Monday, August 31, 2015

Turkeys on a Foggy Day

We awoke to heavy fog in Leavenworth County today. 

That's not last night's blood moon... that's this morning's sun. 

Here was the waning moon in the opposite sky, so visible, go figure, despite the fog. 

Here's the view from the deck at the old house... remember, I am taking several pictures of the 
ponds at the bottom of the hill every day... I am at about 9 months now.  

You could not see anything.  (except our overgrown pasture)

Lilly went with me this morning, but Jester decided to stay home. 
I've noticed that on chilly mornings, he likes to cuddle with Keith or curl up on the couch, 
rather than face the wet grass. 

I have been trying for weeks to have time to stop and take a picture of this beautiful scene. 
It's on a bridge over Stranger Creek, on Leavenworth Road, in Leavenworth County. 
There are caves in those rocks, dangerous caves that fill at high water times. 

When I showed this to Keith, he told me that emergency management has had to rescue numerous people who became trapped there. 

Those are granite cliffs. 

I literally went around a corner and saw this flock come boiling out of the high grass on the left.  I could tell there were a bunch of young birds. 

They ran acrosss the road and into the pasture on the other side... 

And then headed for the shelter of the woods...

I used to keep turkeys, and I love these birds. 

Oddly enough, we saw another group as we got closer to home! 

Turkeys are normally very nervous... when I stop the car is when they run... 
but this group must have decided I was okay and started eating again, though they were 
heading steadily for the trees. 

Our weather has turned from the balmy temps of last week, to 95 this afternoon, with 
heat expected all week.  

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Taken Over the Past Week

On the morning of my birthday, I saw two turkeys walking through a yard along my way. 

It was a beautiful morning, and they were not worried that I got out of the car to take their pictures. 

They were beauties. 

I love when I have time to take pictures and the animals are not panicking. 

Lilly had a good roll in the grass the next day... God bless Troy, who has been cutting every week. 

Thursday, I ran into the road crew several times.  

And our heron friend. 

Believe me, this woodpecker let the sparrows know it was HIS suet! 

Friday I was at the Ag Hall.... and took some lovely pictures in the garden. 

I have never grown dahlias, but these are convincing me. 

Moth sex on the coreopsis.  I kid you not. 

The echinacea plants were alive with goldfinches, male and female!

The females are harder to see.  There were actually six males at one time. 

(the female is directly in the middle) 

I have been trying for days to get this juvenile hawk. 

He is always too far away. 

Saturday, I saw this scene on the way home from the farm. 

I am not seeing as many in the air... but....

This was the scene on my way home from church this morning. 

I count ten. 

It was very foggy this morning, but by this afternoon, it all burned off 
and our temperate temps of the last week were warming up. 

And I was rewarded on the way after church by sight of the juvenile red-tail that I showed you on the hangar building above,

Here is our sweet boy running to go home, to end the week. 

Go, Jester, Go!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Random Shots

"Yes, I'm doing fine up here on the wire."

"Let me just give myself a little scratch on the chin." 


Happy National Dog Day from Lilly Ann! 

I saw one of our friends on the way home tonight. 

Very studly. 

If you click on this and biggify it, you will see freckles on his front legs. 

Another view. 

Our friends stopped by again last night... guess what?  They don't eat ripe tomatoes. 

We are buried in them!  

(I see the time is STILL wrong on the camera) 

Here's our other Dog Day celebrant! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Revealing Our New Deck

This is not my usual nature blog today. 

Last week, we made a huge improvement to our house. 

It was finished today. 

This was what was here when we moved in.  It is the original builder's grade deck, 
and was similar to every other existing old deck in this subdivision. 

As you see, Keith removed a section last October in order to build new stairs, as the 
stairs were crooked and slanting, scary to walk down.  
The gap was never filled, and I was always scared on the deck.  The rail 
closest to you was also loose, and you could not lean on it. 

The one good thing was that Lil loved to lay under it. 

Several months ago, we saw a deck being built behind us, one door down.  Keith 
went over to talk to the men building it, and getting their information, and 
that night at the T Bones, the owner of the company sat in front of us two rows down! 


We had him come and give us a bid. 

So, two weeks ago Thursday, Bob (l) and Jack (r) came and tore the old deck down. 

Bye Bye, old deck! 

The following Monday, they got started.  (Notice they also removed the old swingset that used to sit in the outer yard directly behind where they are.  It was hard to cut around and the little grands did not use it) 

The dogs pined to go out onto the deck. 

But little by little, it was taking shape.  Keith was in awe of Jack, who was 
able to cut with a skil saw and not have to use a mitre box or chop saw. 

The railing began to go up... 

And the steps, I call them the "throne stairs". 

And yesterday, the stairs were finished and the lath went up around the bottom.  There is a 
door for Lilly to go under where the old stairs used to come down. 

And here is the finished product!  

Jack (l) and Bob (r) and proud of it, and believe me, they earned their 
kudos!  It's a work of art.  Thanks so much, guys! 

We highly recommend Sands Construction Company of 
Leavenworth, and we have some more projects for them next year. 

Today, Jack and Bob came back and cleaned up the leftovers, and then sprayed the 
deck with protectant.  It's drying as I type this, and I'll show you the 
finished product tomorrow. 

It was a wonderful birthday present, and we have some new furniture to put 
on it as soon as it is dry, courtesy of Walmart end of season sales. 

So... here's a picture of me, Jester and Lil, 
on the evening of my 65th birthday (today)... 
I so rarely post pictures of myself, but I did 
post this today. 

(when will my glasses EVER be straight?) 

( Likewise something else!)

Monday, August 24, 2015

All About the Fauna

This is a mighty big red tailed hawk, I suspect it's a female. 

I was using my new beautiful long Tamron lens that my husband 
gifted me for my birthday. 

These are okay... but I realized when I got home that I was much, much too close to the bird.

I suspected it, so I jumped out of the car and put the shorter lens back on. 

Look at the difference! 

When she took off again. it was much clearer. 

As you see. 

Up she went to a convenient dead tree. 

One of my classmates thought she had something in her talons... I posted one of these pictures on Facebook earlier today... but I don't think so, I think she just had her talons curled. 

Whatever she dove on in the grass must have gotten away. 

And then, of course, I saw this one a long way away, over by the Big Ditch, 
and wished I had the long lens on again. 

The dogs were being so patient, I didn't have the heart to change things out again. 

I saw something move in Hawk Country on the way out tonight, 
but it was just this little fella, a WAYS up in the tree. 

I decided to turn off the gravel and go to paved on the way home tonight, and I was 
glad I did.  I saw this in the distance. 

Then I saw why it was hesitating. 

There was another waiting to cross. 

The odd thing was, they were both jakes, young males. 

By the time I got even with them... they had disappeared into the roadside cover. 

Oh, she's smiling all right

I was a ways from it when I shot this, and it was still alive, sadly.  

It was a rather large rat, and darned if she hadn't gone down in the pasture and 
gotten it silently, usually there is a little barking.  

Where there are chicken flocks there are mice and rats. 

Not fauna, but flora... and no wonder poor Keith is sneezing nonstop!