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Baby Peter Cotton Tail~


So far, Baby Valentine the owlet, only looks at Baby Peter Cotton Tail,

and visa versa!

They don’t know what to make of each other……

yet!

Cheers to you from The Holler’s still safe baby buntings~

Baby Valentine~


Sleepy owlet Valentine wears his ❤ on his face. (Click to enlarge and see Valentine better).

Mama has left him, and it is his first day alone, out of his nesting box.

Valentine doesn’t know what to do,

so he decides to fly down near the human,

watch her out of one eye,

until he falls asleep, clinging to his cactus bed.
Cheers to you from Valentine the confused little owlet~

Note: We have a barn owl nesting box at The Holler, usually woodpeckers nest in it, but this spring a barn owl family actually moved in. Valentine is their chick. I kept an eye on him for his first 24 hours out of the box, which was easy because he seemed quite unafraid of me. I think he was a bit shocked and confused. He passed his second night last night, and I could hear him in the oak groves. Today I haven’t seen him, but have heard him in the trees, so I think he is starting to figure things out.

Holler Hot Summer Blooms~


Spring time blooms,

have long since passed,

as summer sun bakes the land.

Prickly cacti,

wake and yawn.

Emboldened by the heat,

they burst with blooms.

Delicate blossoms,

grace the garden.

Cheers to you from The Holler’s Summer Bloomers~

Looking for a Dog~


I have been distracted lately because we have been making the rounds of rescue organizations looking for a dog.

We were getting overwhelmed with choices, when I decided to look at cats for a change. I am both a dog and cat person, my husband is also, but he is predominantly, Dr. Cats Knoke, “The Feral Cat Herder.” Some of you may remember this post about Jim’s core “catness.”
https://cindyknoke.com/2014/02/21/dr-cats-knoke-the-feral-cat-herder/

Anyhoo, The Holler’s local veterinarian referred us to a non-profit organization run by a network of volunteer feral kitten foster parents called, “Love Your Feral Felines (LYFF).” LYFF rescues feral cats with kittens, and separates the kittens at 6 weeks to be raised by foster families so they don’t become feral like their mammas. Feral Mama’s are spayed and returned to where they were, or adopted out as barn cats in their barn cat program.

Check out some information on this brilliant organization and it’s amazing network of volunteers who open their homes to feral cats and kittens:
http://loveyourferalfelines.com/about-us
We met lots of wonderful, healthy kittens and three amazing foster mom volunteers. Thank you Sally, Katie and Kim! All the kittens are up to date on their immunizations, have tested negative for FLV/FIV, have been micro-chipped and spayed. If you are thinking of adopting a kitten, consider a feral cat rescue organization like LYFF.

I was getting overwhelmed with choices again. But then we met Herbert, an 11 week old feral kitten who is in no way feral any longer, and all the confusing choices slipped away. So this is our new dog Herbert!

Look at this total love bug! He and his two sibs were raised by a super nice foster mom named Katie and my husband agrees this is the most well adjusted kitten either of us have ever seen. These photos were taken today, during his first twelve hours, at his new Holler home!

He explored The Holler, slept in his bed, and purred on our laps in between.

And here he is discovering the hummingbirds! I imagine Herbert and I will spend many days together hummingbird watching! We both are fascinated by them, albeit for different reasons. Don’t worry though, the hummers are safe. Herbert will never be outside because of the coyote danger, but he does have a sunny interior courtyard with trees to enjoy, as soon as Mrs. Black Phoebe vacates her nest.

Many thanks to “Love Your Feral Felines,” and cheers to you from little Herbert in his happy Holler home~

Magic on Wings~


Like the hummers, we have flown away,

to a place where wi-fi doesn’t fly.

I can’t get a satellite signal consistent enough to upload,

here in The Cook Islands.

But, I am getting stunning island vistas.

Sending Holler Hummer hopes that you are healthy and well,

and looking forward to connecting with you when we fly back to civilization.

Until then, cheers to you from the incredible Cooks~

Colorful Creatures~


Create their own vibrant light.

Phaninopepla, dark as midnight,

in full light, is radiant dark blue, with deep red eyes.

Male orioles, kings of beauty, rock yellow and black,

while male grosbeaks flash black, orange and white.

Mr Jay will drive our blues away,

as hummingbirds fly their own private rainbows!

Cheers to you from The Holler’s colorful creatures~

Common Folk~


Are underrated. (Click and enlarge to see the tiny details).

Like this Holler bathing birdie,

a California Towhee, who isn’t much impressed with the paparazzi, smart birdie!

This yellow house finch has a deformed beak and foot, but is doing well on Holler handouts.

Male yellow house finches are less successful with the ladies than their ruby colored cousins, but I think the ladies lack vision.

Mocking Birds may be common,

but they are oh so smart, and very handsome.

House finches are everywhere,

but are really quite adorable!
Cheers to you from The Holler common folk~