Tag Archives: house

Wildlife Update

We continue to hear the barred owl almost every day. It’s quite vocal! I spotted it a few evenings ago, perched on a phone line. It was bigger than I expected. We’re hoping to catch a glimpse with a bit more light.

Piper and I saw a muskrat crossing the trail while running this morning.

I don’t remember if we included snakes on the previous list, but garter snakes are quite common. Saw a rather large one right outside the back door a few days ago.

Battle Creek Wildlife

I know that I should be posting more about our trip to Du Nord, but I wanted to provide an update about some of the wildlife that we’ve seen and/or heard at our new home.

I recently posted about the wild turkeys that Piper an I encountered on a nearby trail. It turns out that the turkeys are pretty ubiquitous. It’s a rare day where we don’t see or hear some of them in the yard or on the trails. We frequently see a family of nine strutting through the yard. Here’s a list of other wildlife that we’ve encountered recently:

Coyote (not my photo, but this is similar to the ones that I saw)
  • A buck with fuzzy horns on a trail behind our back yard.
  • Two coyotes trotting through the yard while I was taking laundry off the line. They came within 20 feet of me before noticing that I was there and scampering off into the woods.
Barred owl (again, not my photo!)
  • Numerous garter snakes.
  • We hear lots of songbirds and frequently see cardinals and goldfinches in the yard.
  • Hummingbirds enjoy our flowers.
  • Last night and this evening, we heard loud hooting from a barred owl in the woods across the street. We have yet to spot it, but have high hopes. It seems to vocalize around sunset.

We’ve also spotted lots of scat in the woods, much of which we don’t recognize yet. We’re learning quickly, though, and intend to continue developing our understanding of the local fauna.

Blustery Day

It was a lovely Sunday with a mix of productive and leisure activities. Griffin had a good friend over. I spent time exploring Menards and figuring out how to setup our wired and wireless network. Sarah and the kids went on a walk. We met some friendly neighbors. Lots of small things were checked off our to do lists (e.g., new cord for garage light, locate water valve for fridge, replace flickering lights, program garage door remotes, etc.).

Griffin’s favorite breakfast.
Quality time in the utility room trying to figure out how the cable setup is organized.
I still can’t quite believe that this is our view.
A beautiful, wet, blustery day.
Closer to sunset from the front sidewalk.


Today was mixed. I felt like I spent much of it looking for items that I couldn’t find (hidden in boxes I have yet to locate). Vegetable peelers, lotion, kitchen knives, sugar, etc. All minor things, but it is frustrating to reach for something simple and then realize that you have no idea where it is.

On the other hand, Maggie was a magnificent helper today. She tackled mowing the lawn, pumping up the pool, and using the central vacuum.

Lawn mowing champion.
Pumping up the pool.
Central vac is pretty cool.
Too muggy to eat on the porch and the table is still covered with boxes, so we improvised. Astute observers will note the gourmet ravioli by Chef Boyardee. We spare no expense when it comes to our children’s nutrition.
And the obligatory wet dog. (This was a big upgrade from the cramped water table!)


We discovered a large colony of bumblebees living in the mulch at the back of our house. I’ve spotted other ground hives before (e.g., yellow jackets) but never bumblebees. The picture doesn’t include any of the drama, but there are numerous entrances hidden in the bark. They depart to visit the flower garden and return visibly laden with golden pollen on their rear legs.

A bumblebee nest in the mulch.


Grandma Pam spent the day with us in the new house today. She was a godsend, bringing us some delicious food, helping to unpack boxes in the kitchen, and spending hours rehabilitating our mangy couch.

This might not look like much, but the back of the couch previously featured a large original art piece by Oliver (“Untitled,” Sharpie on Upholstery).
Ok, it’s a work-in-progress, but you can walk to the door now. (You can slide the slider back and forth between yesterday’s picture and today’s.)
We’re spending more time than expected on the front porch; it’s lovely in the morning and evening. (Alas, the green couch in the background doesn’t fit where we were hoping it would go.)
Ice cream brings the smiles.
The water table wasn’t a one-time thing. Piper generally hops up into it anytime I play ball with her and she gets hot.

Maggie is getting rather clever. Conversation this evening, starting with my question:

“Should we go exploring after dinner?”
“We can walk down the sidewalk and see where it goes. There are some trails in the park up there.”
“That sounds long.”
“Not too long!”
“What about ticks?”
“The ticks won’t get us.”
“Hmm. But don’t you think mama would want to be with us for our very first hike at the new house? I think we should wait until she gets back on Friday.”

Buried in Boxes

Our first full day in the new house was focused on our movers. They unloaded our 13 crates of stuff and hauled away a moldy piano left by the previous owner. Our spacious, spartan new home has become a cardboard labyrinth. It’s a bit overwhelming.

In the midst of the moving chaos, I found many moments of joy today playing with Piper and the kids in the back yard.

Sunrise over the house.
Enjoying the piles emerging from the truck.
The garage begins to overflow.
Piper doesn’t know what to make of everything.
Somehow we will find a place for everything.
Grandma Pam’s stupendous pasties for dinner.
We began decorating while Sarah is out of town. 😋
After some awesome sprinting, Piper decided to curl up in the water table, happy as can be.

First Day Update

As posted previously, we received the keys and moved into the new house this morning. In short order, Sarah headed up north for her new job. She’ll be back on Friday, returning with Griffin. Until then, Oliver, Maggie, Piper, and I will hold down the fort.

Despite the many tasks we needed to tackle today, we had a lot of fun in the new place. My favorite part was throwing the ball with Piper in the back yard. She loved that she could sprint!

Maggie and Oliver, I suspect, had their best time when our friends came over and they played some epic games of hide-and-seek.

A few more first day pics below.