Thursday, January 1, 2015

Starting the New Year Off Right

The weather for the first day of 2015 held it's tenuous grip on 
bearable temperatures... for one more day.  We are descending into a 
real wintery mix for the weekend, with ice, sleet and snow predicted. 

Thank heavens Keith has dialysis tomorrow, but not Saturday and Sunday! 

We had a quiet New Year's Eve here, Keith watching the History Channel 
downstairs, and me watching the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" on 
Turner Classic upstairs.  (A great way to end the 50th Anniversary 
Year of the British Invasion).  

So... today, I took the dogs to the farm for a bit.  If it is 
bearable temperature-wise, we go. 

Oh, HI! 

Um.... Byeeee

Something was in the old henyard, or so we thought....

Nope, it was a VERY NAUGHTY Lilly Ann, over in Troy's yard. 

I need to stop and explain, for those who have forgotten.  Lilly spent the first seven and a half years of her life within in the confines of Calamity Acres fenceline.  The ONLY time she left was to go to the vet.  She was able to get out about 5 times in that time, and every single time, could not figure out how to get home.  We had to climb over fences to get her. 

Our neighbor's the Spehars now have a huge mastiff, Bob... who is protective, and there is 
no fence around their property at Troy's end. So... I am careful. 

Lilly knew she was in trouble, I yelled to her, and then ran up to the yard walk-gate, where I found it open.  
She came right away, back to the safety of our yard and pasture. 

The sky came alive above us, and they were going in every direction. 

I have a theory. 

The geese know the bad weather is coming, and are feeding heavily. 

Jester did zoomies around me for five minutes, and wore himself out. 
I can't find the little camera... I had it this morning... and I usually use it to 
film his zoomies. 

Lilly was okay with being in her own pasture... 

Because she's the Queen of it. 

She really shows her bird dog heritage. 

All of the sudden, far overhead... two birds appeared out of the northwest.  I ALWAYS keep an eye on Jester, and I immediately called him back to my side.  Long ago, our min pin Oscar was attacked by a large raptor, and wounded badly.  

I thought they were turkey vultures from a distance, but no.... here it is.... 
I think it's a red-shoulder, but I am going to have to look him up.  I'm so glad I 
called Jester to me, he was huge, and very powerful-looking. 

This picture is cropped... he was actually far above us. 

I filled the tank on the way home... can you BELIEVE this? 

Then, I dropped the dogs off, and took off for Wyandotte County Lake. 
I need to digress for a minute... 

I belong to a Facebook group called 
"I'm from the Dotte".  I grew up in Wyandotte County (Kansas). 
This group is 10,000 strong, but there are about 100 people who 
post regularly.  
Lately, several have been posting pictures of eagles, deer, geese and other animals that 
they have taken at Wy Co Lake, a huge recreational lake. 

There were just a few geese there. 

Actually, there were thousands of geese and ducks.  See that little white pin in the distance? (channel marker) 
There were scores more out there, in the middle of the channel. 

They appear to be in good flesh. 

And I was not alone in taking pictures, I was glad to see. 

Long ago, there were grain feeders stationed around the lake where you could buy a handfull of pellets for 10 cents and feed the fowl.  I think they have given that up when they 
let all the park rangers go.  Now, the sheriff 's deputies patrol the lake as part of their duties. I was glad to see, though, that the lakesides appeared to be pretty clean of debris and trash. 

It amazed me that hundreds of the geese and ducks were content to stand or sleep on the ice.  

Though there were many out on the open water, as well. 

Then, groups began leaving... taking off on the ice as well as the water. 

They were flying off in every direction.  Remember, Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties still have substantial agricultural land, and the bean and corn fields come alive with geese in the evenings. 

Off they went, by the hundreds. 

I was craving some treats... and made a run to Walmart on the way home.  This 
particular Walmart is across from the Kansas Speedway, the NASCAR track in 
Kansas City, Kansas.  To the west are many of those fields... bean and corn... and as 
I got out of the car, I looked to see hundreds of geese in the skies there.  Our day had gone from 
sunny to gray, but there was a little sun trying to break through.  I was not (brave) stupid enough to 
get the big camera out in the Walmart parking lot to take a picture, though. 

I went home a little different way.... and found this lovely old barn in an empty pasture.  There are 
homes across the street from it, but nothing built on the side where the barn is located, and it's a beautiful pasture. 

And finally, here, flying away from me, is a Cooper's I saw on the way home. 

I have promised Keith as of this evening I will no longer stop on 155th Street, or Fairmount road, around our own neighborhood.  Too dangerous, and two many trucks coming full bore down these roads which have no verge, nowhere to go.  It was stupid to do so... but... on the less-traveled gravel roads, and the less-traveled paved roads... I'll still snap what I can see. 

I did see ONE deer... but she crossed in front of me in a neighborhood on my way home that is a little on the wild side.  I could not get the camera, I had slowed down because I frequently see a policeman at the bottom of this block... lucky thing I did, because she trotted right out and crossed the street. 

I also saw these guys, and there was absolutely NOT where I could pull over and take more pictures, there was a big group of about 20, 50 feet to their west. This is a little-traveled road, but 
no verge where I can park... only the driveways into people's homes. 

You know I love turkeys.  I'm going to figure out where I can park and look for these again. 

However... we have ice, sleet and snow coming in on Saturday, and terribly cold temperatures next week.  

Tomorrow... I'll go see my brother early on, and take the dogs for a run that hopefully will last them for the weekend. 

I hope everyone had a safe, happy New Year's Eve, and that your New Year has 
gotten off to as good a start as mine, and I thank you... again, for taking time to read 
our blog. 


  1. I love the barn picture and the hawk second hawk picture!!! Wonderful composition! I love turkeys too!

  2. The barn !!!! Love it! I am so happy for you, that you have good cameras to capture what you see! All good photos

  3. Sounds like a wonderful day all around.

    The animals know the bad stuff is coming. Everyone is filling their bellies for the hard times.

    Great pictures. Stay safe and warm.

  4. Oh your pictures are just getting better and better and you put so much work into them, not like my lazy momma. Mom was just having that conversation wif dad about eagles around the river, and since we only live a few blocks from there she sometimes worries when we are out in Alcatraz if they would try to get us, mom says she has never seen an eagle fly over town .......we also have the sugema lakes where mom walks us sometimes that the geese and ducks fly is so pretty...glad you had a great day out....we finks bad weather is a coming our way also....stella rose

  5. It was enjoyable to go with you in your travels today.

  6. I love all the pictures of your outings both with the dogs and with the geese . Faint sunshine here today but yes, it is very cold. Hope you have a fantastic Friday !

  7. you got some beautiful pictures! We have been frigid cold (below 0 at night) and it is so hard on the pugs to get out of the house even to go potty! Wishing you Happy New Year!
    Mr Bailey & Hazel

  8. Great wildlife pics Mary Ann!


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