"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold




"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER".....Albert Einstein


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

DAMP ALFALFA...


 I saw this hen turkey leaving an alfalfa field on a recent morning...

She was quick to ruffle her feathers and spread her wings to get the excess moisture off...




After rearranging her feathers, she continued on her way...

Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.




Tuesday, April 27, 2021

WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS...

 


I was excited to discover a pileated woodpecker exploring the vacant cavities in a dead tree...





The site of the nest is determined by the female; but first, the male must find a potential nest site and prepare it for her inspection. In the following images the male is remodeling...


After emerging with a mouth-full of debris, he winds up by twisting his head to the right...


And then flinging the discards away from the entrance...


We will never know if this nest site would have been accepted by the female. When I checked on it the following day the limb had fallen, taking all of his hard work crashing to the ground.

Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.




Sunday, April 18, 2021

April Changes

 


It's the middle of April and winter seems so long ago. Birds are nesting, many already have produced successful hatches. It is an exciting time to observe the changes around us.

This hermit thrush came to a small stream to drink...





A little while later a pair of blue birds arrived...




Many people provide nest boxes to attract bluebirds; sometimes other species, like these tree swallows occupy the boxes instead...




I believe the barred owls that I posted about recently probably have young ones by now...


I don't know if a squirrel is too large for a barred owl to catch or if this one just wasn't hungry. If you look in the lower right corner of the next image a squirrel can be seen, seemingly oblivious of the owl perched only a few feet away...


I was lucky to spot a few wild turkeys...



With each passing day the foliage makes spotting wildlife more challenging...



If you have followed my previous posts you know that I have a fondness for screech owls...


Sometimes they can be easy to spot...



Other times, they can be shy...



This great-horned owl nest had two chicks when I was made aware of it...


I returned only two days later to find that the owlets had fledged...



The sun was constantly being obscured by clouds which caused the difference in the apparent color of the owls...


The owlets had left the nest, but an adult was perched nearby to keep an eye on them...



When I was reviewing my images I found  the following two of an owlet regurgitating a pellet of undigestible material...



I always try to keep an eye open for creatures as I travel the back roads...



This doe was bedded down beneath a rock overhang...


This image of a turkey vulture was taken through the sunroof of my vehicle...


Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.









Wednesday, March 31, 2021

March 2021...the Rest of the Story

 


On a frosty morning earlier this month, I waited at one of my favorite spots overlooking a small creek.  One never knows what bird or mammal might appear seeking a first chance to obtain water.  On this day I was fortunate to have a mink appear just as the sun was rising...







When mink are seeking food they tend to be slow and methodical, exploring each root ball or hole in the bank that could harbor something to eat...




This time of year, however, marks the end of their mating season.  This one had something other than breakfast on it's mind...






This encounter was over in a matter of seconds.  I felt grateful to be in the right place to document his passing...




Tender new buds offer squirrels a welcome change of diet...








This belted kingfisher was having a good day fishing...






The remains of a calf attracted a red-tailed hawk, and a black vulture determined to drive him off...




On a different day this bald eagle was feeding on the same carcass...








A bold crow tries to keep another eagle away from the carcass...






A pack of fox hounds seek a fresh scent to follow...








This muskrat was calmly feeding around midday...






Until the sound of my camera's shutter alerted it...








This male pileated woodpecker is inspecting the suitability of a tree cavity for a nesting site...






The screech owl in the cavity just above may have discouraged the woodpecker...






A squirrel has taken occupancy in the cavity that the pileated woodpeckers used last year...




A different screech owl has set up house keeping nearby...




Two male northern shovelers are resting on a small pond...



This red-tailed hawk was perched on my route home...










I mentioned, in an earlier blog post, that vultures seem to be unusually plentiful this year...




This turkey vulture is making a meal from a several months-old raccoon carcass...




On the ground vultures may seem clumsy, but at the first sign of danger they can quickly become airborne...






Wild turkeys are on the move.  Spring is their mating season...








Spring is also turkey gobbler hunting season.  One important safety consideration for those who spend time in the woods is to never wear garments that display the colors red, white and blue.  These three colors can be mistaken for the head of a  gobbler...





Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.