Monday, July 27, 2009


We had a great visit with daughters Vanessa and Stacey recently, and have one planned for Son Alex in August. Alex's visit will likely have three things in common with the girls'- a little work, a lot of play, and heat. Stink'n heat. With the girls we did most of our outdoor activities to early and late in the day, when it was only slightly stink'n hot.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Edgar Allan Pooper

Our resident Black Buzzard now has a name. "Edgar", in reference to the author of The Raven, which is closer to a buzzard than any other famous poem title around.

Edgar eyeballing a suspicious looking photographer.

Edgar flossing, probably after a delicious meal of 3-day old raccoon carcass.

Edgar deciding he'd had enough attention for today.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How do they know?

Hummingbirds amaze me. After years of providing no feeders, we put one up and had three of 'em swarming all over it within hours. No public notices announcing it, no pretty invitations, no mass e-mails or MS Outlook calendar notices. They just show up and do their thing. How do they know?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fox Fotos, Finally

At last, some decent photographs of a fox that's been hanging around our backyard. We think there are actually two different ones since we see one with a bad limp half the time. This is the one with four good feet. Normally I just get a quick glimpse since he heads for the hills the second he hears a door or a footstep. But I got to see him for about 15 minutes since I looked out a window at just the right time. Shot these pics right through the glass. His ears are so sensitive that when I made the slightest noise in the house he would run about 50 feet away before slowly coming back.

I used to think he hung around the bird feeders hoping to pounce on an unsuspecting bird on the ground underneath. But this time he was definitely there just to scrape up the discarded seeds and sunflower shells for himself. Birds were hanging around overhead while he was there, but he seemed to know they were out of reach. Maybe the drought has made hunting tougher than normal; he looks pretty lean and was going through the seeds like it was his first meal in awhile.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Buzzard Bait

It was a hot and sunny day, and the buzzards were circling low overhead. Lots of buzzards. For awhile I thought they were eyeing me; I'd been working outside and probably looking like I'd be buzzard bait before too long. But later they began to land near the road in front of our house, and with my trusty super telephoto lens I was able to take these photos without disturbing their fine dining experience. Only when I looked at the 2nd picture on the big screen did I discover who they were having over for dinner; Rocky Raccoon, perhaps a road kill victim. You can see his upside-down face with fangs bared, looking pretty much alive and extremely pissed off.