Just a quick look at where the characters from from for the few that read about them..
The hummingbirds get written about the most as their little clan has been with us from the time Ma started looking at us staying here rather than moving to the town house.
For any that haven’t heard of the Hummie story;
Hummie came in to the picture when Ma was up “visiting” after we had decided to , well, decide on whether we would both stay here or both move to town..in another state… While we were looking around at things up here, Ma was over by the wood shed when Hummie flew right up to Ma’s face and just watched her, from less than a foot away. The two started chatting and next thing I know; we are staying here. From that day on, even in nasty weather, Hummie would come in to see Ma, pretty much every day. When we saw that he wasn’t leaving, we decided we had better keep a feeder running year round being that feeder or not, he was here. It just seem a lot nicer for him if he didn’t have to try to find food in bad weather.. His clan never goes farther away than down in the valley.
So.. rain or shine sleet or snow, Hummie has always been here…
With Hummie getting up in age, he now has started moving to town where it is warmer though he comes back in pretty much every nice day… In his place came in Lass as of last year.. Her and Mrs. and Hum, along with a couple of Lass’s sisters hung around throughout the winter.. That was by far the most hummie activity we have seen in snow and ice.. After Lass got pushed away from the feeder during bad weather and we had to step in, bringing her into the house for a few days so that she could get enough food to get ready to go back out, she makes sure that she stays close to us. If I am outside working, SHE is outside helping me. If I am in my office, she’ll come sit just outside the window and chat until I talk with her…THEN eventually she’ll be done talking and head off for a bit… When it is chilly out, she’ll come in chattering until we tell her hi.. seems to be making sure we know she is around….
Hummie has a major temper on him…he is the hummingbird version of me for the most part… He’ll nag at everyone that comes in once he has come back up, gotten his little mountain cabin set up and back at the feeder.. It can be a hummer or it can be an elk.. he doesn’t care much so long as he feels like chewing them out. ,, But when it comes to his kids, or his grand kids, he’ll endure their pesterings as they fly around him asking questions, or decide to sit next to him at the feeder or fence and heaven forbid if anything upsets his kids, he’ll lead the wee little army of hums to chase them off.
These guys keep our rodent population in check as best they can whether mouse or the grey diggers Ma takes out.. they are on it.
Limpy’s pack has been with us for quite some time.. Limpy got his name for obvious reasons.. They got into a disagreement with either elk or deer and his leg got busted up , so for that winter he would come with the small pack of theirs but he would lay down just outside the yard while Mama coyote would mostly hang with him and the others would bring down game..Yeah.. I know.. coyotes don’t do that..ours did and do… Limpy has finally gotten back to normal but his markings as well as Mama, hers looks just like a shawl on her back, make it so we always know when it is them.. Then came in Red, Legs and Dennis and after that came Rhey.. They all look and act different from one another.. Dennis has always been odd and LOVES to chase mice….He has a tendency to come hang with us when the pack comes through and EVERYONE has to wait on him to remember what he was suppose to be doing… Most of the ” kids” like Dennis , more or less as he isn’t the best hunter in the world.. More than once both he and bunnies have been in the yard at the same time without any hunting going on… He is after mice…
Days gone by, Limpy ( pre limp } started coming to the pit, which isn’t far from the composting pit and where left-overs go.. Not being prudish, he was more than happy to take advantage of it…and like the rest of the critters up here got use to my voice and having me around ….
I always talk to the animals, no matter “who” seems rude not to, soooo one day as I was out in the North field, not far from the pit, Limpy was in for breakfast. I couldn’t tell you anymore what I was up to, been awhile… Anyway… one of the mostly feral cats came through at that time and Limpy saw it… Fortunately, I was sorta between the two. Limpy took off at the cat and I didn’t think that would be good for him, not wanting neighbors trying to take him out, and probably not too good for the cat either, so I told him to stay.. Just said it, didn’t yell, didn’t get upset just said.; ” Stay. Leave the cat alone.” Limpy stopped, looked at me and just watched the stupid cat take off. When the cat was gone, he looked at me again, turned and went back to the pit.. Then I did a general yell ” Keep your pets off my property or my pets will eat them.”.. Then Limpy and I laughed…
Rhey; to date, spends the most time with us… Not sure why, she just does. Quite possibly due to ALL of the wildlife up here send their ” kids” to play at Zen Homestead…. Yup.. Coyotes drop off the young while they go hunt. Quail, bobcats , deer,… somehow everyone is safe… Then when the parents are done, they come back for them.. Meanwhile the kids will hunt or browse or simply nap.
*shrug* true story.
Bobcat Kitty has been hanging around for years now. She brings in her kits when they are still tiny balls of fluff to visit . They’ll come along the fence line and she’ll see Ma outside and here they come in right past Ma so that she can see the new babies..Twins and triplets; each year they come in to show off.
Bobcat Kitty will lay outside Ma’s office while she works and just watch. She’ll see Ma working and watch if I come in, just like any cat. Not concerned, just curious. She may be there for ten minutes or more than a hour… Then she’ll rub against my truck and off she’ll saunter .
These guys have been hanging here since I came up at the beginning of the 90s. The does , of course, bucks know better than to stick around too much, though they are safe enough. But.. come the time they are fork or better and when I can no longer tell if we know them or not, they are fair game…. The thing is.. those special boys know enough that if they DO hang around then we know them and once again, they are safe..
When it started out, there were no extra regs or bans on cougar hunting, which kept the numbers lower and deer populations were higher.. There also were fewer people on Zen so less going on there as well.. Back in the day, it was nothing to see several bucks, off season, hanging around the place, especially when apples were on, pre fence.
They all were so comfortable that I actually had a small buck walk into the house while I was sitting in the front room.
” Hey Da..Just so you know, we’re getting low on appules.”
annd out he walked again.
The girls would always come running to the house when rut was on, as bucks were a little more reluctant to chase them around me…. Then full rut would come on and ..well..birds bees bucks and does…
Our Girl, was born next to the house, and she has her babies next to the house, just outside our bedroom. Her mama and her mama’s mama and on back have had their kids just to the north of the house in our park..she likes to have her’s close to Ma so she get s as close as she can… Pre- fence to Lil Eden; her mama would lay under the window by where Ma and I sit to watch TV, where Ma knits and on and on.. Then she moved to sleep under my office window..along with her brood… When it gets warm out, they sleep under the tree by Ma’s office..all friggin day long…They get pretty comfortable out there, even sleeping on her back..which I have never seen before.
and the rest?
We get ” kids” that come in and hang for a year or two before they go off to where ever …. They always get named…
Stinkie was here for several years and even had some kids here before we put up the new house. She spent more than one occasion in the house…which was a pretty rude awakening for me as I opened the front door to find her in the kitchen..more than once…
The elk come through all the time but never stick close enough to get names.. as there can be more than a hundred at a time.. yeah.. no names..
Dumbear was the first in person Ma saw here at the homestead and he didn’t know what to do with himself.. his picture is on the video we did for this Christmas .. He was all around the house while we stood there..watching him from some yards away…
Eagles, hawks, falcons and more are here all the time but also, no names..
Bunnies pretty much end up and ” bunnie” though you can tell them apart for most of their lives.. It tends to go towards ” weenie bunnie” and ” Mama bunnie” type deals..
So… what it means
I get the stories from actually watching the “kids” as crazy as it seems , or simply unlikely, most all stories have a real background to them. All of the named characters are running around the homestead doing silly stuff and I use that to create ….
So, if you like the stories, know that they are real ” kids” doing , at least, some of what I write about..and in some cases, I just add what I am pretty sure they are telling me while they do the crazy things that they do..completely ignoring the fact that we are NOT hummingbirds or deer or coyotes etc..We are just family, friends and or neighbors to them , though not a single one of them is trained or tame by any means.
So , if you read the stories and wonder, there ya go.. If you aren’t interested in the stories I imagine this was pretty friggin boring, and well I can’t imagine you lasted this long..
and… for the now…. I will let you go with the knowledge that
Yes.. This is just another day on Zen Mountain