Fun with Dickcissels and Horses

It’s looking

In years past I’ve mentioned my fondness for the migratory dickcissel birds that come through here at the Hermits’ Rest each year. They’re small sparrow-sized birds with big sound and friendly personalities.

I usually see them on barbed wire or electric wire. This is a female.

They have a charming gurgling song and often chirp away after sunset. I don’t know why this is.

This is a male.

They hang around here late spring through mid summer. I wasn’t sure if they bred here or not until today when I was walking over to see Apache and Fiona.

Friendly female

Females followed me along the road, moving down the fence as I passed.

Look at her mouth!

Eventually I made it to the old, hollow, cedar elm just before the cattle guard. There I saw much dickcissel activity, and both a male and a female. They were working on a nest!

Looking for building supplies.

I was so pleased to see this! I hope to soon see or hear babies when I walk by. Here’s a bit more on these birds from iNaturalist.

Horse update

I’m other news, we have Bonnie the quarter horse visiting for a while. She’s 19, and wanting to do stuff.

Looking forward to more horse fun.

Apache went for a walk with her (and us humans) and they got along fine as long as Apache didn’t get too close, because her flank must look delicious.

Practicing being a perfect gentleman.

It’s looking like Apache is healing well. We walk and walk, and he is fine. I’m hoping riding can resume by the weekend.

Nature Heals: Five Vitamin Bs

After a long day of working through my mental paralysis, I came home to do the usual chicken and horse chores. I decided to really look hard at what I saw on the path and just live in the moment.

Beautiful crow poison blossom

It helped more than I thought it would to immerse myself in the life on the ranch. There were so many bees in the blooming clover and so many butterflies on the flowers and so many birds and so many bugs! The 5 Vitamin Bs: Blossoms, bees, butterflies, birds, and bugs.

The most common butterflies were Buckeyes, checkered whites, and sulphurs. I also saw a hairstreak.

And in the bird department, I was extra excited to hear a familiar call. The dickcissels are back! They’re one of those birds whose numbers are dwindling, so it makes me happy to know they like it here.

I also enjoyed the sounds of sparrows rushing out of the grass and the red winged blackbirds calling and flying around. They’re everywhere right now.

I enjoyed a lot of interesting bugs, but my favorite is this Texas flower scarab. It was vigorously digging away in this thistle.

Thistles have friends

Just enjoying the light on the grass, along with my friends the butterflies, bees, birds, and bugs got me in a better frame of mind. Thanks, Mother Nature!

Just grass, mostly speargrass.

Pond-ering

Since it’s rained like crazy and the rivers are still rising, I thought it would be a good time to check out our pond, the arroyo, and the riparian areas at the front of our property.

A meadow pink for my newfound love of the color.

Also, since it’s time for the second wave of wildflowers, I’d check them out, too. I’m always happy when these pink beauties are shining forth, so that was a good start!

I’m so glad they didn’t get all of these in the hay!

The dogs came along and enjoyed their own “pond” made by Lee’s unfinished drainage area.

Thanks for the pond, Dad!

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