Friday, July 30, 2010

HIgh Summer Wildlife Report

It must be high season for bringing babies out because as I was getting ready to leave for work this morning, there under the big seed feeder were three hen turkeys and about a dozen juveniles. I watched them for several minutes but then it came time for me to leave so I greeted the mamas (Good Morrrrning Ladies!) while they hustled the little ones back down toward the spring.

And, I saw a bobkitten on the way home day before yesterday. He or she scooted across the road just above the ford and below the second gate and ran down the creek bed toward the waterfall area. This probably explains why I've been having so many bobcat sightings recently - I suspect that I've been seeing the mama bobcat hunting for her babies/baby. The area I saw the kitten is riddled with ground squirrel burrows, and at the moment there are vast quantities of ground squirrel babies, which are undoubtedly viewed as perfect hunting practice.

Photo has no relation to the topic, it's one I've been waiting to work on because I wanted to try the HDR feature of the latest version of Photoshop, which upgrade arrived on my doorstep this week. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Whole New Outlook on the Chowchilla River

Why didn't we think of it before? Mid-morningish, I was puttering around, sweating, wanting to get outside if only to move around a little bit. (OK I also did not really want to scrub the floors and other low-interest tasks.) I got to thinking about a certain river, not too far away from this very house and realized that in the years since we bought the part of the property that has river acreage we never went swimming. For some reason, we never connected the dots. Upshot: we put on our suits, hopped on the ATV and went down to the swimmin' hole! It was awesome! Aside from just feeling excellent in terms of cooling down, it was a good enough hole to actually swim in! And on top of all that, it was a way to learn about the Chowchilla River from an entirely new perspective. We saw a new kind of dragonfly - we think it's a White-belted Ringtail, but we didn't have our binoculars so it was just naked eye. We'll have to go back later and hope to see it again.

After we'd had enough we sat on a log to dry off and ate apples. Some of the horses were hanging around near the salt lick not too far away, so I walked over and tried to call Bill the Mule over by showing him the core and clucking at him. No go. So I ostentatiously took a bite of what was left and smacked and chomped. That did the trick. Once he was done with that apple, he went over and pestered Dino for the other leavings. We are both fond of that mule; he is a very handsome animal.

On an unrelated note, Dino pointed out this spider on the garage door handle, so a record shot was required. This one is probably a Silver Argiope.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


The topic of "home" has been on my mind of late, for various reasons. The more I think about it, the more grateful I am that I've found my home - which isn't so much the house we're in, but the land and the area itself.

Proof of the point below. This lovely spot is someone's stock pond - I always slow down when I pass on my way to work every day because there are sometimes Canada geese visiting, as well as mergansers.

At supper last night, we watched a bobcat come up out of the spring area below the house and nose around the ground squirrel burrows around the outside of the orchard fence. He or she didn't find anybody to catch though. That bobcat looked like it had little black socks on all four legs, it was just beautiful - we always have binoculars on the dining room table so we can just grab them when a good opportunity arrives.

On the other hand, this morning while I was in the garage working out, a HUGE brown beetle came in under the garage door and scared the wits out of me; I'm surprised I didn't wake Dino up. That thing was at least two and a half inches long and I am not even close to kidding. We've seen them before, they're called California Prionus (Prionus californicus) and I did not run for the camera believe you me - ha ha I just ran. Between the bugs and the black widow I just know is lurking, I'm always on the alert in there.
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