Saturday, May 30, 2015

I Catch the Scissortail Flycatcher!

This is the bird I have been trying to photograph for two weeks! 

On my way home from church tonight, I came across country, and as 
I came down this road, I could not believe my luck. 

I saw it first up on the electric line, but it soon flew down to 
the fence line. 

It made my day! 

Our beautiful girl ran down in the pasture this morning, and came back wet and covered with hundreds of seeds. 

The iris show is nearly over at the old house. 

There is still a lot of water in the creeks around here, but we are supposedly going to have about 4 days of sun! 

I just know this is a turtle.  I didn't go closer. 

I did not get good pictures of this, but the hawk was eating something.  His head is curled down, he was pulling it apart, it was held between his talons.

He was not happy, and quickly....

Flew away! 

We are about to have a drying out period... and I am hoping our neighbors in Oklahoma and Texas experience the same blessing. 

Maybe I'll get the grass cut!  

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Soggy Week

I'm afraid to say 
"When will it ever end?" for fear of 
having the kind of weather our Texas and Oklahoma friends are 
having.  A good friend, Lorie, sent me pictures of her street 
underwater today!  So far, none of my immediate friends has suffered 
hardships, but it is all around them and their lives are affected. 

Still praying! 

Can you see the hawklet flapping his now large wings
in the tree above the nest?  Both of them are up and moving 
around in the tree... they may have flown today. 

They won't go far, as mom and dad will keep feeding them. 

Here's a mature hawk taking off last night.  I had to fiddle with 
the picture bedause the light was so bad. 

And we go from the big birds to two tiny visitors !

Today was spent at my "job"... at the National Agricultural Center... 
and even though it rained rather steadily all day, our General Factotum, 
Ray, (also the beekeeper) obliged these adults and kids (in the back) with two 
spins around the track. 

Toot! Toot! 
There they go!  

That's an original depot building that was donated to the Ag Hall.... and is going to be re-painted this summer by members of a model train club who will be moving their displays into it's basement. 
They will also have a large model train that runs in and out of the back of the building (non-rideable). 

The baby geese are getting so big!  

Don't they look like delicate, tiny little dancers? 

I saw this beautiful alligator turtle on the way home.  If I had had a shovel, I would have helped it across the gravel road.  I pray it made it.  Last week, I saw a dead female in the same spot, and she had been full of eggs.  I tried to nudge it on it's way, but I frankly did not want to get bitten. 

I'm hoping that no one deliberately hit it. 

Tomorrow I am helping again at the Ag Hall, as they were 
short of volunteers.  I have met the nicest people there! 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Speeding Through the Days

It was just Monday morning, I swear!  

I don't know where time flies. 

Our creeks that were like this on Tuesday: 

Are down by a lot today, and no, I didn't get any pictures, I'm afraid. 

You see... we had this going on: 

That's one of our neighbor's calves.  I did chores yesterday morning, and 
shut the gate on the way out, because I had let the Brahmas out of their lonely pen. 

When I came back, I opened the gate and immediately saw bovine hoof prints in the soft ground. 

I didn't see the calf, because this grass on this side of the yard (north end) has not been cut at all.  We are trying to let it re-seed itself.  

He was in a little dip by the fence, having a confab with his buddies on the other side

This was the situation yesterday morning... all four calves were in the corner of the pasture where ours meets our neighbor's. 

What I think happened is that the calf got out somehow... and some good Samaritan, finding it in the road, ran it into our yard and shut the gate again, thinking it was ours. (we are only 2/10 of a mile from a state highway) 

The dogs and I just got home... our neighbors came over while we were there... they are the 
men who live at the bottom of our hill and who own the beautiful ponds... and they 
decided to open the fence line at a splice and run the little guy back through.  I didn't stay to take pictures, it was dinner time. 

Heaven knows there is plenty to eat in the yard right now. 

I have planted many tomatoes in the garden, along with about five pepper plants. 

I have still to plant tomatoes here, at our house. 

I am taking the Worx weedeater out there on Saturday morning to clean up around the planting boxes, but the tomato plants are all looking very well.  Some have flowers! 

My brother Pete and I used to race to see who got ripe tomatoes before July 4th. 

It was very humid out, and Lil decided to lay down somewhere cool.  She was smart! 

The mosquitos are terrible after three weeks of rain with little sun.  The sun is actually out right now, for the first time today... and the weatherman has just said we are to have 
periods of storms tomorrow, and then things should ease up a little. 

I hope so, as I have not cut grass for a little over a week now, I am just not taking the John Deere through standing water. 

I pass a home vineyard almost every day.. . I always think how beautiful the vines look in the early morning light, don't they? 

This is a terrible, blurry picture, and now you know we don't weed-eat our fenceline, to the dismay of our neighbors.  I can't handle the big weedeater, and at this point, Keith can't use it for more than a few minutes at a time.  Maybe next year we will be able to afford to have someone do it. 

However, I digress.  

See the two hummingbirds?  I moved this feeder about 12 feet closer to the house last night, and I saw them around it today.  I hope to get MUCH clearer pictures in the future.  You see, 
I have discovered that they like to feed just as the evening is turning to dusk, so I'll be on the lookout tonight, as Jax's baseball game is rained out.  

I also think I have some good pictures of the baby hawks, who are trying to use their wings now and fluttering around.  I need to take a look at the pictures. 

Oddly, the action around our suet feeders has slowed WAY down, so I am really curious if something, raptor or mammal, is scaring everyone at the farm. 

We'll see. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

Why it started.  

We need to remember it's not all about picnics. 

Though, to be fair, I was stunned and gladdened by the wonderful 
sentiments expressed on Facebook today. 

This gosling seemed to be telling me to GET LOST. 

See the raindrops on the big pond?  It was raining steadily when the dogs and I went out to do chores. 

It cleared up pretty quickly, and this bright eyed swallow watched me as I took 
pictures of the hawklets. 

Here they are together in the nest, they are so big now that it is 
hard to get their faces. Remember, they are a long way off the road. 

I never found anything beyond the one feather of the little rooster. 
There are no gaps in the fence, and, since the 9 hens have eaten a lot of the vegetation on this side, 
tomorrow, I'll open them up to the other side. 

I used to have a proper door in this yard.  Now, it's a roll of garden fencing.  That's the little red hen house yard. 

You can barely see the little red hen house.  I'm not going to open it up, 
it is very difficult to get eggs from it. 

Speaking of eggs... I got only 2 eggs from 11 hens today!  ARGHHHH! 

The two brahmas are still very lonely in their big hen spa yard. 

They are still so wary of me, that I  am not trying to catch them.  

One day this week, I'll move them over with the other girls. 

Troy cut all the grass today between our morning visit and this evening. 

I think this must have rattled the red birds, because I got only ONE egg from nine birds. 

This is their normal demeanor when I come into the yard, they flee for the far side. 

However.... this afternoon, I had goodies... and I put them in a bowl close to their food bowl, and lo and behold... they cautiously approached while I was still in the yard, so... we are making progress little by little. 

I caught this guy in a flooded farm pond on the way home. 

Yes, I made another trip, too, to see my mom and dad... 

The crush in the cemetery was terrible... so next year, I'll be going before 
the "holiday".  Why are the flowers on the side? 

Because Grandma Nellie Mahoney Trehey is on that side. 

I stopped to see my brother Mike, too, on the way home... our little 
sister is four hours away, too far for me to drive alone now, and 
Keith cannot go so long without a dialysis. 

It struck me that Keith and I are to be buried in the National Cemetery 
at Leavenworth (not on post)... and when I am gone, no one
will go to this grave, or those of my Peterson grandparents, and 
Peterson aunts and uncles.  My dad died when my nieces and 
nephews (and oldest son) were either babies, or not born. 
Only one of my boys was there when my mother was buried... 
so... my brother Pete is too ill with dementia to ever go again. 

Time marches on, friends. 

I am the only one that goes to the old family graves 
in Tonganoxie. 

When I am gone, that's it. 

My dad fought in World War II, a naval officer. 

I'm still so proud of him, and of Keith, who gave 24 years in 
his country's service, and all those who have fought or are still fighting. 

Thank you! 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Bits and Pieces of Stories

First, I need to tell you that the hurt horse I saw will be okay. 

She had become cast in a fence, and had skinned her leg from 
hoof to shoulder, but the owner was able to load her and 
get her to the vet hospital, where she was stitched up. 

She is home now, on stall rest.  He was very pleased with the job 
that was done at Strain Equine Services, in Bonner Springs, Kansas. 

I told him that I looked forward to seeing his horses, pony and little goats daily, and was so glad to hear this news. 

We have not seen many turkeys lately, but we did see this group in good health yesterday morning in a field on our way to the old house. 

This is the little black rooster that came with the red hens last Saturday.  He was a cute little guy. 

Yesterday morning, when I went out to do chores before going to the Ag Hall, he was crowing away, and in fact, had crowed and crowed and crowed non-stop since we got him last week. 

Yesterday afternoon, I was rushing to get home so we could go to the first T Bones official game of the year... last week's were exhibition games, and we only saw one. 

I thought it was strange that I did not hear the little guy, but, as you can see, the yard is so full of foliage that I did not question it too much. 
He was enclosed in the little red henhouse yard by himself because he was fighting with Blooey, the 
big blue cochin rooster. 

This morning I got there early, because my friend Diane had contacted me and wanted to take her cochins home (that I had taken care of the last 5 months or so). 

The little rooster was gone.  G.O.N.E. gone. 

I looked under the foliage, thinking maybe he had dropped dead for some reason... no rooster. 
The fences are six feet high. 

I pressed the fences to see if I could find a place where they are loose, torn away from the wood, but I have not found any as yet.  Outside one part, I found dog prints... but I am sure they were Lilly's.  However... they were on the pasture side, and the foliage was all beaten down there. 

No feathers.  The only one I found was a long feather in the water dish. 

I had left the little henhouse open for shelter, and there was another shelter in there, too... so... I am just not sure. 

I recounted the red hens... 

There were still nine.  I know they have been going in at night to roost.  You have to remember that when I lived there, I ALWAYS locked the birds up at night unless it was steaming hot summertime. 
Right now... I leave one pophole open, so they can come and go as they please. 

Here were the cochin babies and the two brahmas in the yard last night, their 
last night on the beautiful green grass. 

They are back in a pen now with no shelter other than a tarp, and no green grass, ever, their owner does not believe in babying her stock. 

Yes, I'm sad. 

I bought the two brahmas. 

Notice I say "bought", even though I fed them for the last five months. 

I'll miss Rooster Cogburn, who was so brave and good. 

Here are Silver and Goldie, the lone occupants of the henspa now. 

They were traumatized all day long.  

Even this evening, they fled to the corner, and they had always been friendly. 

They are going to be moved over to the old henhouse with the other girls once I have satisfied myself that nothing is going after the girls there.  The reason I am not moving those nine over to the henspa? 
First, they are so traumatized after their move, it will throw them into another tizzy. 
Second... there is lots of room in those two yards  and they have room to stretch out.  The birds in the henspa yard were allowed in the regular yard because of what you see above... bare ground. 

I am trying to find a rooster, large or small... old or sort-of young. 

Diane, who usually has many "dumped" roosters at her place... told me she has none to give me. 

So, I'm searching.  I would feel better with a rooster. 

I look up every time I pull into the gate. 
You see how overcast our weather was today. 

See the wind tonight?  I saw something so phenomenal... this hawk 
drifted down, kiting from at least 40 feet above the tower into a landing right there.  It was so neat to watch, like a helicopter... but we were just leaving and the camera was in the car while I opened the gate. 

Same hawk as this morning, I believe. 

This was our evening: 

We had another game tonight... but, as you see.... 
the rains had come back, and are expected to last all week. 

We have flood warnings again... 

our side yard is worse than this: 

I took this a week ago, and it is like a deeper pool tonight. 
I have the window cracked... and frogs are singing away from the direction of 
our patio and "pond".  We love this little natural pond, by the way. 

A year ago yesterday, we lost our little Abby to diabetic shock. 
We wouldn't wish this disease on any dog owner we know. 

How we miss her sweet little face. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Officially Embarassed

Okay, I'm officially embarassed now. 

Yesterday, I showed you a picture of Keith at his retirement luncheon. 

The way I wrote the post, it appeared that Keith will be applying for the assistant fire chief of Fairmount Township. 


I worded that all wrong. 

Keith is on home dialysis now, but is tied to the house doing an "exchange" four times a day.  Because of this and because his hemodialysis was taking so much out of him, he 
decided to retire. 

His boss asked him to please help them with a project (with which he is 
very familiar) for the next six months or so... he is going to, because he can 
make short trips to Topeka to help, and also do part of it at home. 

The Emergency Manager is also the Fire chief at 
Fairmount Township, and he asked Keith to INTERVIEW 
the candidates for Assistant Fire Chief.  
Keith is interviewing the possible new assistants, he cannot 
work as a fireman. 

Now, I hope I got it straight for everyone!  

This cardinal looks pretty upset with the hairy woodpecker! 

Two minutes later, the male Orchard Oriole was there! 

He is such a beauty! 

I backed up to take this picture.  It was VERY intent on something. 

I had to go by and check on the hawk's nest. 

I don't know if this was one of the parents, but 
it was a beauty in the sunlight. 

You are going to have to look closely to see this baby, he is so well-camouflaged. 

And yes, it is a baby... I could see his barred tail in numerous other pictures.  They are 
just about big enough to leave the nest... and will hang around for another year with their parents feeding them. 

On April 13th, I showed you these horses laying down in the field next to their house, I referred to them as "Dead" horses. 

They were sleeping.  The next day, I showed them standing up. 

Unfortunately, the second bay is not in this picture. 

Tonight, coming down the road... 
I saw a trailer in the yard, next to the corral. 

To my dismay, I saw one of the bays... the owner had him on a lead... 
he was on THREE legs!  The fourth, the off rear, was held up and 
at an angle, and he could not bear weight on it. 

It looked awful. 

After we went to the old place to do chores, and returned... the trailer was gone. 
There are several fine horse vets here in Leavenworth county, and I am 
praying one of them has this horse in hand tonight.  I am not sure if it was 
the bay in the above picture, or the other, I was so dismayed. 

The female red bellied woodpecker came along just as we were leaving. 

It was a glorious day... 
but we are now expecting rain for the holiday weekend. 

It will water in the new plants very well! 

It was a banner day at the henhouse!