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What in nature are y’all thankful for?

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What in nature are y’all thankful for? Or enjoy watching? Birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, plants, ect…? 

After spending every day for the last three years working for myself in an old shop next to my house in the country side, I started to notice things I never noticed before or probably never would if my life had taken the turns it did to lead me to being here all day every day, 

While working here every day I’ve started to pay more attention to the world around me and I’ve learned things that I find fascinating that I never would have bothered to look up otherwise, 

One of many observations I’ve made and then read up on we’re mud dubbers and wasps, 

I have hundreds of mud dubber nests in my shop and a few other species of paper wasps around here too, 

they don’t bother me and I don’t bother them and I never payed much attention to them till I started spending so much time here, 

3 years ago I started noticing stunned spiders on the floor or my work benches, on shelves or being carried off by dubbers or wasps, in 3 years time I have seen countless spiders head off to their final resting place, 

but I really started paying attention when I would see black widow spiders, so I started reading up on them and I came across several articles that talked about them and I found that their primary predator it those black and blue shiny looking mud dubbers! 

now I really don’t appreciate when they drop a venomous stunned spider were I’m working because that scares the …. Outta me, 

but I really appreciate the fact that they actively patrol my shop and reduce the risk of me going to the hospital! 

this all came to mind recently because within the period of this last week I’ve come across 5 black widows that were stunned and dropped and I’ve seen two others carried off! 

I’ve also watched the red wasps hauling off big wolf spiders. 
so what I’m thankful for in nature is mud dubbers and wasps and here’s a few photos, 

so what about y’all?  what in nature are y’all thankful for? 







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I'm thankful for the birds of prey that visit our place. This evening my wife & I were sitting on our swing on the deck, when a large Barred Owl came swooping in and landed in a tree about 20 yards from us. We sat there for a while looking at it while it was looking back at us. Didn't have a camera and moving would have made it fly away. After about 15 minutes it spotted something down the hill and off it swooped, probably after dinner.  We have a sharp shinned hawk that lives close and see him grab mice all the time.

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Ground up mud dauber nests are also a traditional forge welding flux for wrought iron (although not as good as borax for steel).

I am grateful for whatever it was -- bird or wind -- that brought the Japanese maple seed to the corner of my front flower bed. It's in its second year and seems to be doing well. This is especially nice, since the one my wife and I bought and planted in the front yard died a horrible death. Nature has a real way with irony.

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  Most of the things I create are inspired by nature.  Bugs, reptiles, birds, mammals and plants.  I am thankful for most of it.  Maybe not tornados, ticks and yellow jackets so much.  :)

  I like to watch the sunrise. Around here it's kind of hard with all these pine trees in the way though.  Pine trees are falling lower on the list fast....

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Irondragon, I really like to listen to the barred owls calling early in the morning just before sunrise

JHCC, that’s pretty cool, both about the flux and that you got a replacement tree

Thomas, I don’t know what it’s like out there but I imagine shade is a hot commodity 

Nodebt, ticks, flies and mosquitoes are on my do not like list 

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Transplant shock. I've successfully transplanted plenty of trees before and since, but this one just shriveled up and died for no apparent reason. Sic friatur crustulum.

Interestingly, there's a volunteer hemlock at the other end of the same bed, a couple of feet from the stump of the ash tree we lost to Emerald Ash Borer several years ago. That appeared a couple of years after the ash came down and is now almost as tall as I am.

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Going through the coastal ranges on the way to Seattle I saw a LOT of glorious connifers, over 120 feet tall, trunks dead straight no branches till near the top----fair made one want to BUILD something.  Cold Damp, Foggy/Rainy too. (and only a couple of thousand feet above sea level!---the valley "flat" where I live is 4600' above sea level.)

IIRC I read  about using dirt daubers nests as a flux in book 5 of the Foxfire Collection.

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There really is no one aspect i like more than another. Whether i am out hunting, fishing, or just a walk in the woods i love the peace and serenity of being one with the land even if for just few moments. Those quiet moments sitting in a tree stand as the sun rises and the fog hanging in the trees, or in a boat on a lake as the sun sets for the night, sitting on a log just to get away and then noticing beaver building a dam, walking into a clearing and seeing a fawn munching on clover. 

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JHCC, that wasn’t as horrible as I imagined, I thought you were gonna say something like the neighbor ran it down with a lawnmower after an argument or a rouge beaver had it for lunch,  congratulations on the free hemlock!

Thomas, that drive sounds beautiful, I wish it was cold, damp, rainy and foggy here, instead it’s 90 something with 90 percent humidity lol, I’ve got a couple of those foxfire books I’ll check an see if I can find the part your talking about. 

BillyBones, I know what you mean, every season of the year seems to have something that I enjoy just setting out and watching or listening too, 

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Don't forget the annual cicadas concert and the bull frog serenade from our little pond. The other day I was sitting on the swing and a very large coyote came wandering along the drive way and when he saw me he turned and went into the treeline. We get a nightly serenade from a pack that usually stay's down in the holler about a mile from the house.   

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We had the 17 year cicadas in our yard late may thru early July- couldn't hear myself think. The noise hit 90db on my phone meter. Kinda glad they're gone now. Right now we have the annual cicadas chirping away, and every now and then, I hear a low droning, and see one of them being carried under a giant hornet, looking every bit like a Chinook chopper carrying a load.

Had the grandkids for the weekend (6 and 8 yrs old) and they were excited about the butterflies flitting about- Monarchs and Swallowtails, both black and yellow, hummingbird moths and their assorted caterpillars. They also appreciated the variety of trees for climbing.

I enjoy daily walks around the garden- there's always something happening, whether animal or vegetable. That is part of my morning routine- looking, weeding, pruning and generally encouraging my rooted companions.


By the way John, I've developed a theory about the demise of your maple.

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Our dog Axle loves to munch on the cicadas, extra protein and the vet said they wouldn't harm him. We have a ritual where he goes out on his leash just before bed time around 2230 hrs. The leash is necessary because he wants to go off into the woods looking for prey and I'm afraid that he would become a meal for the real predators around here.

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I enjoy the pronghorn antelope that wander around here.  Sometimes it is a few does and sometimes a bachelor buck.  We usually see them from the front window but they have come by the shop on occasion.  They are pretty blase about vehicles and you can drive within a few feet of them but they are spookier about a person on foot and they will take off if they see a dog at any distance.  Very cool and very Wyoming.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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I'm thankful for the steady rain we had all day yesterday. It was supposed to be raining today but the sun's shining and temps headed for 70 and I'm thankful. 

I'm thankful for the cow moose and twin calves that hung out here for more than a month this spring. I'm thankful they seem to have moved along or more deeply into the woods behind us. We don't need momma moose stomping one of our dogs to a smear for getting close to a calf nor do we need to see the blood on the road out front where one tried to cross. 

Love the Bald Eagles who ride the thermals along the ridge line our place is built on and the occasional look at a goshawk cruising through the trees. Lots of birds, we drive down the driveway very carefully because Momma Robin played lame bird directly in the way trying to lead us away from the nest. It was most excellent when her chicks fledged and we had 4 of them darting around eating bugs. Wood peckers raising a racket is relaxing. 

Agreed, mosquitoes and flies are only good for trout food though the finches like them.

Loved watching the sea otters drifting by shore from the Homer Spit and only saw a couple seals. Orcas are very cool as are whales in general. Didn't see any last week though. 

I'm extremely thankful for the good folks I meet every day.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Mcostello, I love to hear the tree frogs when they first come out in the early spring around late February! 

irondragon, I have a stray cat in my shop that’s been eating the cicadas like their going outta style even though I have food out for her lol, we also get the nightly serenade from the local pack of coyotes and the bullfrogs in the pond behind the house, 

Stash, I haven’t done a garden in a couple years but I have lots of permanent bulbs, trees, vines and bushes that I really enjoy watching throughout the year, 

George, I’ve never been to Wyoming or seen a pronghorn but I do really enjoy watching the local white tail, 

Frosty, I had a mamma white tail raise her fawn about 200 foot from my shop one year in my field and I held off mowing and brush hogging all season so she could have it all to herself, we only get bald eagles here during the winter months but they are beautiful to watch!
I also like all my local birds, ive got bluejays, cardinals, several different woodpeckers, finches, wrens, chickadees, and many more that nest around the yard,  I keep three bird baths full and clean around the yard and I put out feed through the winter for them all, 

although I’ll say it’s a battle every year to keep the barn swallows from nesting on the front porch , I leave the door open to one of my out buildings so they go in there instead lol, 

ive been told that there are river otters here but I’ve never personally seen one, we do have lots of beavers though in the the creeks and rivers,

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I love trees, especially the way that aspen leaves will quake in a breeze.  It's like a shimmer moving through the foliage.

Hummingbirds are almost magic.

One of my fondest memories is of a lonely motorcycle ride late on a summer evening.  I was on the highway and the headlight seemed so feeble against the dark.  Out in the distance there was a glowing cloud, which became glowing spots, which became individual meteors of light zipping by me as I rode.  Lightning bugs.  Couldn't have lasted more than 15 seconds, but wow, what an experience.

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BillyBones, did you try it? And if you did how were they? 

rockstar.esq, I really like hummingbirds too! I keep a couple feeders on my porch so I can watch them. The motorcycle ride sounds really cool! There must have been tens of thousands of them in one area for you to see them for 15 seconds straight on a motorcycle! 

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