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

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

ABC Wednesday: Buddies

Photos of some critter buddies I took last summer...

Who says three's a crowd? 

Mule deer near our house
They're not fenced in; the chainlink fence surrounds a golf course behind them.
(Here's a photo of this handsome pair that gives a better - but less unique - view of them)

Field Mice
This is Val and Tino, brothers (we think) who sought refuge in our garage during a blizzard on Valentine's Day six years ago, were given temporary housing in the "Whiskers Inn B&B," decided they knew a good thing when they saw it and signed a long term lease. :-) They live with us still, elderly but still quite active, as well as safe, warm and happy. (This photo was taken before they figured out how their exercise wheel worked! LOL!)

Josie and Tessa, taken just after a car ride and before we could remove Tessa's Doggles! Josie looks decidedly unimpressed with Tessa's fashion sense. ;-)

Canine & Equine Interspecies Friendship
Tessa makes friends with a horse during a walk in the countryside.

For more examples of interspecies friendships, please enjoy these beautiful and very touching photos by amazing animal photographer Tanja Askani. I recommend that you view this wonderful slideshow full screen with your speakers on (the music is lovely!)...


And for more takes on the letter B, visit


  1. Great examples of wildlife buddies. Who knew that field mice would prefer to live a lavish life indoors? Love the shot of the horse and dog togther -- very sweet.

  2. Field mice are too darn cute!
    Jane x

  3. love them all!
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  4. Too cute!!! Thanks for visiting MammothLakesDP!!!

  5. Sweet! We are far too quick to ascribe characteristics to animals. How fortunate you have been to have a close association with field mice - astonishing:-)

  6. Loved the video and all the "buddies"

  7. Wow! Real buddies,i wonder if they ever quarrel.

  8. Such adorable photos! I love how the pronghorn and deer shadow each other. Great perspective on both of those shots!

    Val and Tino are just so adorable. What a great story how they came into your life, too. Those are some pampered mice! :)

    Emma would very much approve of Tessa's fashion sense. She's got some flare, that Tessa!

  9. Love the first one--wonder how long they practiced getting it just right.

  10. Best buddies of the furry kind... I loved all of these. Nothing softens the heart like the faces of such gentle creatures! Great post for B! :-)

  11. Great buddy shots. Love the horse and dog. - Margy

  12. SRQ ~ LOL, yeah - who knew? Actually, Val and Tino were the only mice, out of the many we'd catch in our "steel cat" humane traps in our garage during bad winter weather, who didn't get restless and start trying to find escape routes after two or three days. They just made themselves right at home. And once they figured out how to use the exercise wheel, they started inventing various games with it. They're so cute! They're both boys and we're pretty sure they're brothers (I just added that to my photo caption, lest anyone think we might have been raising generations of field mice all this time!)

    jabblog ~ That we do. I had a little rat companion named Ratatouille back when I first met BW, and learned then how misunderstood and unfairly maligned and treated some animals are. It's been wonderful having Val and Tino in our family.

    Thomas ~ Except for Josie letting Tessa know what the pecking order was when she first arrived, I've never seen the dogs or the mice quarrel. I can't speak for the wild critters, but they certainly seemed to be getting along well when I took these photos! :-)

    Molly ~ Thank you! I was thrilled when I got that photo of the pronghorns. They'd been standing and milling around randomly, then suddenly these three broke from the herd, ran up the hill, and posed like that for several minutes! Those guys have serious star quality. :-)

    Val and Tino are pampered indeed! Today was "Mouseville Cleaning Day," and I added some pieces of organic carrot to their food pile. First thing they do when we put them back in their clean house is to check out the food stash, and Tino snagged one of those pieces of carrot and ran back to their tube with it. "Mine, mine, all mine!" I think I heard him say in his squeaky little voice. :-)

    Well, with Emma's impressive collection of collars, coats and boots, she's definitely got fashion street cred! :-)

    Ann ~ I know, they sure knew how to pose for a photo!

    Josie Two Shoes ~ I agree! And I thank you. :-)

  13. Wow - amazing shots! And so uplifting too.

  14. I was just telling our UP neighbor Patti about Val and Tino this past weekend and she was amazed they're still alive. Apparently the B&B life suits them!

    The first two photos reminded me of synchronized swimming. The alignment is quite professional looking and I'm thinking there's a hidden talent in these animals!

    I LOVED the video. There were so many cute things and so many unusal combinations like the ducklings and the bees and the cat and mouse and the dog and tiger! I loved the bunny sticking out it's toungue. Tanja is truly talented.

  15. Wonderful post! We can't live without buddies!

    abcw team

  16. Glad to hear that it's the golfers who are fenced in and not the mule deer! :) Those pronghorn dudes look like exotic, like they're from Africa or something.

    I love all your buddies! I can't believe how long lived Val and Tino are, but perhaps field mice just live longer than the domesticated kind they sell in pet stores...I'm sure they're much more robust. They are a pair of cuties!

    The video is great! I love that little rattie! Have you seen the video about a crow who cared for a stray kitten? The crow mouth fed the kitten, and when the kitten got taken in by some people, the crow would stand guard and wait outside their house all night and fly down to play with the kitty when the people let him out in the morning. Really cool.

  17. ladyfi ~ Thank you, they uplift me too (the photos in the video do especially).

    Jo ~ Oh how funny you were telling Patty about Val and Tino! What a coincidence! By the way, today is Robert Burns' birthday, so - as has become an annual tradition - I played that recording of his poem "To A Mouse," read by the Scottish comedian/actor Billy Connolly (remember him from "White Oleander?") to them. It's one of their favorite poems, you know. ;-) And it always makes them grateful to be living in a cozy B&B, far from any passing plow blades!

    In another example of mind-meld, synchronized swimming had crossed my mind too when I posted those two photos, and I almost said something about it in my caption!

    I'm so glad you had the time to watch the video. Isn't it brilliant? That bunny with his tongue sticking out was a hoot!

    Leslie Thanks! No indeed. :-)

    Rose ~ I agree, and they are an ancient animal, but indigenous to North America (where they are the fastest land mammal). People usually call them antelope, but they aren't true antelope. They're taxonomy is unique.

    We can't believe how long lived Val and Tino are either! They're amazing. Val is doing better than Tino, who appeared to go blind in one eye a couple of years ago, and who is chubbier and not as active. But they both have hearty appetites and from the looks of their shavings, tube and wheel in the mornings, appear to still be partying rather wildly at night! :-) I'll bet your right that the wild species of mice are much hardier than the domesticated ones.

    I know, I just love that video! The little rattie is precious. And I love the crow giving the ring to the magpie! Funny you should mention, because I just came upon that video of the crow and kitten again (I'd first seen it a year or two ago) while I was grabbing this one to post, and watched it again. That was such a sweet relationship!

  18. Could those deer be standing in a better position? Looks like a Buzby Berkely choreographed routine! Ah at last! Val and Tino in the flesh... they are very sweet, and so glad they found a safe haven with you. They couldn't have a better home really...

    I don't care what Josie thinks, Tessa is one cool dude-ess with those Doggles on - still love that video of her :O)
    Not only cool but an ambassador for inter-species friendship too.

    Lovely post :O)

  19. Those deer are so elegantly posed!
    and as everyone has exclaimed, you must be doing something right for those wee mousies. I have a turtle who is entering his 29th year of life. I have put him in my will as I think he will outlive me.

  20. Barbara ~ I know, the deer and the pronghorn were every bit the wonderful photo models as Helen and Cath - just not as giggly or willing to do lunch with me. :-)

    Aren't Val and Tino precious? Of course, that photo was taken shortly after they first came to live with us, and so they were much younger. Here is a cute one of Tino from a couple of years ago - for the past couple of years, they always chew "skylights" in their tubes. I think they picked that up from watching us do all the renovations on our house in Big Horn, the little rodent remodelers. :-)

    I agree with you completely about Tess and her Doggles coolness factor! Josie is the only cynic in the crowd, so we'll just ignore her. :-) And that video never fails to crack me up.

    Thanks, Barbara, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    VioletSky ~ Wow! Has your turtle friend lived with you that entire time? Is he a box turtle or one of those little wee ones? My parents had a pair of the wee turtles when they first got married and named them Smedley and Sedrick after two generals they worked for (they were in the Marines). I have no recollection of the turtles, so don't know what became of them, but I had a succession of box turtle friends as a kid, all named Rusty. :-) My dad had a thing for turtles and would stop traffic to rescue them from the road and bring them home if he felt their location was too dangerous - and so I would enjoy their company in our back yard for a while before we'd release them back into the New Jersey wilderness. :-) I love the idea of leaving your turtle in your will! May you both live long and prosper. :-)

    Vegan Gypsies ~ Thanks! And I'm delighted to see you among my blog's followers!

  21. The pronghorn are beautiful specimen! So elegant:)

    Loved your comments on the Huntington Library Gardens pics, as well as of my other blog (the painting of the Poet and the feather). You're very clear in your communication. Ever thought about writing?
    Have been under the weather for the past week, so I've let the blogs slide, but I feel better now!

  22. Jeannette ~ Aren't they? I love seeing them, so this little herd was a real treat, even when they weren't posing prettily for me! :-)

    You've got so many goodies on so many blogs, I visited several more of your posts this morning and left comments but barely made a dent! I admire your prolific and varied talents! Thank you for your kind words about my writing. I've done some writing in the past (in creative writing classes in college and later, articles and columns and poetry for little podunk newspapers and such), but now my blog is pretty much my sole outlet for my writing. Not counting emails, and the comments I leave on other people's blogs. :-)

    I'm glad you're feeling better! There have been some nasty bugs making their rounds this winter!


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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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