Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Nature Walks - It's Harder Downhill

It is very typical for us to take a long walk to see what we can see when we come to the ranch - yesterday's walk was excellent, although I must admit I'm tired today - a couple of body parts are talking that didn't have anything much to say before! But that's because we walked pretty much straight uphill till we came to a nice spot for lunch. And then, we looked around some and came back downhill. I think downhill is worse, especially on the knees! The joys of being 50-ish! We had our picnic on a mostly flat place overlooking Lion Creek, so named because evidently the mountain lions like it. There are mountain lions around here, and although I have never seen one, my husband has, and he has heard them as well as seen other signs of their presence. I think I'd like to see a mountain lion, but only from a safe distance, you know?

We saw the golden eagle again and a new bird for us, a red-naped sapsucker. they are uncommon around here but we had a good long look and were able to compare the bird to the book while the bird was still in front of us. So that was neat! We did debate quite a lot about the bird, but all the signs were there. There are a lot of species of woodpecker here: acorn woodpecker (of which there are vast quantities), Lewis, downy, hairy, Northern Flicker and the occasional Nuttall's, but it was apparent immediately upon spotting it, that this was a different bird.

It's also great fun to watch all the Anna's hummingbirds at our feeders - not sure how many we have just now but I've seen 7 at a time hovering around a feeder, with more waiting in the wings for their turns. And we can also watch the house finch couple building a nest in a little lantern that we have hung up under the eaves of the front porch. There were finches there last year too, and they had two broods. Right now they are in the process of bringing in fresh nesting material although it's so packed in there right now I can't imagine there's still room for anything. But who am I to say, not being a house finch myself.

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