Sunday, September 23, 2012

Birds and Fungi and Stuff

Yesterday was mostly devoted to the usual chores, plus a few hours in the vegetable garden thrown in before lunch.  That allowed me to finish up the trench filling-in that I'd started a couple of weeks ago;  I ran out of dirt to fill the holes the first attempt I took.  During the week sometime, Dino got the tractor up there and took some dirt from one spot and deposited it in another one, conveniently close to the trenches.  I shoveled and raked and smoothed and did that enough times so that it looks about as good as it ever will up there.  I had some fun with making some great rake marks in the dirt.  I also pulled out the disappointing tomato plants and got that bed cleaned up.

Today, I didn't wake up till nearly 7!  That's practically unheard of for me - my usual weekday hour is 4:15 and weekends, weekend mostly I'll sleep till 5:30 or maybe 6 before I can't stand it any more.  I rustled up some grub and a cuppa and doodled around on the computer for an hour and then grabbed my camera bag and started walking.

Dino had told me about a humungus fungus he'd seen inside an old oak tree near Turkey Crossing and I wanted to bag a shot of that as that would be the only fungus shot taken in the month of September, during any of the years I've been photographing fungi.  It's like getting a life bird or something.  It was easy to find, and yep, it was a big one all right, about 18 inches across at its widest.

On my way to the fungus, I had one of my patented wildlife encounters.  I'd chosen a route along the fence at the bottom of Rodeo Meadow and as I was walking through the line of trees where Lion Creek comes through, I heard Big Rustling Noises.  Pigs.  I don't know what it is with me and pigs, but it seems that often enough I see them way before they see me.  In this case, I'd started to come around a big rock to get a better view, when one of the sows decided to emerge from the creek bed headed right for the same spot.  She grunt-oinked in alarm and took off at high speed, with the rest of the critters trailing along, heading up the hill toward Deer Ridge.

Here is the second reason I was in Rodeo Meadow to start with (aside from the fungus).  This is a picture of one of the new nest boxes Dino's manufactured and installed on our place.  This is a duplex box, tres fancy.  The big box is intended for Barn Owls and the little one on the side is a bluebird box - well really for any passerine that's a cavity nester and likes that size opening.  Funny that it's possible to double them up like that, especially given the barn owl's penchant for eating other birds, but it works.

Mid-afternoon we took a walk together to the mailbox, with a stop just above the abandoned houses for a long look at two juvenile golden eagles perched in a large gray pine.  Neat!

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