Monday, August 31, 2015

New House Surprises

The house we bought is across the street from the McDaniel Slough. The houses across the street have the slough in their backyard. We like the idea of the slough and the restored wetlands and are really glad that these public lands are being used so wisely. I have to admit we're also glad that the slough is not in our backyard. It's not so much the threat of rising tides, but the wildlife that these beautiful places attract. We were hoping to have fewer encounters with wildlife in our new house than we did in places like Port Townsend and Grass Valley. Yes, we absolutely love seeing bobcats and coyotes, raccoons and skunks, but we also love giving them the space they need to flourish and thrive. We humans have taken up so much of their habitat, it makes it harder and harder for our paths not to cross.

So, it was a bit of a surprise to have two raccoons and a skunk come into our yard Thursday night. There was quite a bit of snarling and screeching, and it only ended after the skunk sprayed. Luckily, it must have been a young skunk because the unbelievably horrible smell had dissipated by morning. But here we are again rubbing shoulders with wild critters.

We've been seeing lots of Cedar Waxwings in our yard, and even a Cooper's Hawk perched in the Cypress that's just outside the fence out back. There are lots of Barn Swallows swooping and diving everywhere and building nests under the eaves at our neighbor's house. A Peregrine Falcon did two flybys for us, and the vultures fly so close we could probably give them names and recognize them individually by sight (hah, just kidding!).

Interestingly one of the best, most wonderful surprises of the new house is the stunning view looking east. We have so much sky to look at, it is simply the best gift of all. When that fog is gone, we can see for miles and there is always something wonderful to catch our eyes, like this first full moon view.


  1. I look forward to seeing more of this restored wetland area. I enjoyed the link, especially an environmentalist named Paula Golightly; what an excellent surname for the job. I get the occasional fox, muntjac deer or hedgehog outside my door but they don't cause too much trouble.

  2. Wonderful that you're moved in and settling into the new home. Yikes, skunks... when we were in Vancouver, BC there were skunks right in the city. We smelled their eau de cologne while waiting for a parade to start.
    And we have plenty of raccoons around here.
    Seems like the wildlife isn't so wild any more.

  3. All of which means, the wonderful blog posts will continue to come!

  4. Great post, Robin Andrea. You sound very happy already! I'm surprised how similar our fauna is to yours. We have raccoons and skunks, Cedar Waxwings (among the most handsome of all birds, in my opinion) and Cooper's Hawks, Barn Swallows and vulture. Though I've seen Peregrine Falcons, they are NOT common, and I have to travel to certain locations if I want to see one. Beautiful images of the full moon, too. My full moon images are always very poor, so I'm jealous.

  5. Ha,ha , I think you two give off some sort of animal attractant. They know you care. Luckily the skunk spray dissipated. Fresh, it can take your breath away.
    Love your view and I know how you enjoy your skies. .

  6. John-- I'm sure we're going to see fox and coyotes here. They have really learned how to live on the overlapping margins with humans. Love that "Golightly" name too!

    isabelita-- Interesting about skunks in the city of Vancouver. They really have adapted, haven't they? I think what concerns me the most is that life for wild critters can be pretty dangerous around humans.

    Pablo-- I love that our new environment has so much photographic potential!

    Scott-- I was pretty lucky with that full moon shot. I have ten others that were not as clear. Shaky hand, trying to hold the camera still in the darkness.

    Arkansas Patti-- I was thinking the same thing. Animals just love us so much! That skunk spray was so intense we had to move out of our bedroom for the night and sleep in the guest room. Ugh. It was horrible. Glad you like the view!

  7. Reminds me of my time living above Elkhorn Slough. Love the wetlands environment. xo

  8. It is such a joy for me to have a connection with Arcata and Humboldt Country through posts from you and roger. It's the next best thing to living there. Love your photos of the full moon. Wonderful to have that eastern view!

    From my porch I can see from the northeast to the south, with east southeast at the center. Throughout the day, I look in the direction of sunrise. Because I live in a condominium with people on both sides of me and no windows to speak of on the west side, my only view is to the east.

    Wetlands are so rich in wildlife. As you know, my porch looks out on a cattail marsh. There are skunks in this neighborhood, but I haven't smelled one for years. I do remember living a few blocks away from here in a house and having a skunk crawl under the house. The dog we were taking care of would look at the floor and growl and then bark, and then the skunk would spray! Yikes!!!

  9. Your new place sounds wonderful. Except, of course, for the skunk.

  10. Annie-- We love the wetlands too. So rich and full of life.

    am-- So glad that you like these photos and our stories from Humboldt. We're pretty glad to be here. It feels like home for us aging hippies. We love our eastern view and the wide expanse of sky. We do have a large cypress on the west side, but we still get to see the colors of the setting sun. We have been thinking about building a roof deck or even a tower to really take in all the directions. We'll definitely post about that if we do it. I love your view of the cattail marsh. You do see some grand stuff out your windows. I like skunks, but I wouldn't want one hiding under my house EVER!

    NCmountainwoman-- I think we've found the right spot. It feels like home. And as long as the skunks don't hang out here all the time, we're okay with them passing through.

  11. We were lying flat out on the hot patio stones for a very long time two nights ago with the full moon above us and some spectacular illuminated clouds like a large field of lit up cotton wool fluffs. It feels good to know that this is the same moon in your pictures.

  12. Sabine-- I love knowing we were looking up at the full moon in different time zones from the same beautiful planet.

  13. When we finally moved into our house, the sellers must have really gone crazy moving out their stuff because during the walk through it looked fine, but then when we showed up there were huge holes in the walls where they moved their furniture out. Luckily that is why they keep a little in escrow, so we got it all taken care of.

    Jacqueline @ Buyer's Option Realty Services

  14. A very beautiful new home you have there, thank you for taking pictures and sharing them with us, it looks so very comfy and would be a great place to raise children. My husband and I are moving into a new home this December and I personally can not wait till this takes place, our home now is not ok.

    Christie Goodwin @ Window Enhancements LLC