Monday, February 28, 2011

Follow the Geese

Early in the morning I head down the hill to feed the critters. I find I am not the first one to leave tracks in the new snow.

Where would the geese be going early on a snowy morning?

To the first flat spot in the road, where water gathers in puddles under the snow. Geese must bathe. ALL of the prints in the snow except mine on the far left are from the geese.

And then they continued on to the next flatish spot in the road, the next set of puddles. Prints here go in both directions.

And on down to the next set of puddles. The geese may be the only ones happy that gravel roads develop low spots. I didn't realize the geese travelled this far down the road. They may not normally - their pool was damaged when it blew into the woods in the winds preceding this snow.

Continued White

Forecast: overnight low 36. Rain all day.

Actual: temp at 7:30 AM - 34 deg. Heavy snow.
It snowed all last night and all day. The warmish temps kept it from accumulating more than 4", but it snowed hard enough to maintain at least 2". Things are very wet.

It is beautiful and magical.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Watcher

My lovely Zander is now 29" tall, at not quite 8 months. This is one of his serious moments.

Beware of Low Flying Pyrs

For the last couple days Millie has gone through periods of maniacal barking, running and jumping.  I always rush outside (camera in hand if I can find it), as this usually means there are raptors in her airspace. I keep hoping to see the Bald Eagles again. This morning I got out in time to see a Rough Legged Hawk on a very low pass over the walkway. Not in time to get a picture.

Millie runs, turns and barks furiously.

She then runs back to the fence and tries to use it as a launch pad. She isn't trying to get over the fence, rather to get up in the air. What fool designer forgot the wings for Great Pyrenees?

At least she chased off the offender. There is a trio. Mom and Dad are circling in search of yummy Sebright bantams, I suspect. This photo is from a later, much higher pass.

This photo is by Ryan Akeny (from Flickr). My photos all show only black outlines of birds. This is what he looked like to my eyes.

Here's the youngster looking rough and hungry, watching the other two hunt.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Keeping Warm

A group of Varied Thrushes have been frequenting my chicken-feeding areas lately. This little guy was combing the frozen earth for seeds (which, of course, I added to as soon as I got this pic). Birds look so soft when they fluff up for warmth.

More Peas

See how pretty the girls are in the sunshine?

And the multitude of colors on the cock. So many shades of blue, so many patterns.

Cockatoo Remodeling

Who, us?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Purple Snow

I love it when the foothills are covered in snow, they stand out so nicely against the sky. This evening the sunset turned them purple. 

Mt. Rainier is behind the clouds in that clearing - not visible at all today.

I rarely take pictures to the north because of all the trees. Tonight, however, you can see the outline of the foothills against the darker sky, and the purple-lit clouds above.

This Far and No Further

(or Why I Don't Leave Home When It Snows)

I ran out of hay at the top of the hill, so I got out the trusty farm van and drove down to the lower hay shelter. Getting down wasn't a problem. I loaded the van with 4 100+ lb bales, 2 60 lb bales, and a bunch of alfalfa. Stopped mid-way to drop off 2 bales to the mid-level fields. Then I had a problem.

Half way up the last stretch the wheels started spinning and slipping.  The van absolutely refused to go up the steepest section. There isn't a lot of snow, but it's very icy and it's very steep.

So now I have much needed hay in the van, that needs to get up a steep hill, across and back down to my far field.

It's quite a long ways. It's quite steep. Never as far or as steep as when carrying a 60 lb bale of hay in the slippery snow.  Tonight is supposed to get down to the mid-teens again. If it doesn't clear off tomorrow I'm going to let the horses out of the back field so I can feed them down below. Then I only need to carry hay up for the sheep.

Some days this all seems like harder work than other days.

The Busy-Body Gene

Shamans Anatolians have what Audrey calls the "busy-body gene".  These pictures show that Zander inherited this gene from both parents. 

This is the stick I use to break up ice in the horse troughs.

I had just used it, and returned it to it's storage place.

"Look what I have! Play?"

A little later I was taking pictures of the small hail that fell last night, and was saved in dips in the snow, making interesting patterns.  Zander came to help. Actually, he just had to see what I was looking at.


I included this post in Straight Out Of the Camera Sunday. See more SOOC entries here

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I love my geese. They love life, and lead interesting lives (something to be learned there).

The geese got half way down the drive, then decided to come back up.

What do you think caused this pattern? There are a few of these spots, surrounded by goose prints in a circle. I've no idea what they are doing.

Who, us?

The Peacocks LOVE my vehicles. Here one is admiring that beautiful bird in the bumper.

The Rooster Mob sheltering under the wind-moved shelter.

Another Raven pic! 

Patterns in the Snow

More Experience of White

The sun, shining brightly behind the clouds

And on the clouds. 

Geese, bathing in the white light of snow.

Raven in the Wood

There are many ravens who frequent my hill. They are, however, camera shy. They see me aim a camera at them through the window and take off. Ravens are amazingly observant. While I was taking pictures of the beautiful morning, this raven flew off and came back three times - the last time letting me take pictures of him. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

White Light

I woke this morning to a winter wonderland of snow.

The trees were laden with our heavy white snow.

The geese are enjoying a mud puddle. They are generally unfazed by any weather.

Walking down the road I enjoyed being the first one to leave prints in the snow.

 I came across these strange prints, it took me awhile to figure out who had left them.

Bunnies! These are rabbit tracks. It's so much fun to see the prints of animals that frequent this place.