This week…


A week full of Spring surprises..have a cup of tea and I will tell you all about it. First of course, this pair of ears peeped from underneath the deck at the end of a nice Spring day…I wondered who they belonged to.



Ah yes, a little raccoon…hungry awoken from hibernation.

DSC_6536 started raining, I let the little fellow have a good meal.

The garden was full of daffodils..but alas a few violent rain storms made daffodil season very short this year. Blue grape hyacinths proved to be of sturdier material. This little jug is just perfect for a little bunch, it makes me very happy.


The vultures are back and every day there is a group of five ‘floating’ over our neighborhood,in the morning and in the evening. I wish to make a photo that shows all five gliding in circles majestically. They are an acquired taste but I think they are beautiful!

Of a totally different beauty are these tree swallows…Spring has not really begun without them.

Mr & Mrs Squirrel have properly settled down and are very territorial. So they actually prevent more squirrels from coming into the garden which is a good thing for the bird feeders. And I just love the idea that the adorable couple snuggled up cozily in their new home, lined comfortably with dry leaves and lots a hair from a shedding Charley.


Talking about Charley…I was very surprised to find my darling girl nicely snuggled up too. She was very surprised that I did not approve.

Now she is waiting for the company of dear friends who will come and stay for the weekend.


Ha, de lente brengt zoveel nieuw leven en verrassingen: kleine wasbeertjes, grote Β gieren en snelle zwaluwen en veel regen ook. (vind ik niet zo erg) De eekhoorns hebben zich helemaal gesetteld en houden andere eekhoorns uit de tuin. In Amerika hebben we erg veel eekhoorn! Charley had zich ook comfortabel gesetteld..maar dat mocht natuurlijk niet ;0) Nu wacht ze op lieve vrienden die hier gezellig een weekend komen door brengen!

Love and Liefs, Johanna

71 thoughts on “This week…

  1. What lovely pictures Johanna – the raccoon is adorable! It’s lovely to have signs of spring peeking through – have a lovely weekend!

    • Thank you Kaggsy! My weekend was indeed great with friends we see not often enough. Hope your weekend was enjoyable too…I see you are very busy with books and reviews. xo Johanna

  2. Good morning, Johanna. I like the vultures, too. As ungainly as they are on the ground, they are beautiful flyers. And for big birds, we also see bald eagles and pelicans this time of year.

    • Hi Melanie, I know when on the ground, vultures always make me laugh, especially when they have ‘goodies’ to share and look over their shoulder towards me as if they are afraid I might wanna tuck into (ugh) But in all honesty, they are sociable birds with their family and very playful too. I am happy you like them!
      The magnificent bald eagles are a rare sight here and Pelicans are on my list of birds I hope to see in real…their flight is supposed to be amazing.

  3. The hyacinths in the delightfully dotted jug make me smile πŸ™‚ I thought those fat furry ear tips were going to belong to a raccoon! Are those the babies in the box… they look so teeny. Charley has so much personality. I am loving your red door. I have been talking about painting our front door red but have not found a red that hits me right… I like your red πŸ™‚ Enjoy your company and have a great weekend!

    • Hi Pix, those squirrels are not the babies but they are quite small indeed. In Canada, the grey squirrels are huge and vary from deep grey to black. These one are slim and a quite small, not much bigger than the red ones. I have not figure it out yet how those species of squirrels work…
      I share you love for the red door;0) We had a great weekend with our friends and I hope yours was equally good! xo Johanna

  4. Such sweet happenings at your place. The raccoon will surely find a place in one of your illustrations one day. πŸ™‚ Too cute. And I love the hyacinth in the blue spotted mug. Have a lovely weekend with your friends.

    • Thank you, lovely Cathe! Charley says, the weekend was particularly good for her, since she was spoiled unbelievably with hugs, grooming, endless rope and frisbee throwing and tidbits that ‘happen to fall of the table’….

  5. Hello !! I’ve been Missing you and Charley and need to get my butt to work soon but oh my, I love all the critters in your post today. Look at that racoon, so so adorable πŸ˜€ Little sleepy head just woke up? I’d want to set out a whole buffet, LOL We don’t have them here in Alberta. I’ve seen them in Stanley Park on the Island though. You got a great series of photo’s as he/she pokes up that little head. Dang, to awake in a rain storm doesn’t seem fair.

    You’re a true lover of all creatures πŸ˜€ Not too many ladies would have such kind words for the lowly vulture. Their wings in flight are really something. I wonder if they steal small cats? Owls are known to do that here. Even smaller dogs.

    Sorry to hear about your daffodils, nothings up that big in my yard but then again, the last of the snow just departed of the grass, HA. It’s all looking a shambles even though I cleaned up in fall. I’m going to let things dry up before I get in to it all. The vignette on the dresser is really nice. All the patterns and colours meld into a cacophony of simple pleasures.

    Charley doesn’t look the least bit concerned that she’s been caught snuggled under the sheets, I love that! LOL How could she resist? It does look very cozy and inviting. Like a sweet little Dutch nest with all the florals and checks. I love how you decorate and mix things together.

    Thanks for the morning treat Johanna xo This eye candy will get me thru another busy day. I’m coming back later to catch up on all the Walker Wonder that I missed while holidaying. Love & hugs all around xoxo

    • So happy to see you again!! Have you recovered from that amazing trip and how you must miss your friends now!! Hope your weekend was good with more Spring.
      Don’t you ever worry about vultures stealing cats..they live of carrion and are indeed very useful in that respect. Poor creatures with their red bald heads, big naked claws and no little song but hissing through nostrils: people have a hard time to see past that! And on top of that, they seems to vomit on their feet but that is a special acid fluid to prevent infections. They are very sociable and raise their young with care. and playful too! I once saw a glider pilot tell the story that when she goes up for more than 5km the vultures still circle with her…”they must do that for fun because from that height you cannot see anything on the ground’. she said. We have met tame vultures in a rescue and they will sit on your lap! And the most magnificent sight was hundreds of migrating vultures in swerving circles, crossing lake Toronto while we were watching them from the CN tower…what good luck!!!
      And looks deceive indeed…that little raccoon is a big rascal…and when fed too much, they will bring lots of brothers and sisters. They will attack your pets, tear the garbage apart, nest in your chimney and destroy it. In Japan and Europe, evil people sold them as pets and even crossed bred them with dogs…outside their natural habitat: the damage they cause is beyond believe! Now that is nature for you and these intelligent critters just take advantage from what is on offer ;’0). So never buy a raccoon, dear Kelly, because with your loving heart…you would fall for their tricks ;0)
      Charley says hugs and kisses and she agrees…I am so wrong for not letting sleep where ever she wants! Take care and xoxoxo Johanna

      • Oh dear, you’ve sang the virtues of vultures so magnificently, I really want to jump on board the magic wagon with rose coloured vultures thru misty eyed glasses, yet…….meh! LOL
        I will positively appreciate their carrion cleanups and Cirque de Soleil aeronautics from afar and applaud your unbiased affection for all creatures and for inviting one to your lap. I’ve snugged the odd Chicken here and there, does that count? HA! Mind you, they were cute and soft.

        No worries, I think Mr B would send us both packing if a racoon turned up in my menagerie πŸ˜€ I’d have to disguise the poor think as a cat. Even still, they are cute and you’re right, I could easy make friends with a racoon family. We’d have picnics on the lawn. You and Charley would be invited of course, the more the merrier xoxo K

  6. Your neighborhood looks like a dream to me! What an easy way to be inspired. I love the pictures! ❀ The racoon series are wonderful! You should frame one of those.
    And Charley, she is a cutie! :3

  7. What a wonderful post and an amazing backyard theater you have! The “real-estate” in the yard looks like the beginning of a fine neighborhood πŸ˜‰ I love the first two photos of Mr. Raccoon checking out the premises and of course dear Charley-how could you say “no” to that face (believe me I do understand)- the post was a real day-brightener-thank you Johanna~

  8. You write the most amazing stories with pictures, Johanna! I adore how you presented that little raccoon. Look like you had a beautiful week in spite of the rainstorms! Love seeing Charley all snuggled up in your comforter! heehee! And I just can’t quit chuckling about that little raccoon. πŸ™‚ love and hugs!

  9. I just love all your pictures–the raccoon, the snuggly dog and the squirrels. May you have good spring weather this weekend for your friends and their visit!

  10. How did you ever get those squirrel and racoon pictures?! They are so great. I love the one of Charley too..maybe that will show up as one of your illustrations. I think that little polka dot pitcher is just perfect for those little hyacinths, makes me happy too. Have a wonderful weekend with your friends!

    • Well, I am indeed so lucky that those critters live/ roam through my garden. I just sit in front of the french doors and wait patiently…but it was very lucky that the little raccoon was popping up like that all the time. He was keeping an eye on Charley who was keeping an eye in him ;0)

  11. These pictures are ripping my heart out! One is cuter than the next! They’re ridiculously sweet. I would tell you my favorite, but they’re ALL my favorite. I love this post!

    • Thanks Genevieve, it was hard to take those raccoon pictures because I was laughing my head of…Charley and I were sitting in front of the french doors…he was keeping an eye on Charley and Charley was keeping an eye on the end the empty stomach won and the bird feeder was plundered ;0)

  12. Well, Johanna! You have surpassed yourself this time! I loved this post with all the animals, your dear naughty Charley and the pretty Grape-hyacinths. So sorry about the daffodils. All my hyacinths were knocked down by strong winds but Spring is like that isn’t it? Hope you are having a great weekend ❀

  13. The garden was full of daffodils..but alas a few violent rain storms made daffodil season very short

    Had some pop up to but seems even in best of times they last just about a week. A year of slumber for just a week – seems unjust. For them and me.

    • Nature can be cruel…how about the periodical cicadas ; they live underground for 13 to 17 years and than finally when they emerge as grown ups and can fly and all…after 4 weeks, the party is already over. If they do not get eaten before hand ;0)

    • Thanks Laurie, it was hard to take those raccoon pictures because I was laughing my head of…Charley and I were sitting in front of the french doors…he was keeping an eye on Charley and Charley was keeping an eye on the end the empty stomach won and the bird feeder was plundered ;0)

  14. My goodness, what an incredible uplifting post. That first photo stopped me cold. It is full of love and promise, and all things wonderful in nature.

    I’m smitten with that little racoon, your nesting squirrels and your dear, darling Charley. Thanks for this breath of fresh air and for a small glimpse into your spring days. xox

    • Dear Alys, thanks you for your kind words and I am happy you loved the post! It is a sweet trick of Mother Nature to have made big rascals like raccoons, squirrels and Charleys so darn cute ;0)

  15. Johanna Dear,I have so much work to do and I am stuck here,marvelling at your amazing photos!What a delightful post my friend,filled with terrific garden moments and sweet stories!
    Loved the “hesitant ears” signaling and begging for help and love and of course your warm heart that greeted the hungry raccoon with generosity and affection.
    The squirrel couple is really gorgeous and so are the hovering voltures!Moreover,I liked the pretty little jug with the beautiful hyacinths that nicely grace the place!All is so beautifully captured and presented!However,the great heart stealer is your darling girl!No wonder to see her there,that’s what Heracles and Hermes do,and my hubby usually tells them that we know you are like humans,others don’t … Thank you so much for all this beauty you shared with us!
    Have a wonderful and creative work πŸ™‚ ,Doda ❀ xxx

  16. Wow, what wonderful pictures. I figured those little ears belonged to one of those cute but ornery little critters. Charley looks adorable all covered up awaiting the arrival of company. The little squirrels are just too cute. All look comfy and happy at your place. Hugs

  17. Wow! You live in a very beautiful place… Say hello from me to your neighbour, the cute, pointy-eared raccoon.

    Have a great day!

  18. Wow this is such a contrast from Ireland. I can’t possibly imagine what it would be like to waken up to a couple of squirrels in their own little house, we do have them but I don’t know any that have their own little pied-a-terre. BUT racoons and vultures…. I LOVE IT😊 Of course now I am going to find out where you actually live

    • Hi Susan,
      When we lived in The Netherlands, squirrels were an unusual site. Here in North America they are considered ‘a bit too much in the garden’…they will empty out all bird feeders and chase the birds…but now the two of them occupied the owl bird box they actually prevent other squirrels form moving in too…so as always give and take ;0) And I live in Cincinnati, Ohio ;0) I have not been to Ireland (yet) but Mr. Walker has and many of my friends…they all say it is very beautiful!

  19. Wow; where to start?? The raccoon photos – what an awesome progression! I had no idea who was emerging when I spotted the ears πŸ™‚
    The jug of grape hyacinths – heartwarming and gorgeous in their simplicity.
    I totally get why you like the vultures – they’re totally awe-inspiring.
    Charley – a class act as usual.
    But those squirrels in their cosy house…they win it for me this time πŸ™‚

    • The squirrels did a little victory lap through the garden whilst Charley scowled…
      I do not think there are squirrels in New Zealand? Is it true that possums are the only wild mammal? We have possum too…

      • We don’t have squirrels but we do have a fair heap of other wild mammals including ferrets and stoats (all introduced – not native) but of all of them the possum is the hugest pest destroying huge amounts of both native and farmed forests and giving credence to the often voiced sentiment, “the only good possum’s a dead possum”. We on the Homestead are not that brash but having lived in the middle of the forestry region we can certainly see they have a point.

      • Another parallel! In Canada we lived slam bang in the middle of a forest! And I do understand what you are saying..possums are not native to your country and have no natural predators. Invaders in nature can cause damage beyond believe. Here the same possum is just a gentle nocturnal animal causing no trouble. But that same cute raccoon has invaded cities in North America and European and Asian countries..due to too much garbage laying around and evil people selling these really wild animals with real teeth and claws…as pets and even cross breed them with dogs! The damage to wildlife and ancient building is awful.
        Sigh..indeed we better stick to chickens and dogs etc and clear up the mess!

  20. You got amazing pictures of all that wildlife! You must be very patient with your camera and, of course, you have such a good eye for unusual shots! We had raccoons last year–I hope we see more. I know they can be a nuisance but they make up for it since they are so cute! But not as cute as Charley!

    • Thank you Kerry, I remember your amazing baby Raccoon photos. It is easy to be very patient when I can sit comfortably in my chair with tea at hand whilst wild life is parading right in front of me ;0) Charley sends hugs and cuddles!

  21. The raccoon photos are so funny! Lol! And vultures have their part to play in nature. The squirrels in their nesting box are adorable. I’ve never seen a squirrel.

    We have possums here and they are territorial too. 😊. Have a great day, Johanna.

  22. Love this series of photos – the raccoon popping his head up is priceless! Aren’t those little grape hyacinths pretty? It’s taken some time, but I finally have some sizable clumps of them growing in my garden. Love that fabulous colour.

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