Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Makin' hay while the sun shines

Here's step one of how it's done:

video

Below is the driver and his little assistant. She got to ride with him once around the field.

Wish you were here, Mark! We could use your help this week! ;-)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another oriole tidbit

Are you getting tired of orioles? I always find them fascinating, but I don't want to bore you with them.

This little tidbit's a bit different, anyway. Take a close look:

What's that you say? That's not an oriole? You're right! It's a butterfly snacking on the grape jelly in the oriole feeder! I took this pic Sunday afternoon. Later, the butterfly was gone.

Yesterday, I happened to see a male oriole eating from the feeder. But that's not all I saw! I saw a butterfly (quite possibly this same one) fluttering its wings deep inside the feeder while the oriole was eating. As I was watching, waiting for the oriole to fly away so I could help the butterfly out of the jar, it suddenly snatched up the butterfly and took off with it in its beak!

I wonder if he ate it himself or if he brought it to the babies in the nest. Either way, I'll bet it was a sweet, sticky tidbit! Yum!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Listen... and LOOK!

This sound caught my attention yesterday. Listen.


video


If you looked verrry closely, you could see a wee bit of yellow-orange. Maybe. Probably not. The video's too small.

Here it is below, but I bet you can't see where it is at all, can you? It's on that branch sticking out to the left.


Okay, here's a closer look:


Try this one below. Can you make out the eye?

There's a definite beak in the next picture.


And in the bottom left-hand corner above is the nest. The baltimore oriole's nest!

Here's a better look at that:

Looks like a cantaloupe, doesn't it?

And that was one of the young orioles sitting next to it! First time I've ever seen a baby oriole. It was apparently practicing its call. Over... and over... and over. In fact, it's still doing it today. :-)


Below is the daddy who was getting quite frustrated with me. He had a very different sound. A warning sound to his kid, probably... "Stay put!" Or to me... "You stay away from my kid!" Or something like that. Use your own imagination. ;-)

I didn't see the mother oriole, but I'm guessing it's the one with the injured wing. I still see her come to the feeder occasionally.

I was glad it was somewhat windy, or I'd never have seen the nest or baby at all. Orioles certainly have a way of hiding their nests! But the wind blew just right once in a while, letting the sun hit it. I was snapping pics like crazy, hoping that I'd get lucky and get a few at the right seconds. I guess I didn't do too bad.

(Enlarge any pic for a better look!)


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Clouds

We've had some threatening weather the last couple of evenings. Fortunately, we didn't receive the storms they did in other places. We mostly got rain, and a little bit of wind with that last night, but nothing damaging.

These pics were taken Friday evening. I didn't get any last night, because everything was mostly black (like the 2nd pic below).



The thunderhead below was building pretty fast, but was already past us.



Hopefully, the stormy weather is done for a while. If the forecast is correct, we're in for a mostly sunny week. We need that for makin' hay!


Friday, June 25, 2010

My crew

Here they are as they greet me every morning!

video

The adult females do NOT get along, in case you noticed. ;-)

And here are all the babies at breakfast.

Courtney and I finally got them all named on Tuesday. Clockwise, starting with the one who's not eating: Spots (you should see his one back leg!), then the little mostly black one is Scoot(y), Tuffy, Patches, Josie, and Miss Purrkins.

They get cuter all the time! I love 'em all... even though my ankles are getting a bit shredded because they think my legs make good trees! ;-)

(Your 2 are doing great, Lori! They have best little motors I've ever heard! You're welcome to come visit them anytime!)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just a fly?

Now THIS is one BIG fly!

How big is it, you ask?

Compare it to the tips of my fingers!

So what kind of fly is... er... was it?

A little googling tells me it was probably a black horse fly. It also tells me that I don't want to be bitten by one because... "This horse fly lands on its victim's neck, head, or back, quickly slices the skin with its bladelike mouthparts, and sucks out blood. Some animals become seriously weakened if they suffer repeated attacks and loss of blood." YIKES!!

It was just outside our back door. And we don't even have any horses!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nature's struggles, Part 4

What? "Part 4", you say? Like, "Whatever happened to parts 2 and 3?" No, you didn't miss them. I just haven't gotten around to writing them up and posting them yet. Summer busy-ness plus loss of blogging interest has made me a bit lax in getting the posts out. I will get to them eventually, 'cause they're interesting.

But back to Part 4. The photo below just shows one of nature's tragedies that can happen in the wink of an eye... or the blow of the wind. We did have wind last night, plus 1.6" of rain. This robin's nest and its occupants just couldn't survive it. Sad.

Other than a few twigs off the trees, we had no damage that I know of. Our neighbors up the road, however, weren't so lucky. They lost their fairly new heifer shed. Again. This was the second time since it was originally built! I haven't heard how the heifers fared yet*. (*Later ... heifers are okay.)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Braids & kittens

These videos are mostly for Mommy and Grandma H, who didn't get to see Courtney in the braids before. :)

video

video

Did you notice how the kitten that was "hers" was a different one each time? ;-)

And did you notice the fingernail color?! Daycare did it, not Grandma! :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day...

.... to Daddy and Grandpa G and Grandpa H.....

.... from your little.....

Bubble Nose:

Google Eyes:

Biker Babe:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I am so pleased!

Just look:

And here:

What do you think they are? Yup, roots. And from what kind of plant?

You may remember the sad state of my hibiscus plant (<--click the link and scroll down a bit to see it) just over a year ago. I'd chopped it back pretty severely, and yet it came back and bloomed nicely again. However, it's gotten so old and woody, that I didn't even bother to do anything with it this past spring. I just set it outside, not even making any attempt to gradually get it used to being outdoors. I figured it could just take what it got. It's too big and heavy to move in and out.

It turned out to be pretty bad timing, as just a couple days after I put it out, the weather got very hot and windy, and that's not good for a plant that has just come out after several months indoors. It got pretty beat up... windwhipped and sunburned. Although it's still alive, it's not doing much.

I got to wondering how hibiscus plants are propagated. I thought it was probably from grafting, but I decided to do a little searching. Lo and behold, I found that some (the less exotic kinds that you usually find for sale in stores, like mine which I got at Target) actually can be started from cuttings. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I cut off a slip each from the green and the coral branches, stuck them in water, and in less than a week, I could see the beginnings of roots. Hurray! So if all goes well, I shall have new hibiscus plants! It may be a few years before they bloom, but we'll see what happens.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

MORE kittens?!

(FINALLY, Lori! :-) And if you read this in time, tell Janet her friend is welcome to either or both, if she wants.)

What did I do but "adopt" a couple more kittens! They needed a home and are only a couple weeks older than mine, so they fit in just right.

Here they are, as they were first introduced to my kittens.

They spent the first 2-3 hours in the carrier (with the door open). I wanted to just let them take their time and come out on their own. Ummm... even though they wouldn't go out, that doesn't mean nobody else went in! That's one of mine in the background. I guess she thought the carrier looked pretty cushy. The other two didn't seem to notice her.

They wouldn't go out on their own, so I finally started playing with them with a piece of straw, and they got in the mood and started chasing and exploring.

Not without a little sassiness first, though! :-)

But as you'll see from the videos, they've adapted quite nicely.

This first one was taken as Courtney was just encountering the 'surprise' babies.

video

video

It's being a BUSY week here, so I'm getting behind on my blogging. Pics and videos are getting backlogged. I'll catch up someday.... maybe......

Monday, June 14, 2010

Currently blooming

Clustered Bellflowers:

Dianthus:

I know, I've showed you the dianthus before, but they're so pretty, and this view:

... SO much beats this view out my sewing room window!!!

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Don't say I didn't warn you

Yep, more kitty pics! :-)

We have another newbie. Another Blackie. He just 'appeared' a few days ago. Very tame. Very friendly. Very handsome but with matted, long hair and burdock in his tail.

Of course, Courtney was delighted.

Even the other cats tolerate him pretty well, although Orangey and Orangey would rather he wasn't here. ;-) But they're all young enough to not know that tomcats fight and chase each other away. Heheh.

Mama kitty's getting pretty tame, too! She even dared to come pretty close to Courtney.

video

But the most fun, of course, is still the new babies.

video

Even though it can get frustrating when they don't stay where you want them. ;-)

Orangey is maybe worried that he's being replaced?

The good news is that Mama moved the babies into the machine shed, so now they're much easier to get at. Grandma no longer has to get down on her knees in the long grass and try to reach them from under the stock tank. Hurray!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Nature's struggles, Part 1

This spring I've observed some of the difficulties of birds and animals in the wild. Take this female baltimore oriole, for instance. She has an injured wing. I've seen her many times at the feeder, and she always holds that one wing out strangely.

She still manages to get to the feeder, even if it requires some acrobatics.

I wonder how it happened.

There was also the pretty robin's nest that something got into and broke one of the eggs, causing the nest to be abandoned. No babies for that pair of robins. I wonder if they were sad, or just went about starting over right away.

More observations to come.........

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wordless.... Thursday?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Look, Jenna and Jaime!

video

Monday, June 7, 2010

A new critter

Well, new to my blog, anyway. Certainly not new to our farm.

Meet Chuck:

Woodchuck, that is.

He sure was nosey.

This is right out in front of our house, mind you. I first saw him heading across the driveway, looking like he was going down into the ditch. Suddenly he changed his mind and headed back toward the house and went under the deck (probably to eat the flowers off the violets... I think they're his favorite). I grabbed the camera and headed out, determined to shoot him.

He ran a ways away and stopped, so I got the first photo. Then he ducked into the culvert under the driveway, so I waited. Sure enough, he poked his head out the other end. We watched each other a long time. :-)

A woodchuck is also known as a groundhog, did you know that? I wonder if he's related to Phil.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Kitten love

Just adorable.

I like the white hairs mixed in with the black on this next one.

Yep, they're a match!

Turn up your volume and enjoy!

video

video

Friday, June 4, 2010

Suppertime

This was the scene in our backyard Wednesday evening... mom, dad and 2 kids.

video

Sweet, huh?

Apparently baby robins don't get to eat worms.

(Yeah, the grass needed mowing. Done.)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sometimes I just have to laugh.....

..... when I... ahem... 'load' my pics onto my computer. I find surprises.

This turned out to be a way to hold this kitten without getting scratched. She got held like this for about 20 minutes or more. Heheh....

Cute, and a little funny.

Okay, so let's compare noses:

Yeah, worth a giggle there.

But that still wasn't the really funny one.

Check out this one below.

Cracked me right up. :-) I hadn't paid much attention to what her T-shirt said till I saw the pic in my computer. Perfect, eh?

(Be forewarned: more kitten pics coming! ;-) )

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pretty accident

I was downloading (got that, Cindy?) pics from my camera to my computer, and discovered this pretty surprise, which I didn't even know I'd taken!

I do remember snapping a pic before the camera had focused, and the capture was delayed, after I'd already moved the camera away from my subject. This, apparently, was the result.

But wait till you see what I was really aiming at! ;-)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Busy bath

No, they were not both there at the same time. They take turns. :-)