Killdeer Nesting

 

 

Not far from the Roadrunner’s cactus nest, a Killdeer is also sitting on eggs. The shoulder of our gravel driveway usually offers three or four Killdeer a good place to hide and incubate their eggs. To keep from running over them, we’ve been known to place a rock close to the nest. Once hatched, the Killdeer takes her babies to the creek about 200 yards away. But barely running this year and last, we’ve only this one Killdeer nesting.

I had hoped to get photos of her broken wing act, her ploy to lure the dogs away. But she stood her ground yesterday to protect her nest.

 

Roadrunner Nesting

 

 

I caught a Roadrunner on the way to the nest early yesterday morning with the point and shoot. By late evening, I saw a gopher snake exiting the cactus. I’ll check again today to see if the snake got the eggs.

 

(assuming) ‘She’ is back on the nest this a.m., (assuming) the gopher snake left empty-(handed).

 

March 29, 2015

March 29, 2015

 

HUNTER

 

IMG_1024

 

Not too old to hunt,
it is my eyes that crave
the grace of wild things,

that tell the boy inside
to take another look,
focus while he can.

I have tracked, squeezed
the trigger, gutted, skinned
and hung the flesh

over flames, told the stories
within these mountains
where I became a man

who hunts for pleasure,
for sign each day—
for what he’s never seen.

                                      for Matt St. Martin

 

Mule Ears

Wyethia angustifolia

Wyethia angustifolia – March 18, 2015

Drought: Blue Oaks

 

March 24, 2015

March 24, 2015

 

The impact of three years of drought on the Blue Oaks shows up well as the trees that have survived begin to leaf out. (Click to enlarge) These Blue Oaks are across the creek from our house, on a north slope at the 1,200-foot elevation. No rain in sight, the grass has turned 30 days earlier than normal as we prepare to head into an early summer.

 

Eurasian Collared Dove

 

IMG_4117

After a brief visit last spring, our count of Eurasian Collared Doves increased to four yesterday, including what appears (above) to be a juvenile, in just a matter of weeks. In order of appearance, the first pair began breeding and nest building almost immediately, followed by another male, then yesterday’s juvenile.

Pretty birds bigger than a Mourning Dove and slightly smaller than a Rock Pigeon, we’re not sure their presence is a blessing. Time will tell whether the most invasive species in Texas will become as big a nuisance as the Rock Pigeons, who thankfully disappeared last fall as their numbers dwindled through the summer.

The Collared Dove makes what has become an annoying two-syllable cooing sound just before it lands in a tree or on the ground where it feeds, that I can only describe as a distant baby crying, like the 1950s dolls that cried when you tipped them. Wiki notes that the species is ‘not wary’, that has connotations of stupidity for me, but I’d agree they’re fairly tame and unafraid, but observant enough to find our bird feeders immediately. The bird has many unique and interesting characteristics described in the links included here.

All About Birds

 

THE APPEARANCE OF THINGS

Supermoon, June 23, 2013

Supermoon, June 23, 2013

 

What gift of light
have I to offer
dark mornings,

the coyote’s howl,
of stars reflecting suns
above the ridgeline

of her body sleeping,
breathing beside us
in this canyon apart

from the news
of mortal men
and women staged

to sell consumption
and wealth
to the enslaved—

before I fail
to be so generous
in the daylight?

 

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR

 

IMG_4047

 

Hollow pipe songs at first light
pierce the darkness, own the dawn
with answered calls from oak trees

and granite piles of fractured rock
balanced on the edge of time
frozen around me. Early morning

solos grow into a chorus of chants
on the other side of the door,
a primitive awakening to greet me,

to ignore my circle of chores.
We’ve become part of the landscape
they return to, generations born

near cattle, horses and water troughs.
After these dry years, a colony—
a reunion of Roadrunners nesting.

 

McKee Branding — Woolly Canyon 2015

Beautiful day for the last branding of the season. At this stage of the game, we don’t know until we wake up in the morning how we’re going to feel about getting a horseback or roping in the branding pen. I’ve long been demoted from the ground crew wrestling calves when I’m not roping, relegated to visiting and watching the action from along the fence — which suits me fine.

Followers of drycrikjournal will recognize Kenny and Virginia McKee in nearly all the photographs of our brandings, and yesterday was our turn to try and repay them for their help all season. To be of help becomes increasingly important as we age, especially in this culture, and it’s been gratifying to see the next generation of cowboys mature as cowmen, horsemen and human beings. We’re truly grateful to be among them and this cattle community. Robbin was able to take a few photos between vaccinating calves that highlighted a day of fun while we got the work done.

 

Fresh Calf

September 5, 2012

September 5, 2012

 

We calve in the fall and brand in the spring. As newborns go, this calf is fresh, only minutes old and yet to stand and nurse. Robbin and I are off this morning to help our neighbors, Kenny and Virginia McKee, brand the last of their calves.

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/fresh-2/