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Archive for the ‘birds’ Category

We have had a very windy week! The wind coupled with the dryness have ushered in an early fire season for us. I noticed that yesterday, our relative humidity at 7 a.m. was 8%! No wonder I’m starting to feel like a dried fruit!
We did have occasional breaks in the pounding gusts allowing me to run out and try to get a few photos of the happenings around here.

In the spring, we’re in the flyway for these brown cattle egrets. When they show up it almost looks like a sea of ravens in the wetlands, but then you realize what “they” are, working the shallow waters for their dinners. Just as long as they leave a few crayfish for me I’m happy to share!

The above photo is of one of these busy birds in take off – I should have had the camera set for “Sports” and action shots, but he was moving so fast I didn’t have time to think. Of course the reason he took flight was that I was stalking him.

Amanda: “Hey! I thought I only had two this year! Where did you other lambs come from? Where’s your mother? Lacey, darn it…come and get your own children. I have enough to worry about with these two bruisers draining me dry every two minutes!”

Lacey: “Who? Me? See? I have my own lamb right here. Now where did I put that Jerry Lee?”

Pearl – Queen of the Sheep Beans!

And then there is Himself, you know. Always there. Always watching. I like to think Bran is watching over me, but I suspect it’s more of a “What’s Its got in it’s pockets?” sort of thing.

And finally, a snap of my DH installing a new covering on the steering wheel of his Most Beloved 1953 Mercury he’s been restoring. This car has been in his family since it came off the showroom floor. He’s restoring it close to “original” to be a daily-driver. I know he can’t wait until he can actually drive it to work someday. I just wish we had a garage or big barn so he could work inside out of the weather. He’s dedicated to this vehicle to the point where I have seen him work in sun, wind, rain and snow. It makes me so thankful that my spinning and weaving/knitting/whatever equipment fit nicely in a house…by a warm fire or furnace…out of the rain….
Of course I know that I do have to weather the elements to feed and care for the sheep, but I’m not outside all day doing that if the weather is bad. 🙂 And I’m so glad he has something he loves doing. Honey-Do lists are one thing, but I am a firm believer in each person should have something they are passionate about in life. Something of their own.
I’m just very happy there’s no room in the bed for Betty the Merc, or I’d have to move over and share!

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The Waiting Game

While I’ve got the older ewes together for lambing to begin this weekend, I’ve separated out both Ailee and Loretta, along with the notorious Blessa, by themselves. Ailee and Loretta will be lambing in a couple of weeks – depending on when they settled.

You can see by Loretta’s udder development that she IS indeed with lamb(s). You can also tell that Loretta is not the dark brown/black lamb she was when she had to have her horn scurs removed. She’s becoming much more steely blue-grey. I think she’s becoming much prettier. I can hardly wait to see the lambs both she and Ailee will have, being one-step away from their mothers I’m hoping for some color this year other than black and brown. 🙂

This picture below is of Pearl, my favorite bantam Ameraucana hen. Nosey Josey just thinks she runs the place, but it’s really Pearl who does. She is the hen I’ve seen keeping all others in line and chastising other chickens if they don’t follow appropriate protocols around here. When chasing chickens into the barn at night, usually the dawdler is Bluey, another Ameraucana hen. Well, Pearl will jump on whoever is last in the door for being late. They all mind her. And she watches me, when I’m out there, just to keep tabs on what I’m doing in HER pasture.

Even Slick, the rooster, minds his peas and cues around Pearl. He’s a handsome devil and he knows it.

And below you see a picture of the reason why the songbirds are in hiding and the chickens are in the barn today. This little guy is one of the raptors we have in their area, but he wouldn’t let me get close enough to get a great picture. He was bigger than a Kestrel…he could even be a dark phase of one of the falcons we have here. The wind was bothering him and when I came out onto the deck to get a better picture, he took off, showing me his tail and backsides as well. He might have been a Cooper’s Hawk. I hope to see him again. So far, the birds have not started singing again so I know he’s still in the area.

Watch out, Chickens! Keep your eyes to the skies today. He sure looked hungry to me and Bran took all the mice this morning.

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Easter Flowers

I thought I would share a couple of the more cheerful, colorful aspects of this past weekend holiday with you.

This first picture is of a Christmas Cactus I have had for years. I should name it “Old Faithful” as it begins to bloom around Halloween continuing up to and usually through Easter. I had been worried about it as most of my plants suffered during my stay in the hospital last June and afterward. Poor guys. I feel like this plant came through just to let me know that they all hung in there for me. Now if the orchids will get off their (ahem!) backsides and follow suit!
Next we have a lovely bunch of Daffodils. While friends like Tina and Michelle have had many things bloom at their places, I have had to console myself with bought daffodils from a local grocery store. The nice thing about these is they have a wonderful fragrance. And a bonus is that none of the cats seem to want to munch on them.

We have also had quite a few active birds around. I’ve been waiting for the Western Bluebirds to start moving through – a sure sign of impending spring here in the mountains, but have had to “make do” with Mr. House Finch singing his beautiful little heart out trying to impress the Mrs. He’s been here for a number of years (or maybe his son?) and every morning will sit by the kitchen door, serenading me with his beautiful renditions. As summer comes closer, his feathers will become much brighter in color. Sometimes, Bran will sit on a nearby telephone pole and try singing base along with the finches song. But he just can’t cut the mustard like Mr. H. Finch!

That’s OK, Bran…I’ll still talk to just you down at the barn. I’m ready for another lesson in Raven. Are you ready to teach one?

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