Monday, July 20, 2015

This One is All About Birds

It is late Sunday evening and I am just starting the post. I always want to make sure that I get something done for Mosaic Monday, so here is this week's mosaic. It is all about birds, cardinals, to be exact.


We arrived home from Texas late last Monday. I feel like I have sorely neglected the blog, so hopefully I will get caught up this week with perhaps more than one post for the week. Of course while we were gone, the garden went crazy, especially the weeds. There was enough rain over the week that the plants were in good shape. Still there was a lot of catching up to do. 

We stayed at a private ranch near Austin in the Texas Hill Country where it is very pretty. One of my favorite things to do is bird watching. We take an ATV (all terrain vehicle) into the wooded area beyond where the cows graze. You have heard my lament that we don't have the Northern Cardinal here in Colorado when you post your wonderful cardinal photos, so what an adventure I had just sitting in the woods quietly watching the cardinals come into the automatic deer feeder that normally would serve deer hunters. Instead, it is a perfect feeding station to catch birds in their natural habitat.


A female cardinal feasts on corn as the male flies in.


Like much of the South and much of Texas, the Ranch is plagued by wild boar. The cardinals use the the live pen trap as a landing to come into the feeder.

Two males, which I later decided to be father and son since the one male I photographed was rather ratty looking.


Cardinals are not the only birds to visit the deer feeder. I need to brush up on my Texas song birds, for the woods is alive with bird chatter. I do believe that a birder needs to be able to first identity the bird by song so that she knows what to look for. Only after I downloaded the photos did I realize what a gem I had here. I knew that it was not a cardinal. The lighting in the forest is shaded and shadowed, so the photos did not turn very clear; none-the-less, I can proudly say that I photographed my first painted bunting, another song bird that does not visit Colorado.


Only after I blew up the photo in iPhoto was I able to determine the green on the under tail to make sure of my treasure.

A female cardinal at the feeder. Sitting on a tall tripod, the corn feeder when full automatically spins out kernels of corn for deer. At this feeder, you will find lots of birds and squirrels.


I am thinking that this is a female painted bunting.



Another frequent visitor that afternoon was the tufted titmouse, another little bird that we don't see here in Colorado.

In retrospect, hubby and I had a wonderful time just sitting in the woods on the ATV with our hosts watching birds and snapping photos. I used my Canon DSLR with the 75-300mm lens which for as close as we were to the birds, it was adequate, but the lighting played havoc with focus and clarity. Any suggestions for how I can improve my bird photography? 

The garden had survived our absence. The next door neighbor did a wonderful job taking care of the horses, watering, and looking after the hens. The housekeeper cleaned the house for me and kept the fish fed, so it was easy to get back to life as normal. Boone and Mo went to the boarding kennel. They love Boone there and take good care of him. Mo, on the other hand, a grumpy old cat, no doubt hated every moment of being caged. But he was safe and fed.

Thursday we packed again and headed to eastern Colorado so that the Head Gardener could help with wheat harvest while the grain cart driver went to a volleyball camp (the 15 year old daughter of one of the farmers).


There he is driving along side the combine as the wheat is blown into the grain cart from the combine.


I never get tired of watching these giants move steadily at a decent pace through the ripened wheat.


What work.



With the grain cart full, the HG deposits the grain in the semi to be hauled to storage.



A long, lonely road back to the farm to deposit the wheat in storage bins.


Lunch on the run. The Head Farmer takes the lunch we delivered to him back to the truck. He will be able to eat while the truck fills. Anderson Wheat Farms, a family business, farms 11,000 acres with the help of two brothers, a nephew, a hired man, and a teen-age daughter, and with the occasional help of the my Head Gardener. 

So that is about it. I have taken a lot of photos of the flowers that bloomed while we were gone. I'll do another post this week once I settle down after being gone so much to show the new blooms. And I do have some exciting news to share, but now it is time for bed. Our farmer friend is spending the night tonight, so I will get up early to fix him breakfast before he goes to his meeting. That's the life of the modern farmer: working harvest one day, off to the Big Town the next for meetings. 

I hope you had a great week. I have done some blog reading and commenting, but I know that I missed a lot and if I missed you, I am sorry. I think my blog break is over. 

Have a sweet week. And thanks so much for visiting. Don't forget to drop by Judith's for Mosaic Monday. 

17 comments:

  1. I would love to go birding in Texas, maybe someday. Congrats on your Painted Bunting and Cardinals sightings. They are beautiful birds. I lvoe the images, enjoy your day and the new week ahead!

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  2. Beautiful fields of wheat! Thank you for sharing!

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  3. You had a wonderful get-away in TX. Cardinals are such beautiful birds. Loved the images of the wheat fields ... lots of work! Happy Monday!

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  4. How great to see, identify and photograph the birds in Texas that don't come to CO. Cardinals are such a lovely color - I never tire of seeing them.
    Enjoy settling back into your routine.

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  5. I'm happy that you got to see cardinals Ann, and the painted bunting. I'm afraid the only wild boar I know about is in the Lion King. LOL How do they affect the farms? I've read that they are a dangerous animal but that's about it.
    Nice to be back in your own bed I'm sure and a blogging break is a welcome time to relax and do other things. I'll be doing that myself next week and looking forward to being with family.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

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  6. You had some great bird sightings. Cardinals are so beautiful aren't they? Who can resist their wonderful red coloring?! Hope you enjoyed your break/holiday. Have a good week!

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  7. It's so great that you were able to see so many birds that you don't find in Colorado--that makes travelling a real adventure. I feel that way about flowers, plants, bushes and trees. Good for you. And so many interesting things going on at home.

    Love your blog!

    Jane

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  8. I'm always admiring the beautiful red cardinals on American blogs, they are so beautiful, we have not such colourful birds in the wild.
    And then the harvest, I almost get goosebumps when I see those vast wheatfields of America, loved to see that on your pictures again.

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  9. That certainly has become a very wonderful bird feeder too!

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  10. Great pictures! I have never seen a painted bunting. That bird feeder is impressive. I have never seen one of those either.

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  11. I'm going to have to go bird hunting when we head to Texas this winter. I'm always amazed at how big those machines are. The tractors here are not that big, the hills don't allow for that big of machinery.

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  12. How nice that you could go bird watching with friends on your visit to Texas! Cardinals are one of my favorite birds. We have lots of different birds in Florida but I have never seen a tufted titmouse or a painted bunting. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment.

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  13. How nice that you could go bird watching with friends on your visit to Texas! Cardinals are one of my favorite birds. We have lots of different birds in Florida but I have never seen a tufted titmouse or a painted bunting. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment.

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  14. What a wonderful time to have together....I love your bird shots, and it's interesting that you got to see new to you birds. Cardinals....they are so bright, and I too lament that we don't have anything like that here. The closest I have is Phil the flirt Pheasant, and I haven't seen or heard of him since spring.

    Did you catch a glimpse of a wild boar?

    Jen

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  15. What a wonderful time to have together....I love your bird shots, and it's interesting that you got to see new to you birds. Cardinals....they are so bright, and I too lament that we don't have anything like that here. The closest I have is Phil the flirt Pheasant, and I haven't seen or heard of him since spring.

    Did you catch a glimpse of a wild boar?

    Jen

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  16. Glad you enjoyed your time away and thanks for sharing your photos of the beautiful birds and cornfields.

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  17. What lovely birds! I love watching birds. I just can't manage to get very good photos.

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