Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'd Rather Be Hiking. Also, #91!

I just got word from Dino that he saw two Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus) today, making that the 91st species for Dryad Ranch!

We got some nice rain over the weekend and Monday (finally).  At one point as I was standing at the kitchen window looking out, Dino came flying down the driveway on the tractor: dodging hail. That was it for the tractor work for the day.

I still ended up taking a couple of walks in the on/off drizzle. Although I feared I would be disappointed, as we'd only just gotten the rain, I was rewarded by spotting a few cap and stem mushrooms already popping up, and these turkey tails. The bonus was two types of slime mold, a sub-interest, which is very hard to photograph until such a time as I finally spend the bucks and throw some hardware at the problem.  Oh, look at this two millimeter red dot on a log! Anyway, turkey tails are usually orangy brown, but these new ones were green. Neat.

It was so amazingly beautiful walking; I swear I could smell the rain sinking into everything and hear all the trees and critters and living things breathing a big sigh of relief. As I got to the top of Deer Ridge, I found myself experiencing that sort of in the moment joy where you are just a human fully in the world, you could just as well be the wind or a pine cone and there's no silly mind chatter, just clean air in the lungs and wide open spaces. (Like this:)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Exploring the Contents

As Dino continues with organizing the marvel that is the shop building, he is making wonderful presentations of the old tools he has inherited and acquired over the years.  I claim he has all the "tools known to man", but he emphatically denies this.  The other day, he had a number of them out and was de-rusting and oiling.  Even though I am almost entirely hopeless at using hand tools, I remain fascinated by all the shapes and intended uses (about which I am also clueless, mostly).  Some of the tools are over 100 years old.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Taking Off

We made it through another Christmas season, with an annual trip to my folks house, a visit with Dino's sisters and an interesting side trip to see the USS Iowa in Richmond.  As it was Christmas Day itself, we weren't able to take the tour, but instead peered through a chain link fence for what turned out to be a pretty good view of it. 

These paperwhites bloomed a couple of days after Christmas; they were a gift from my sister and they are still blooming!

Dino has been super busy the past weeks what with participating in Christmas Bird Counts (Oakhurst, Mariposa and Merced) and working on the kestrel project.  That is shaping up very nicely, it looks like, with a number of possible areas surveyed and assessed.  Dino is in the stage of receiving approvals and permissions and is confident that a decent number of nest boxes will be built and put in place for this year's nesting season.  We'll be putting some on our property as well for the kestrel population of this area.

This beautiful photo of a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk was taken by Dino on the Merced bird count.

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