The Titmouse or Tufted Titmouse (two names for the same bird) are very common yet I never saw a nesting spot for it.  We were pulling in the driveway and I saw a titmouse fly out of a hole in a tree about five feet up across the street.  I investigated and another one flew out of the hole in the tree.  It must have a nest there.  That was a first.  I never found a nesting spot of a titmouse before.  I really do not want to disturb them any more than I have to.  I will just keep my eyes open for that hole in the tree.

I never knew what Coco, one of our dogs, caught.  She and the other two dogs were having their last “out” of the evening.  I thought, at first, Coco had a bone in her mouth and would not drop it to get her evening biscuit.

I realized it was more than that.  It was alive although I could not tell what creature she had in her mouth.  The lighting was not too good.  First I thought she caught “Oscar” our “local” rat but the animal had fur.

I grabbed the animal out of her mouth and it lay in front of the door.  My wife was screaming, “Get it out of the house!”

Finally I scooped it up with a cat scooper and dropped it over the fence onto our driveway.  At the same time one of our cats got out.

Seconds later I got a flashlight and shined it on the spot I dropped the animal.  It was nowhere to be seen.

It is possible the animal was just stunned (Coco has retriever blood in her) or the cat grabbed it who escaped.  My wife thought the animal might have been a baby squirrel.  I will never know for sure.  I felt bad for the animal hours (an hour) later.  There was nothing else I could do.

The rat I called “Oscar” was very cautious.  He lived under our concrete porch.  I would watch for him from our large living room window.  He would dash out five feet and feed on the spilled sunflower seed from our feeder overhead.  He would only spend a few seconds feeding and immediately dash back to the safety of his entrance.


He would sometimes share the space with the squirrels.  Once he actually briefly rubbed noses with a squirrel and then there was a brief tousle and both creatures fled the scene.  Sometimes he chases the squirrels away.  I never watched a rat so closely.  I have seen mice before but this is the first I have ever seen a rat.  I am concerned where he will go if we block his openings.

For a short time all the trees were covered with snow.  It was April ninth and we had a “dusting” of snow–an inch or two.  It was not unheard of:  a snow “storm” this late in spring but it definitely was unusual.  The trees did not stay white too long.  I am waiting for the warmer weather to return.  And it will.  The forecast for my birthday less than a week away called for sixty degree weather and clear skies.