Preparing for Nature Fun

As I’m noodling around with the idea of “goals,” I decided one would be to learn something about nature every day by getting outside and focusing on my surroundings. I get to start out by participating in our Master Naturalist chapter’s winter Bioblitz (follow along with us, if you want to!), for which I’m really thankful to our iNaturalist guru Linda Jo. I can now observe things on the ranch for a week, starting tomorrow! I am hoping to maybe get some bird photos.

Speaking of birds, for the first time in a long time there were eastern bluebirds on the fence with the gray birds! The blue on the males is so striking! Of course, the mockingbird chased them off, so I couldn’t get a picture, but my eyes enjoyed them.

This photo shows the beautiful colors you see when they fly. Photo © Michael J. W. Carr, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)

Spending time observing non-humans and watching them through the seasons makes me happy. It’s easy to do, since I usually walk over to the horses every day, often go on longer walks, and like to hang out in the woods. Making getting out and observing my surroundings an actual goal seems like a fine self esteem ambition.

Chickens Are Guaranteed to Make You Laugh

I wrote this last night, so adjust your mental imagery accordingly.

Sure, sometimes I get sad about losing chickens, but mostly they bring me so much joy. When I see good ole Bertie and Gertie running to see me, any hint of a foul (fowl?) mood I’m in evaporates.

Mom’s home! Maybe she has food! Or shoelaces!

They just want to be where I am. The others are a bit more independent. Today I found all of them taking dirt baths in the asparagus bed (no photos).

This shoelace is too short and doesn’t sparkle. Hmph.

Sometimes I just sit in the grass and talk to Bertie and feed her leaves. Ginger used to do that, too. and Fancy Pants. Sniff. But I still have Bertie Lee!

I’m such a good listener. But I’m annoyed you messed up my nest in the garage.

I do have to be careful with the phone/camera, though, because it’s also shiny, and thus peck-worthy.

PECK!

The other thing I’ve been most enjoying is Bruce as he looks for high objects to crow from. Here he is in the garage crowing from the workbench.

Tallest bird in the garage!

Today he wanted to be king of the welding equipment.

King of the red canister.

Buttercup was really interested in what Bruce was doing.

I’d like to be queen of the welding stuff.

Sadly, there can only be one monarch at a time.

Bruce deposed Buttercup before she even gained a foothold.

I really needed a day to just enjoy the life around me and not have a huge to-do list. It helped a lot with matters that weigh on my mind. I even escaped the dogs and took a nice long walk.

Look at those legs! There’s definitely a whole lot of nothing out here.

From my walk, I determined that Michelob Lite Extra is by far the favorite beer of litterers, followed by Bud Light and Lone Star. and Duncan Hines is the preferred cake mix to strew on the roadside (yes, 3 boxes)! It’s time to clean up again, I guess.

There are three Eastern bluebirds on the fence.

I had to end on a happier note!

I hope you have a Bertie equivalent to cheer you up. Or, you can borrow Bertie.

Crow Drama! And Bluebirds

As I was leaving to go to my Cameron office this morning, I heard a strange bird call. It didn’t sound like anything I’d ever heard, so I looked up to see what new bird was on the property. All I could see was a crow.

And that crow was acting mighty strange. It was making this weird noise, that was not the usual “caw” at all, and flying round and round the large black willow tree in our arroyo. I noticed another crow, doing the same thing.

I don’t see anything a crow would want here.

So, I drove down the driveway to the gate. While I waited for the gate to open, I realized there were THREE rather upset crows, and they were circling because a red-tailed hawk was sitting on a branch of the tree, all huddled down. She was huddled down, because the crows were dive-bombing her over and over.

Of course, just as I got my camera out, she had enough of the torture and flew off. I inspected the tree as I drove off, and for the life of me I didn’t see any reason why the crows would have been so pissed off at the hawk. I know what a crow’s nest looks like, and there was not one on top of that tree (poor choice for a nest, the way willow branches fall off so easily). Maybe there was some other bird nest up there that the crows wanted to steal eggs from? I’ll look more closely when I get home.

Continue reading “Crow Drama! And Bluebirds”
Crissi McDonald

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