^ A tiny maple tree grows out of the base of the birch tree in our front yard. [Oct. 31, 2016]
As 2016 ticks and dribbles and fades away, here are some photos I had lurking: pets, plants and more.
Usually on Goodwill visits I’m after clothes, but I often end up scanning the pots and vases. This trio of narrow purple vases had to come home with me. The flowers are portions of a bouquet from Kroger. [Oct. 24, 2016]
^ Unseasonably warm temperatures meant I had the office door open on Nov. 1.
^ Opening day of firearm deer season in Michigan may be the closest thing we have to an unofficial state holiday. This is at 8:57 a.m., nearly two hours after the start of shooting light, but the fog still made sighting whitetails a challenge. This is the view directly in front of me. [Nov. 15, 2016]
^ Hours between deer sightings mean plenty of time to look around … or down. This moss with trumpet-shaped protrusions was inside where my ground blind sat. [Nov. 15, 2016]
^ Light in the woods dies early. The view to my right at 4:12 p.m. [Nov. 15, 2016]
^ The view to my left at 4:14 p.m. The silhouette in the bottom center is my ground blind with open windows. [Nov. 15, 2016]
^ Our definition of pets broadly includes what we call “yard pets,” animals we provide for without trying to domesticate. The balcony includes one or more dishes of fresh water year round. When it is freezing out, I keep two spares just inside the door and rotate as needed, which can be every hour. [Nov. 16, 2016]
^ Can’t find the dogs? They’re probably lying in a doorway. [Nov. 29, 2016]
Once our children got older and their Christmas presents more expensive and fewer, I started sending them on hunts with clues to find the final gifts. They’re 22 and 23 and I still do it. When I went looking for sticky notes to write the clues and puzzle words on, I found that my son had left a note on the pad. I stuck it to the mirror because it makes me happy. [Dec. 24, 2016]
^ My favorite thing about Christmas here in Bay City, Michigan, is the reindeer at the Nate and Mary Ida Doan Santa House. Other places have reindeer for short visits, but ours have their own barn and can be visited during the hours the Santa House is closed. [Dec. 21, 2016]
^ This reindeer is smaller than a whitetail deer and has only one antler, with the darker portion curving forward. [Dec.21, 2016]
We consider squirrels our outdoor pets, not a nuisance.
Outdoor photos today, although more than half of them were taken through windows.
The dogs didn’t understand this tug toy at first. It took considerable coaching to get them to grasp that they should be on opposite ends. [April 1]
Maggie, at left, had some of her fur shaved off for recent surgery to remove a 1.5-pound fatty tumor. She weighs 95 pounds to Abbey’s 55, so sometimes the blonde gets dragged across the floor. [April 1]
This poor little squirrel is one of the reasons I keep water and food on the balcony. It has mites, so quite a bit of its fur is missing. [March 31]
Guess who likes watching the squirrels? Abbey has to be reminded not to charge at them. [March 21] Sometimes she gets tired of waiting for them to return. [March 13]
Another big squirrel fan is Daryl, who sometimes stalks them, then settles into pounce position. Today is his 2nd birthday. [April 3]