As Day Ends

The sun had just dipped below the horizon.

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I looked out one of the new windows in the dining area.  There in the twilight were the doe and her twin fawns.  The fawns have grown a lot in the last several months.  I went to the office and returned with camera in hand.  Mom and the fawns had separated enough that I couldn’t get all three in a single, useful image.  You know who I chose.

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I’ve zoomed in a lot.  I’m hand holding the camera.  It takes four or five images and combines them to make it seem like full daylight.  (I did not manipulate these pix.)  It’s the multiple images that’s creating the blur.  I tried again.

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Better results even though the subjects didn’t cooperate by standing still. :grin:  These two have been so playful.  It has been a lot of fun to watch them run and jump and enjoy our lawn.

Excitement

I was mowing the lawn when I noticed several vultures circling over the neighbor’s field.  It is not unusual to see a vulture or two–a pair nests in a hollow oak tree a short way from here.  This time, I easily counted a dozen and more were on the ground.  I parked the tractor and went into the office and opened a window.  With camera in hand, I tried to capture the action.  (Note to self: Next time try video.  Stills don’t capture the dynamics of this action.)

The vultures were doing horizontal circles above the field.  A couple of American kestrels would swoop down vertically and pull out of their dive just above the ground.  It was great to see.

I did capture one usable image of turkey vultures on the ground.

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I think the spread wings are to promote cooling.  At one time, four of them were in this same pose.

Speculation leans toward an unsuccessful raider of the neighbor’s hen house.  I’m sure he’d see that as a fitting end to the failed attempt.

Color Tour pt1

Our friend, Sharkey, has once again posted some beautiful fall color pix.  Click on her name to see what she has and what captured her attention.

The last time she posted colors, I followed with a pic from my front deck.  This morning, I went out to update that image.  Here is what I saw:

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Our neighborhood is usually about a week behind in fall color when compared to Sharkey’s digs.  This is what those colors were one week ago:

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Interesting how 7 short days can make such a huge difference.  The upper image was captured at mid morning and the lower after midday.  The sky was much different, which adds to the contrast.

Tomorrow, I’ll share more pictures from this morning’s color tour.

Personal

I visited the podiatrist today.  The X-rays show that my foot is healing nicely.  I’m now cleared to wear regular shoes and to drive.  Neither is yet comfortable, however.

We drove around the corner to have blood drawn for a PSA test.  This prior to my visit next week with the urologist.  It has been two years since my cancer surgery and I’m hoping to get another “all clear” message.

Welcome Visitors

All these guys and gals stopped by to visit on the same morning.

I always experience joy when I see him

I always experience joy when I see him

Maybe it’s in his name, American Gold [Finch].  Yah, that works for me.

A cheery cherry guy

A cheery cherry guy

I didn’t get a picture of the red-tailed hawk.  That’s one that is not a poser.

Breakfast bugs are freshly dug

Breakfast bugs are freshly dug

She takes care of a lot of bugs.  She also digs up the lawn, but I don’t care.  Just so she doesn’t try to nest under my garage again.

That’s the least amount of white I’ve seen on a skunk.  Would she be welcome at your house?

Wildlife

This week started off well.  Monday, Sylvia had the cast removed from her left arm.  It was two months to the day since she broke her wrist.  X-rays show that the fracture is healing.  Thursday will be the first therapy session for her.

The last few days have been very busy days for us.  There has been much to do.  I’ve not had time to attend to this blog.  Fortunately, I have put the camera to work and here are a couple of items from its memory card.

The grass is not only greener, it tastes better

The grass is not only greener, it tastes better

I saw the doe cross the driveway and walked over to the neighbor’s fence.  I raised the blinds and reached for the camera.  The deer had crossed the fence.  She ate some grass and then came back and disappeared into the willow brush and tall grass down by the road.

On Sunday afternoon, I saw an unusual sight.  It was out on the lawn.

A duck surveys the possibilities

A duck surveys the possibilities

We’ve had a lot of rain lately, but a duck?  They usually consider this “flyover” country.  Maybe she was tired and that’s why she stayed for a while.

Enough is enough

Enough is enough

As I watched her fly away, I thought of how Sylvia was going to feel when the cast came off.  She is enjoying the freedom.

On Schedule

Spring Begins

Winter bows to spring,
Grass changes from brown to green
Soon the earth will warm.

Last evening looking out my office window

Last evening looking out my office window

There is a fourth critter (rabbit) in the left foreground.  It was dusk when I shot this and it was handheld, thus the less than sharp image.

Spring Develops

Slowly days lengthen,
Warm gentle rain falls down,
Earth awakes to life.

Till, the Smell Diminishes

Yesterday, I posted an animated gif of the neighbor applying liquid bovine stuff to the field behind our house.  The yellow house in the background is where neighbors, Curt and Meghan, live.  On FB, Meghan posted the comment that she hoped the reason the field looked so brown was that it had recently been tilled.  It had.  Less than 24 hours after applying the fertilizer, the neighbor was tilling it under.  That should protect and preserve the precious resource.

Heave ho and under it goes

Heave ho and under it goes

I find it interesting that the farmer plants corn.  At harvest time he chops it up and hauls it to storage.  That corn will feed his cattle for the next year.  The solid waste from the cattle is spread on the field the next spring.  Thus continues a cycle.  (Or is it a recycle?)

Of course the farmer doesn’t grow corn here every year.  He alternates corn and soy beans.  (Does that make it a bi-cycle?)

The field was tilled on Tuesday, and that night we had rain.  It [for the most part] washed the air clean.

You can avoid a few hours of seemingly unpleasant odors by living in suburbia or the city.  I wouldn’t want to miss all of the goodness of this rural setting.  As a farmer friend says, “That, Chuck, is the smell of money.”  I would add that is also an essential step in bringing good things to your dinner table and mine.

B A I K !

Have you seen those letter (B-A-I-K) before?  According to the story, a fellow was wearing a large badge with those very letter on it.  When asked what it meant, he replied, “It stands for Boy Am I Konfuzed!  The questioner then said, “But confused isn’t spelled with a K.”  The response came quickly.  Well that shows just how confused I am.”

I was here in the office sitting at the computer.  Sylvia was doing something in the kitchen.  As I surfed the Web, I heard a loud thump.  I ran to kitchen to see if Sylvia was okay.  She was, and she hadn’t heard a thing.

I returned to the office and looked out the window.  That’s when I saw this . . .

A ring-necked pheasant had apparently flew into the side of the house.  I captured this picture and then left the office heading for a closer window.  When I arrived, he was gone.

I’m still trying to figure out why he did that. :thinker:   Maybe it was part of a fraternity initiation rite.  What do you think?  Do birds even do things like that?

An Encounter on the Road

Deer on our lawn.

Her attention was on something in the ditch on the left side of the road as our car topped the rise. Sylvia was driving and we were going to Good Friday services. Sylvia immediately moved her foot from the accelerator to the brake pedal and the car slowed to a walk. She heard the crunch of gravel beneath tires and lifted her head.

Curiosity got the better of her and she moved toward us, crossing the road as she neared the now barely moving vehicle. Her head was up and all of her senses were at full alert. She continued to approach.

Then, for no apparent reason, she whirled and starting trotting down the right side of the road away from us. Suddenly, she took a hard right. With two bounds and a graceful leap the young doe cleared the old woven-wire fence where it was broken down a bit. Quickly she disappeared into the brush.

We continued on our way as we thought about the brief encounter on the road.

Recent Sightings

Wednesday afternoon, Sylvia and I went for a walk. As we went out the door, we noticed that the hyacinth was beginning to open. I’m sorry, but a strong wind was blowing it around so the image is a bit fuzzy. We stopped to admire its beauty.


We walked around the house where some crocus blossoms were open. The earlier (more protected ones) are through blooming, but these are in full glory. The we saw the bee as it went about its busy work. Can you see her there on the right? Isn’t that great?


Our walk resumed and we continued to see the signs of spring everywhere we looked. However, the wind was strong and cold, so we returned to the house after about 20 minutes of discovery and shooting photos from the four corners. I’ll try to post them next week.

Other Sightings

Later we saw the eagle again. I first saw it as I sat here at the computer two or three weeks ago. While looking out the window toward the barn, I saw a huge bird come sailing around the barn very fast. It quickly disappeared behind the garage. What a surprise! What was it? It wasn’t a vulture, even thought they will be here in large numbers in a few weeks or days. It looked like an eagle. I’ve seen it several times since then and there is no doubt.

Grackles have come back and I’ve seen a couple of eastern blue birds. Warm weather can’t be too far away.

The grass is beginning to turn green and that means the snow blade and front-end loader will come off the tractor and the mower deck will go on.

Finally, the lead-gray skies are giving way to the beautiful dark blue skies that characterize our summers. Life is good!