nature, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife

Summer Color

Owls and Pheasants finals-16.jpg

Summer is winding down in our household.  Soon, Wyokiddo will start kindergarten and I will face an empty house and open day for the first time in five years.  But aside from the stacks of school supplies in the corner of my office, I can also tell summer is coming to an end by how the pheasants look.

It’s been several weeks since I’ve been in the pens and enjoyed the birds.  I’ve been busy with my own flock.  I’ve had several photo shoots, we spent time with my family in Cheyenne and we participated in our local county fair.  So I was a little surprised at how the birds have grown.

The males are starting to color up and act like boys.  Several roosters trailed us in the pens.  They would ruffle their feathers and bluff charge us to show us their toughness.  The red eye patch is quite distinct, and many are getting their “ring-neck.”

The girls, on the other hand, generally hide in the kochia and give us a wide berth.  They use the weeds as cover to protect themselves.  It’s an important technique that will serve them when they are released.  They can use the natural cover to hide from dogs, hunters, owls and coyotes.  They’ll also use that cover to protect their clutch of eggs and chicks.

Nobody on the road,
Nobody on the beach.
I feel it in the air,
The summer’s out of reach.

Summer isn’t out of reach yet, but soon my boys of summer will be gone for another season.  In the meantime, we’ll enjoy their antics and the gentle thrum of life in rural Wyoming.

Teresa

 

 

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family, wildlife, Wyoming

It’s Not About the Catch

Burrowing Owl-1DRW

Wyokiddo, Outdoor Guy and I got up a little early this morning to head down to our local reservoir for some fishing.  We got skunked.

On our walk back to the car, we saw some tiny little lizards darting across the path on the dam.  They were about the size of Outdoor Guy’s index finger and lightning fast.  We were also treated to the antics of some fat, lazy prairie dogs and a burrowing owl sighting on our way home.

“Sorry we didn’t catch any fish,” I told Wyokiddo as we put our stuff away in the house.

“Are you kidding?”  She asked me.  “We saw lizzards and owls.  this was the best fishing trip ever!”

I love that even at five, she’s starting to realize our mornings on the water isn’t about how many fish we catch, but about what we experience along the way together as a family.

Teresa

nature, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife

Tiny Packages

Triop - DRW.jpgOur neighbor brought a gift for Wyokiddo today in the form of a jar full of tadpole shrimp, or “Triops.”  They are tiny little crustaceans with three eyes and up to 70 pairs of legs.  This one was no bigger than the tip of my pinky finger.

They don’t have a real long lifespan.  Most will die within 90 days, if their water source doesn’t die up first.  They must be tougher than they look, because some species of Triops are more than 300 years old.

Nature continually surprises and delights me!

nature, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife, Wyoming

Floating Hubcap

This is how I spent my morning…crawling along an irrigation ditch, camera in hand, trying to stalk a massive snapping turtle.

I spent an hour this morning watching this snapping turtle cruise down our irrigation ditch. It was amazing to see how he’d drift along, then raise his tail to use as a rudder. We see this turtle each spring. I’m guessing he’s pretty old because he is absolutely massive. His entire carapace is probably bigger than a foot and a half across. He lifted his head out of the water once, briefly, before submerging completely and I lost sight of him.

Turtles, frogs and other things that creep and crawl might not be as majestic as a grizzly bear or regal as the wolf, but they are still fascinating creatures. I for one am glad that our state is filled with the good, the bad and the ugly. Makes life more interesting, don’t you think?

Snapping Turtle-1DRWSnapping Turtle-3DRWSnapping Turtle-4DRW

nature, photography, Uncategorized, wildlife

Springtime Messenger

Robin 2 DRWI’m participating in a 52 Week Photo Challenge. The topic this week is spring.  What to shoot, what to shoot?  Flowers, budding trees, frogs, newborn calves…all of these remind me of spring and the rebirth that the season brings.

But since I had to choose just one, it was this guy.  Nothing is sweeter music to my tired winter ears than the song of the American Robin. I shot photos that were more artistic and colorful, but as a harbringer of springtime in Wyoming, the robin can’t be beat.

Teresa

nature, Uncategorized, wildlife, Wyoming

The Commute

Most mornings and evenings, we are treated to a show in the sky as giant flocks of geese fly over our house.  Canada geese, snow geese and the occasional Ross goose or Greater white-fronted goose.

Sometimes it’s just a few dozen.  Other nights, such as last night, the geese number in the thousands.  Tonight, thousands of them landed in the neighbors field.  I can hear them chattering back and forth, even now, at ten o’clock.  It’s not exactly sonorous, but it’s beautiful music nonetheless.