganelder ~ and hopefully thrives! :-)

    Barbara (UK) ~ A few of the squirrels here are flighty, but I figure it's because I have the dogs with me! Mostly the squirrels are playful - they seem to be playing all the time (for some of them, teasing our dogs unmercifully is a favorite game!), so much so that BW calls them "land otters." I think that's a great description!

    Jo ~ I like it when it's hard to choose a favorite because you like them all so well! I love the bull elk photo too - had to take several before he raised his head that way - he looks like he's bugling, but he wasn't. I took all the photos of the elk and bison last October, when BW and I got up before dawn and hiked up the hill to watch the sun rise. I took lots of photos of that pretty sunlight - will send you a couple in an email.

    I've always been fascinated with the physical build of the bison with their massive front ends and their tiny hineys! :-) They look like the second they start to lower their heads to graze, they should topple over and land on their face with their little back legs peddling to no avail in the air! I wonder what it's like to cart around such a big, heavy, wooly head all the time? (Makes my neck hurt just thinking about it, but then - they don't really have necks to speak of - just a big mass of muscle from shoulder to head! Like NFL linemen, only way more majestic and attractive!) :-)

    Squirrels really are great little photo models. I think they enjoy showing off! :-) I'll never forget seeing those beautiful black squirrels the first time I came to visit you. I've seen photos of black squirrels since, but those are the only ones I've ever seen in person.

    Barbara (KY - for now!) ~ :-) I agree with you whole-heartedly, and can't even fathom a life disconnected from nature and animals. It would be no life at all for me.

  16. I wasn't familiar with the poem, thank you so much for sharing it! I did set the squirrel as my desktop pic...makes me happy every time I look at it.

  17. awww..i needed the smile - thanks for the cuties! :)


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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