Category Archives: For Your Information

MOVING ON

December 25, 2018

October 2007:  My wife, Jean, and I moved into our home in Peoria Heights October 31st.  This was not our first choice for a home but time constraints made it necessary.  Little did we know how much wildlife was wandering our neighborhood – living in our neighborhood.

1953:  I had grown up less than three miles from here … as the crow flies and, maybe, once in all my childhood a deer was seen in the neighborhood.  As a boy our streets were made from cinders.  Cinders are what’s left after the coal that heated our home was burned.  Everything seemed more quiet and much cleaner back then – even though homes were heated with coal.  The city was not new of course, but the past was still apparent. People living up the street, less than a mile away, still had horses.  

Back to 2007.  Our home has a narrow but deep backyard that touches right up to the railroad right-of-way.  The trains go by infrequently by this time.  None-the-less, they were still a force for moving freight in the area … mostly lumber  actually.  Once in a while I’d hail an engineer and we’d talk a bit about old times. I told him how when I was a boy I’d hop the train to school the back way. (you had to be here.)

2008: One late, fall evening I looked out into the flower garden where we had bird feeders hung on a staff-type pole with feeder hooks on it.  To my suprise a Buck and a Doe were feeding at the feeder.  The Buck was hitting the feeder with his antlers and knocking the seeds to the ground.  Both deer had to have jumped our small chain link fence further back in the yard – near the railroad track – to get to the feeder which was only a few paces from our back door.  When the Buck saw me (I was inside the house) he just kind of snorted and stomped his right front leg, but continued to feed.  The Doe just looked up and continued feeding.

2018: That was our first experience with deer in the area.  Off and on over the next few years we’d see deer running through the neighborhood or walking, in the evening, along the train track.  Once we had four Does in our front yard.  Another time four Wild Turkeys were roosting on a neighbor’s shed roof.

The train track is gone, and, as many of you have seen, it’s been replaced by a walking/bicycle riding track.  Deer, well we’ve seen two in the last three or four years.  Jean saw a Doe looking at her at mid-day, from some cover that managed to miss being cut down by the Park District … they purchased the right of way from the train people … and a year or two ago she saw a Doe and Fawn walking up the track north.  Most all the brush that had been providing cover for deer was removed when room was made for the people track.

The deer have moved back to the Nature Center a few miles from our home – we think.  They are, of course, capable of hiding in plain site, so, maybe they’re here but have not acclimated enough to the sound of so many people noisily interferring with their home turf.  Perhaps they’ll re-appear in numbers again  in a few years.

Feral Cats.  We had numerous Feral Cats, with kittens, running the neighborhood.  Many were caught, spade or neutered, and then re-released back where they were trapped.  A cat who we named Muffin, a Feral Cat, has been with us since the first year we moved in here.  She lives outside – in our garage – but eats here daily.  I can pet her and Jean even picks her up and grooms her with a little brush, however, she will not come into the house.

Stepping back a moment:  Our neighborhood was built, for the most part, in the 1950s.  There has been next to no building since the 60’s.  So, the building of the track is, unfortunately, the main reason for the disappearance of deer.

Time carves an endless furrow.

Dan O. De Ment

8 1/2 x 11 Prints for You and Yours

I have, Upgraded, my site to, Elm Drive Images.com, and will soon be selling 8 1/2  X 11 Prints only, directly from this site via the PayPal, “Buy Now,” system. I plan to be ready within the next couple of weeks.  More details will follow. Kindly advise your family and friends.  Thanks for your time and continuing interest in Elm Drive Images.

Dan O. De Ment

Sparrows Ground Feeding

IMG_20180117_064343

These Sparrows were enjoying the banquet that had fallen from the Feeder.  My wife, Jean, fills the Feeder and within an hour it’s empty.  Sparrows, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Chicakadees and Juncos all enjoy the bounty. Oh yes, one persistent Starling usually shows up.

Dan O. De Ment

Praying Mantis on the side of our Garage

Praying Mantis on Garage Wall_edited-1_wm

I couldn’t believe it when I saw him.  He’s three to four inches long.  Biggest one I’ve seen in years.  The picture doesn’t really represent his size.  He was giving me the once over, I’ll tell you.

Dan O. De Ment

Waiting for Spring

When you find yourself closed in during the winter months Spring is foremost on your mind.  The flowers in bloom, the new life, people having the ability to walk or ride in shirt sleeves and shorts, and, we move the clocks forward.  (Spring ahead and Fall back.) “Daylight Savings Time,” begins in th U.S. March 12th.

All the outdoor jobs need to be started, ie; scraping and painting the deck, replacing or painting windows on the home or garage, replacing trim on the garage, raking the yard to allow the new grass room to grow, caulking here and there around the house and garage, and cleaning out the garden for new growth. (to mention a few.)

Everything feels different in the Spring, doesn’t it?  The birds are singing their Spring songs, the air smells fresh and clean, at first – then the locust trees blossom with a fragrance that some love and others hate. Then, in the Central U.S., the honeysuckle blossoms with another powerful fragrance.  (allergy sufferers beware!) Meanwhile, many floral species have already bloomed and we’re enjoying their beauty. Downpours happen regularly to help everything grow to its full potential, while we hope the rains don’t plug our gutters with falling tree buds.  (I finally got smart and bought a utlilty pump that sets down, halfway, in my deck, and pumps out the water through a garden hose so the eight inch deep area under the deck doesn’t overflow and allow  water to find its way into our kitchen.

So, get ready, be prepared, and enjoy it.  Don’t forget to have your allergy medicine close at hand.  Oh yes, one more thing, why does March always feel like it lasts forever?

Dan O. De Ment

 

Facebook Messenger Made Easy

I’m going out of the Photography Genre here in case there are those of you out here that have been having the trouble I have with Facebook Messenger.

The App for Messenger specifies it is for PHONES.  I don’t use Facebook or Messenger on my phone, I use The Facebook App on my Nook HD and have tried the Messenger App on my Nook HD.  Messenger will not work on a Nook HD.  So I did some investigating using Google and found where this other man was having the same problem with his IPAD.

Another man picked up on it and said to use only your browser to log on to Facebook and Messenger will work fine – It does!  If you’re having trouble forget the APP.  Go to your browser and type in facebook.com and see what happens.  When Facebook opens it will look different than the APP version so take a minute to look around.  Up along near the top will be a row of clickable menu types…one looks like a folder and should have some numbers on it like 1,2,3, etc. depending upon how many messages you’ve received and not opened.  Click on it and, walla, you’re in Messenger.

Remember you may have to sign up for Messenger…or it may sign you in using your Facebook Login and Password…you may not have to actually log in at all.  You’ll need to check it out.

Give it a try and I hope it works for you.

Dan O. De Ment