Posts Tagged ‘Buffy’


 This is definitely a disjointed blog, and

a sad day.

Buffy, our 12-year-old chocolate lab, passed away over the weekend from complications of old age. She was a big girl, weighing almost 100 pounds.


Actually, she was our son’s duck and goose hunting buddy when she was younger. When she got older, she became my hiking partner.

  We hiked a LOT! … and camped occasionally too.


   Southern Illinois has a wide variety of places to hike, and we visited and revisited several of them over the years.


Lately Buffy was sick enough that we only went out when she wanted to take a short walk in the backyard.

This picture was taken when we were both much younger.

My days now are ……

A Short Morning Hike

So many of the blogs I follow have posted ones showing beautiful fall colors. I greatly enjoyed each one and was quite envious.


I was on the road that led to Eagle Mountain, where Buffy and I hiked a lot. The road is treacherous now with washed-out places that could flip a vehicle. Needless to say, we haven’t gone up there in over a year.


Buffy has a hurt hind leg. My husband watched her while I drove a loop over to Stone Face. The turkey vultures were apparently gathering and heading southeast.


Obviously, they didn’t take time to pose for pictures. A wider angle picture would’ve shown nearly 40 of them.


If these aren’t called pixie cups, they should be.

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A fresh buckeye butterfly landed on the edge of the dry creek. It will soon migrate south, because they don’t overwinter as far north as southern Illinois.


Here’s another picture to show off the fading fall colors.

Hopefully, they will be brilliant next fall.

Backyard Perch

The pair of groundhogs raised a family of four under our barn. I’m not seeing all of them now, so I’m wondering if the young ones have dispersed?


This was the first time I’ve seen a groundhog on the


“platform” the red foxes used regularly when they lived under the barn late last winter.


The groundhogs raised four this summer.


The vixen and four kits usually stayed outside and near the barn; the male hunted for food.

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Buffy took a dim view of any others living in her territory!

It will be interesting to see who lives where next year.

Yard Residents


 I have no idea what changed with our rabbit population. They have been uncommon for several years until  this year.


A little later an adult groundhog sat upright near where the rabbit had been. I think it saw me through the picture window and decided to high-tail it to the safety of the weed patch.


Then this afternoon, I took my youngest grandson out in the backyard. The groundhog watched our approach. Buffy saw it and started almost stalking toward it. The groundhog didn’t like the intense staring and retreated back under the barn.

The young ones will watch me from same spot as the adult above. So, when one is watching me, I carry on a one-way conversation with it as I walk past. Maybe someday I’ll get a reply.

Oh, What a Night!


I own 33 acres in the hills and have camped and hiked there a LOT over the years.


Buffy became my hiking partner when she was 2 or 3 years old. I took this picture in 2007.


The Old One, my favorite tree friend, wasn’t in as good shape as she looked here.


A wet-weather creek runs through the ravine.


Are you curious about my title “Oh, what a night!”

This is where it happened.


I spent an evening recently, looking through picture folders in my computer. I came to one of a spring camping trip to my property. The landscape was all so fresh and green. Buffy and I went to sleep that night, listening to the whip-poor-wills and chuck-will-widows.

 I left the rain flap off that night and opened the windows all the way. I woke in the night. The moonlight was bright enough to easily see our surroundings. Buffy was sitting up, very still, looking out the door. I eased up on one elbow.

The barred owl family — both parents and four owlets– were scattered about in the trees just south of camp. The adults called back and forth. The young joined in, lacking volume and the correct rhythm. Buffy and I just sat, side by side, looking out and listening. I didn’t see any of the owls before they eventually moved on to the south.

Buffy was as mesmerized as I was. Somehow she knew it was a special time.

Barred owls have been one of my absolute favorites for years and years.

I still have vivid mental images of that night: one of her profile as she looked out the door, the lit areas and nighttime shadows the moonlight created in our surroundings.

 I can still see it all as plainly as if I were looking at pictures.

Fingers Crossed

Today is Thursday, April 16. Last weekend had such nice weather, every neighbor was out mowing their yard, including us.


My last pictures of the foxes were taken Friday, April 10. I can’t see them going nocturnal with 6 kits running around.


I thought if we all crossed our fingers and asked politely that, maybe, the foxes would return.



I looked out after supper and saw …


This groundhog sure didn’t waste any time moving in. Buffy knows it’s here and it knows Buffy’s here.

I’m still crossing my fingers for the foxes’ return.

Did I Take Those!

I don’t know what happened here — I actually took focused bird pictures.


Three Canada geese stayed relatively close as Buffy and I followed the lake trail at Glen O. Jones Lake.


 I had hoped to see a red-throated loon that was reported here Saturday. No luck.


Loons are rarely seen in southern Illinois on their migration.

It took me 3-4 years to see my first loon after I started birding. A birding friend of mine called one afternoon, saying a common loon was at Jones Lake. Davis was in first or second grade. I called school, and they gave me permission to take him to see the loon. We ran out to the Blazer. I hurried after we got out of town. We were both on the edge of our seat. I screeched (not really) to a halt when I got where we could see the lake. And, there was the loon– not close and not far. We had no witnesses to our enthusiasm.