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Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016
Bats in My Belfry
Posted Thursday, September 11, at 8:38 AM
Sometimes I feel like I have bats in my belfry. I looked up the origin of the phrase, and it is believed to have been coined in America during the early 1900's. The meaning is "crazy and eccentric", and it also refers to having thoughts zipping around in your brain that aren't controlled...

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Hummer Update
Posted Friday, May 30, at 12:05 PM

Haybar sent me a question regarding hummingbirds and I thought I would put a reminder out. The hummers you have been seeing are the birds that will fly as far as Canada to spend their summers. The hummers that we get for the summer breeding season will not be here until around the beginning of July. They will be with us through part of October before migrating to the south...

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Woody the Woodpecker
Posted Monday, April 14, at 11:28 AM

My neighbor has a pileated woodpecker in his backyard. Woodpeckers nest in cavities and he has large, old growth trees with ample nesting sites. I am more jealous than I can say. These woodpeckers are larger birds than one might think. Their body size is about the same as a crow but the tail feathers are longer...

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Cedar Waxwings
Posted Saturday, March 1, at 11:21 AM

I've had my share of wonderful birds at my feeder this year. All of the birds you would expect to see - cardinals, finches, titmice, sparrows, and woodpeckers. I have lived here for three winters now, and never have I seen a cedar waxwing in the neighborhood - until last week...

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Ladybug Luck
Posted Wednesday, January 22, at 12:41 PM

I have nicknamed my house 'Ladybug Landing". In October we were struck with swarms of ladybugs at the southern side of our house. Of course, I loved it! So I went over to NatGeo's website, where I found some great information. Here is the link:...

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Winter Cold
Posted Monday, January 6, at 6:44 AM

I offer my apologies for my absence from this blog. Just like the weather and its strangeness lately, life just gets in the way. Many people think that cold snaps like this help control the flea and tick population. I won't be popular for saying this, but we really need a good snow that will be on the ground for several days - that would help smother some of these pesky insects...

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On The Move
Posted Saturday, October 26, at 11:41 AM

How did the turtle cross the road? Ground and air transportation? The turtle was in the very middle of South Cannon Boulevard. The air transportation was provided by me as I carried it to the side of the road and hopefully, to safety. This is something we have all seen and maybe even participated in. ...

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Hummer Lovers
Posted Saturday, October 12, at 9:01 AM

"It's time to say goodbye for the summer...." a quote from Sealed With a Kiss......eek! My age is showing. Don't forget - our hummers will hang around for a while in October. We will also see some of the migrating birds coming from further north. Leave your feeders out for a few more weeks - unless we have a freeze. If there is a freeze bring the feeder inside. When it warms up you can put it back out...

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A Reverse Example
Posted Wednesday, October 2, at 5:49 AM

It is good to be back and thanks to those of you who asked about me! Indeed, I was ill for quite a few weeks this summer. On the good side, I can use my illness to illustrate how easy it is to transmit zoonotic diseases - zoonotic referring to illnesses transmitted from animals to people and vice-versa...

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Not to Change the Subject......
Posted Thursday, August 29, at 8:52 AM

But let's change it anyway!!!! This morning (pre-dawn) I was out on the deck and discovered a female toad who had come to pay a visit. My deck is off the ground and this was a bit unusual. I am convinced that she came to apologize for the rounds of tadpoles in my dog's pool!...

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Raccoon Update and Hate Mail
Posted Tuesday, August 20, at 7:43 AM

I wanted to let my readers know that I am receiving private e-mail regarding the issue with Mark Brown having pet raccoons. I would like to share some of the comments with you. First of all, I am being accused of making disparaging remarks about Mark's family. In actuality, I was doing some research for my blog and found some remarks made by OTHER people, which I then referenced...

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Posted Tuesday, August 6, at 12:34 PM

Have we lost our sense of what love really is? We throw that word around so much I don't think we really give it the respect it deserves. We love God, our family, our homes and pizza. We also love our jobs, ourselves and going to movies. We love our clothing, our pets, and our friends...

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Mark Brown and his pet raccoons
Posted Friday, August 2, at 12:40 PM

I am sure that most of you have seen or heard of Mark Brown and his "pet" raccoon(s). This story has been all over the media lately. He is located in Gallatin, Tennessee. I am sad and angry over this recent exploitation of native Tennessee wildlife. Point by point:...

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Just remember....
Posted Sunday, July 28, at 8:13 AM

I caught myself doing it .... again. Racing through life, and heading for a collision with the next thing that had to be done. Looking forward to (or dreading) the next item on the agenda. Actually, my agenda is in the form of a list (lists). I have so many lists that I can't find them all. Sometimes I consolidate my lists into one big list!...

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Posted Monday, July 15, at 8:09 AM

This past week I was again reminded of one of the reasons I like animals, nature, etc... Animals are simple and uncomplicated. They do what they are supposed to do when they are supposed to do it. This is so different from people! People play games with each other for a number of reasons. Don't get me wrong...I do like some people. But there are too many who are malicious, selfish, self-serving, inconsiderate, rude - and these are some of the nicer things I can think of...

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Hummingbird Habitats
Posted Thursday, July 4, at 9:19 AM

I moved to my current home 3 years ago. One of my first priorities was to get my bird feeders out. The hummingbird feeder went on my deck so I could get close and personal. I did - with the yellow jackets. I am allergic to insect venom. I had strategies - fill the feeder before daylight, etc. ...

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Slug War
Posted Wednesday, June 26, at 3:52 PM

I was amused by the posts on my last blog. I never expected a blog about the word "endanger" could turn into The Mussel War. It made me think of another one of my personal favorite outdoor creatures. So I wanted to see if you would weigh in about gastropods...

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Posted Wednesday, June 12, at 8:47 AM

When I hear about endangered animals, my mind zooms to some weird animal in some weird country that I have never heard of. One of the definitions of endanger is "to threaten with extinction". I remember some time ago when I was young and foolish hearing about some endangered mussels in Tennessee, and thinking - so what...

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Wildlife: Fact or Fiction
Posted Friday, May 31, at 11:59 AM

During my time as Executive Director at Walden's, I was amazed by how many myths about wildlife are passed down from previous generations. There were countless times that I was told....."I always heard that" or "My mama told me" or "Isn't it true that...?" So, here goes:...

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Summer Wildlife Update 2013
Posted Thursday, May 16, at 9:33 AM

Wild animals are very busy! Most of our songbirds have weaned or are weaning their first clutch of baby birds. Some have even started building their second nests. Our larger birds of prey are finished with egg laying for this year. The smaller birds like Screech Owls and Kestrels will have one more clutch this year...

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View all blog posts (48)

Vicky Carder is a Shelbyville native. In 1991 she founded Walden's Puddle Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Nashville. There she served as Executive Director for more than 12 years. The Center is the largest wildlife hospital in Middle Tennessee. She has published in wildlife national and international journals. Now she wants to share her knowledge of native wildlife and some of the experiences she had while working with wildlife.
Hot topics
Cedar Waxwings
(9 ~ 12:52 PM, Jun 25)

Bats in My Belfry
(9 ~ 2:13 PM, Sep 18)

Hummer Update
(17 ~ 9:36 AM, Sep 11)

Woody the Woodpecker
(9 ~ 6:13 PM, May 28)

Ladybug Luck
(4 ~ 12:45 PM, Jan 23)