Thursday, April 28, 2016

Calm Before the Storm

First, some prayers are asked. 

This afternoon, everything went dark here, computer off, tv off, lights off. 

Keith happened to be coming home from the post and called me to 
say there was a terrible wreck a mile from us, at a dangerous intersection. 

A van had crashed into a pole, and broken the pole.  

Someone in the van was killed, and others had to be extricated. 

So, prayers for the poor families whose lives changed today. 

We went four hours without power... and 
five or more without internet, nothing compared to how 
those family's lives have changed forever. 

The dogs and I traveled around yesterday after Tuesday 
night's rains to see what we could see. 

There is water in the little pond again. 

This guy had a perch on the top of an electric pole in the pasture, where he could see 
far and wide. 

I saw this pretty girl in a pasture... and I saw some more trying to cross a road, but when they saw me 
coming, they faded back into the woods.  

We walked a mile yesterday and today.  Jester looks kind of sad about it, doesn't he? 

Our creeks are running like wild rivers.  I did not try to get near one I usually photograph. 

This is why it was closed... water over the roadway between fields, and water over the bridge.  That's a hill coming down to the bridge, and it's hard to turn around over there... I'm glad I erred on the side of caution and did not come that way. 

That's actually about a half mile from where I was sitting in the car. 

I'm going to warn you to not look at the rest of the post, if you are squeamish. 

This guy was on a long-dead possum on a road near our house. 

These birds are so helpful, ridding us of roadside bodies. 

When he had finished, there was nothing left but the fur. 

Lilly did not want to get out of the car after we walked yesterday. 

I had to leave her out there for 45 minutes, even with the leash she would not come. 
She had chased a rabbit earlier, and I am thinking that that effort cost her. 
I think she is hurting. 

She takes Rimadyl for arthritic pain. 

We are walking pretty slowly these days. 

Here is a happier bird picture for you... this is a family at the Ag Hall.  There are five goslings. 

They were happily following along with mom and dad. 

The pond there is overflowing, too. 

We are expecting at least another inch of rain on 

I leave you with a last happy picture. 

Do you see him watching me???

I had to crop this way down so you could see him. 

There is another one on the left.  

I am so glad Big Mama had another successful hatch! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Stormy Tuesday

Storms have come to Northeast Kansas today. 

That was this evening, but we had a storm come through early this morning. 

Lilly ended up in the basement with Keith, she hates them.  He makes a place for her to go down and get in the darkest corner of the basement, where she can't hear thunder or see any lightening. 

Here was our side yard... the one I had tadpoles in last year. 

That was from the morning rain. 

It has been raining for the last 30 minutes right now. 

The entire yard was sodden.  (and thank heavens I cut last night). 

See my perennial garden in the background????  Coming up great!!

I saw this in a pasture as I came down a gravel road from the park.  Four ducks and at least seven different kinds of shorebirds!  That is not a pond, just a wet spot.  I got home, dropped the dogs, switched to the long lens, and went back on my way to the store.  The ducks were gone. 

I think these are all upland sandpipers or upland plovers, the birding group calls them yellowlegs. 

There were three more in the field on the right, but they are colored just like the dirt. 

See the corn coming up???

Something had died across the road.  The fourth had just flown. 

There were three more above them. 

Roadside phlox is blooming. 

And look at the creeks!  Wow!  

See the phlox along the banks? 

Our park is waterlogged, too. 

(I am switching back and forth from big camera to little Canon) 

Our straw bales are under tarp tonight because we don't want the 
fertilizer we have put on them to wash through and out. 

However... we had a harbinger of spring here tonight who serenaded us merrily

Be safe, everyone in the storm's way. 

I am going to get off this thing while it is storming! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

What a Weekend!

Friday was my first day back at the Ag Hall on my regular Friday 

We did have a few visitors, but the volunteers and staff were 
running around trying to do the last-minute things necessary for 
Barnyard Babies on Saturday. 

We had had rain threatening all week, but lo and behold, 
Saturday dawned beautifully. 

And the crowds came.  Oh, they came.  

The wonderful exhibitors, many of whom had come before, were so 
very kind to all of the visitors. 

There were tiny chicks. (hard to see) 

Calves to pet (many calves!) 

Alpaca crias! 

Sweet little piglets! 

A giant bee! 

The Mustang Lady was back with her gorgeous horse... 

And her husband had their adopted burro and let many little kids sit on it's back. 

He was so patient (the burro!) 

Our blacksmith, Ken, was on duty in the blacksmith shop.  

I asked him to take a break for a second to get his picture! 

These wonderful oxen from the Mahaffie Stagecoach Museum in Olathe 
came to demonstrate for us again. 
Thanks Johnson County Parks and Rec! 

More puppet fun! 

Paws Crossed dog rescue had their puppy kissing booth there. 

Streetcat Rescue was there too, but I just realized I did not get any pictures of their cats! 

Just their rescuers! 

We had food trucks with all kinds of goodies, and the Bonner Springs Fire Department was 
on duty, and actually had to treat a gentleman. 

Days like this cannot happen without the help of many, many volunteers who gave their 
time in the weeks leading up to the event... the men worked on building maintenance and cut the grass and trimmed everything up beautifully.  While the crowd was enjoying the animals I showed you and many more, our railroad crew was hard at work, laying new track.  The visitors were given hayrides in lieu of the train rides we normally have. 

As if it were magic, at three o'clock, the crowds disappeared, the exhibitors packed up... and 
I drove around getting trash.  There was VERY little on the grounds, bravo to our visitors... and 
the exhibitors all cleaned up after themselves.  

All in all, it was a wonderful, if tiring, day. 

See you all next year! 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Sticking Close to Home

Tomorrow, I start my first of many 
Saturday, we have our first (huge) event of the season, 
Barnyard Babies. 

I stuck pretty close to home today, to get our house clean, and 
to rest in anticipation. 

We did go for a walk, and despite driving about 8 miles of 
back roads, this is all we saw: 


I saw this in the hawk nest.  I got a little worried... from the street, you could only see white. 

The mailman stopped, he has been watching her too... and we talked about it.  The white worried him. 

This was this morning: 

She is fine. 

I left the door open while I worked in the basement cleaning today, so I could hear the birdsong.  
Then I took a chair and put it back in the shadows, and shot out the door. 

A grackle soon took his place. 

While this cowbird ate under the bench. 

He was not alone. 

They look a little spooky, don't they? 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Lucky Sighting

The dogs and I walked after I had been to the Ag Hall today... so 
it was 1 PM or so.  We were there about an hour. 

I had already taken a bunch of pictures down the road when I saw the babies sleeping out in the pasture. 

Then I caught sight of something behind them. 

Then he pounced on something in the grass... and went down into a little gully, out of sight. 

We watched him for at least ten minutes.  Twice I thought he had caught something he had pounced on.... maybe the first time he ate it fast, in the grass, because I had to wait for him to reappear. 

I didn't want to bother him any longer (though he was out in the middle of a pasture).. so we 
pulled away. 

Yesterday's post about our beautiful Harvest Queen caused me to be given 
more information about her by the Director of the Ag Hall, Dawn Gabel. 

Here is a link to the painter who created her. 

She was shown at the World's Fair in San Francisco in 1915. 

We do not know how she came to be at the Ag Hall, but we are glad she did!