Monday, June 27, 2011

Red Tailed Hawks

We have a Red Tailed Hawk family at the edge of our woods.  Perfect location, overlooking a small meadow of tall grasses.  For several days I have heard their plaintive cry in the woods.  Today I was treated to the sight of them.  Two adults and two juveniles.  The adults sat on our old wooden fence calling to their offspring.  I suspect it was a parenting thing...the adults trying to convence the young ones to come out and hunt for their own food.  And like most teenagers, the kids didn't want to give up the good thing they had going.  So they stayed high in the trees.  I'll try to keep an eye on them for the next few days, to see who wins. 

I hope to get some better close up pictures of them.  I love putting the bigger birds of prey in my artwork.  Birds like this make good scratchboard subjects.  At the present time, Linda and I have an exhibit at The Kentlands Mansion in Gaithersburg, Md.  A number of the pieces in that show are of Eagles, Hawks, Owls, and my newest scratchboard of a Peregrine Falcon.  Stop by and see it if you are in the area.  It's there till the end of July. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Meaning of Life Video

Saw this some time ago on FB and while tring to figure out if I have correctly upgraded groups on FB I ran across it again. It is a YouTube Video so here is the link we shall see if it works...

Thought I would see if the .com made a difference...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Silver Linings

Lots of changes are going on this year. I keep looking for the silver lining. Currently back in AZ with a week of 109 degrees. Thought the hummingbirds had gone away because it was just too hot for them. But, saw them back this morning enjoying the cactus fruit along with many of the other birds. Might try to put the feeder back out. The sugar water had spilled onto the glass table top and baked to a hard lollipop state. Took a bit of soaking to get that off.
The morning is nice, I can still sit outside with my coffee and watch as the sun plays along the edges of the cactus, the eucalyptus tree and near by buildings. The shadows always intrigue me, patterns of leaves against the light bark.
The saguaro cactus has been interesting seeing the last white flowers, the fruit literally bursts open and the birds just love it. After the birds have finished the fruits drop to the ground. The saguaro flower opens at night and can remain open throughout the day. The lesser long nosed bat comes in the evening to feed off it's nectar, the birds and bees take over during the day. But, the fruit, lush and red seems to be their silver lining, their dessert. It has given me reasons to be up and out early in the morning. Since it gets to so very hot by mid day, everyone is out walking, running, riding, or writing on their computer at 5:00 a.m.
As with everything in life we learn to adapt to life changes, locations, climates, or situations.
Saguaro Cactus Flower, blooms in June

Cactus fruit for breakfast

How do you keep your tail feathers from getting stuck - very carefully

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

'And what is so rare as a day in June?' Lowell

A rare day in June indeed.  Sun is shining but so far the temperatures are on the cool side.  That will probably change before long.

The hummingbirds are doing their best Luke Skywalker impressions today.  Darting and dive bombing each other like seasoned Jedi.  There are three of them and three feeders....wouldn't you think they could figure that out?  But there they are...chirping their threats, flaring their tail feathers and doing their best to look fierce!  It's just not working....they are still adorable.

There are does browsing the woods with new born fawns tucked away in the tall grasses.  I've seen racoons and foxes lately.  Spring and early summer is a great time for spotting our resident wildlife.  A nice thing to do on a rare June day....

Monday, June 6, 2011

Box Turtle/Tortoise is back

We have a family of Box Turtles that come up each year. We are thrilled to see them checking out the location in our backyard to which they will again lay their eggs. The babies hatch late summer, we have seen these tiny little guys come out from under our ferns or tall grasses. They are about an inch in size, we feel very lucky to see the babies most years.

The Box Turtle or Eastern Box Turtle is common along the whole east coast, the other half of the country has the Western Box Turtle. But, the proper term is not turtle for these guys they should be called Box Tortoise according to the scientific information, tortoises have webbed feet or claws, live entirely above water and  don't migrate. They go to water to bath or drink. Where a tutle has flippers and lives in the sea, fresh water or marshes. The terrapin is semi-aquatic, the Diamondback Terrapin is the state reptile of MD. The box turtle/terrapin are close relatives.

That's it for knowledge of turtle vs. tortoise. I just get great joy each year in seeing our Box Turtles return.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

King of the tree tops

Sunday morning, a little bit of rain here and there, cool morning but not cold and the hummingbirds are out having a field day. Tag, relay race, hide and seek. They are amazing to watch, they fly to the top of the dogwood to watch, then come speeding down to run off the other hummingbirds that come to their feeder. There are two that have this relay game, one flies into the mountain laurel, the other to the feeder, they switch places and at one point they both ended up in the mountain laurel, looked at each other and took off in opposite directions.

While all that is going on there is a third hummingbird who hovers closer to the ground, hiding in the tall grasses so the others do not see him (looks like a young male). Working his way up to the top of the grasses then shooting over to the feeder. Just makes me smile, they are so funny.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Bears Back

It has been a year since I had seen the black bears in our woods or so I thought. Last week I thought I saw the bear way up in the woods. But, since no one has seen them, it must be just the shadows in the woods.

Until yesterday when my neighbors just down the hill have seen a black bear trying to get to one of their bird feeders. Making 3 attemps but no luck yet. They are smart and determined it will be interesting to see when and how this young black bear reaches the goal of the bird seed. Here is the picture they got of the bear.

What's That Sound???

You know you are in Wyoming when you wake to the sound of horses. With limited wi-fi service it has been a lot harder to get blogs written a...