We had #1 Grandson with us last week which was so nice. One of the things we did was visit an Animal Sanctuary in No. Reno called Animal Ark. My favorite were the Cheetahs. Here are two. One wanted to play but, the other wasn’t interested at all so, they’re just chillin.
Here’s a rare look at #1 Grandson. We had fun measuring our arms comparing them to wingspans of No. American birds. Mine was the same as a Turkey Vulture.
All too soon it was time to take him home.
The week before his visit I had gone birding locally and saw some good birds. One I was super excited about seeing was the Pinyon Jay. I’ve been waiting for their Spring arrival so I could try again getting a decent image of one. This bird was a lifer for me in 2019 but, they were flying by so fast then that I failed to get a decent shot of one. Finally, on this walk-about I got a few but, that tree on the right is in the way. I was afraid to get any closer and scare it off which I eventually did anyway. 😮 They travel and forage in large flocks- on this day I counted 17 in all.
Spring is breaking out all over the west now. When we took #1 Grandson home I noticed Baby Girl’s Apple tree was blooming so I took a quick snap of a blossom.
I’ve been doing some projects from the book by Wendy Tait- Watercolor Flowers. This is project #2 Roses.
I’ve painted 3 of these now- 1 8×10 in. and 2 5X7in. I’m making progress getting my paint to water ratio right, and blending is definitely improving. There are 8 projects in the book with step by step directions and images. I like the book a lot. I’m moving on to project 3 hopefully I’ll continue to improve.
Tomorrow I’m meeting friends down in the Mono Basin to do some photography and camping. I’m hoping for good weather, and clear night skies. I hope you all are having a good week, and your week-end is fun!
Last week I met up with some local Audubon club members for a bird walk. Here’s some of the exciting birds we saw.
This first bird was a neat sighting. It’s a Graylag x Swan hybrid we discovered. The ebird monitor for Washoe county wrote me after seeing my images of the goose this. “Your documentation shows this is a “Domestic goose with a mix of Graylag and Swan Goose (aka Chinese Goose) ancestry. The dark stripe from the top of the head down the back of the neck, and the bulging forehead are Swan Goose traits, while the orange bill and a few other features are Graylag traits. ” P.H. Isn’t that interesting! It’s a handsome goose and several people we ran into while admiring and photographing it told us they named him. One family called him Barney, and another one calls him Harry. He’s quite the celebrity there.
Another exciting sighting was a large group of White-fronted Geese. We don’t see those a lot here so, we watched and photographed them for awhile too.
Saving the best for last, and it was the last bird we saw on our way back to the parking before we finished up was the Immature Audubon’s Yellow-rump Warbler. This was a lifer for me! Isn’t it cute!
I’ll be birding with friends this week-end and hoping to see lots of birds. I hope you all have a great week-end!
One of the highlights we had while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park last October were the North American Elk herds. The surprising thing is just how BIG they are. They stand 5 feet tall at the shoulder, and weigh several hundred pounds. The females are half their size. Only the males have antlers which they shed each winter. Their antler can grow up to an inch a day!
One morning while in Estes Park I saw a Bull laying in the shade with his harem and made my over to get some images of them.
The bull …
He had about dozen females (called cows) in his harem. Here he is with some of them just chillin.
Here’s an image of a bull and some of his harem we saw the night before just after the sun went behind the mountains while in Rocky Mountain National Park.
The rutting season begins in October so the bulls were on high alert keeping a close eye on their harems and keeping them close by.
Free roaming elk have a lifespan of 10-13 years in the wild.
While out birding with the birding group at the beginning of the month we saw this wonderfully majestic bird fly in low and land on this branch above a pond.
It stayed there for quite awhile just taking in its surroundings. I turned my attention to another bird for a second and poof! Off flew the Eagle.
I’m way behind with your blogs as I spent the better part of this week at Baby Girl’s doing school runs, and playing with Littlest while she was swamped with training meetings. I’m home now and beginning to play catch up.
I hope you all have a wonderful week-end. I’ll be catching up with laundry, emails, snail mail, and blogs, and speaking of blogs WP sent me a notice today wishing me a happy 12th Blogversary.12 years! It doesn’t feel that long to me. Thank you all so much for finding my blog, for the comments, conversations, and most of all for the friendships we’ve forged throughout these years. 🥰 Thank you all so much!!
A couple of week ago I discovered a new park with a pond not far from home and this beautiful male Wood Duck was there among the mallards and geese.
I heard there was a female there too but, I never saw her. She too is quite striking and pretty. Here’s an image I made last year along the river of a female Wood Duck checking out a tree for a nesting spot I thought as they nest in holes in trees or if available a nesting box. They have claws that can grip bark so they can perch on branches.
The Wood Duck is one of the prettiest ducks of all the waterfowl.
Natural cavities for nesting are scarce, and the Wood Duck readily uses nest boxes provided for it. If nest boxes are placed too close together, many females lay eggs in the nests of other females.
Wood Ducks pair up in January, and most birds arriving at the breeding grounds in the spring are already paired. The Wood Duck is the only North American duck that regularly produces two broods in one year.
The Wood Duck nests in trees near water, sometimes directly over water, but other times over a mile away. After hatching, the ducklings jump down from the nest tree and make their way to water. The mother calls them to her, but does not help them in any way. The ducklings may jump from heights of over 50 feet without injury.
The oldest recorded Wood Duck was a male and at least 22 years, 6 months old. He had been banded in Oregon and was found in California.
We got a good snow dump during the night and early morning hours on Tuesday. It made everything so pretty! As I write this (Thursday) we’re supposed to get more snow today. #1 Grandson will be celebrating his 9th year on this planet next week. I hope we can get over the mountains to see him to help him celebrate. 9 years old! Time is flying by.
What are you doing this week-end, anything good? Have you finished your holiday shopping?