IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN, ARE YOU LOSING IT?

I find it funny how sometimes I don’t even have to look at a calendar to know what time of the year it is.  It’s not the flowers or the trees; it’s our peacock.  I know, peacock?  Time of year?  This farm gal has gone off the deep end of a shallow pool – ha ha, not!

When it is very warm or very cold the peacock looks like this:

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Full, beautiful bunch of tail feathers – definitely something to be proud of (and he is).  F.Y.I., they are very vain birds.  We catch him constantly sitting, staring at his reflection in our windows.  So wrong!

They also make great guard dogs.  Nothing gets close to or in our yards without this monster spouting out (if you have never heard one, go to the Denver Zoo -it’s loaded with them, and they are noisy).  The downside to that is we live next to an interstate highway, and on/off ramp for it, and a railroad track.  If any one of those makes an unusual sound (huge bang from train starting up, jake-brake from a semi trying to slow down, etc.), he squawks off.  During the day I don’t mind, but one a.m., I’m looking for a shoe to throw at him (he perches up in the tree outside my window at night – jerk!)!

Well, all I have to do is look for the tell-tale signs in the yard:

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And I will know EXACTLY what time of year it is…

It’s peacock humiliation time – WOOO HOOO!!

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Notice how even he does not want to show his face when his tail looks like this – LMAO!  All of the feathers will drop off before the temps get much lower.  Then he will start to put on new ones before winter.  In the spring we go through the same process – PEACOCK FEATHERS EVERYWHERE!

We had hundreds of them before the fire (boo hoo, all gone), and I was worried.  Silly me!

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This is what we have collected just this year.  The last two years we just let them fly.  This is the feathers of two molting’s sitting there.  Going to have to get a bigger pot to put them in soon – eeek!

 

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THEY’RE BACK (No, it’s not poltergeist)!

I was checking out the storm Thursday morning, and that’s when I spotted it. Hanging low in our woods, almost aiming for the pond, then back up again. I’m sure it was trying to stay out of the wind gusts, but it moved like it was not affected by them at all.

Turkey Vultures!

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Yep, we officially know it is spring when they show back up. They fly over heading north-northeast every spring. Then we get to see them going back in the fall. Have no clue where they are going to or from, but love to see them.

They are not as big as a Condor, but much larger than our area hawks. Guess I am just too much of a bird watching nut, so I naturally get excited when I see them. They are such smooth operators, even in our gust storms!

The first one I spotted was Thursday (3/31/16). It was all by itself which is very odd. Normally we see them like this:

vultures are back 3 31 16This group I spotted at our local small town library about an hour ago. They were dipping in between the trees there – odd? I have seen them in groups of about 5 to around 10, and I know they do not fly straight. They do this huge loop-de-loop in the air, gradually floating off in the direction they want to go. Ducks and geese fly over all year long. They are in a “V” formation, but they still move like an arrow in a straight direction. The loop-de-loop is usually how I spot the vultures. Dead give away (ha ha – yes, pun intended!)

The way they were bobbing in and out of the trees, they seemed to be playing at the library. Shame on them! They were just far enough away and moved fast enough that I could not get a clean shot of one with my cell phone – Boo Hoo! Oh well, at least, I have a couple of pics. Would love to have one close up in the wild. I think they are a bit camera shy! Too bad, I have a business proposition for them…I will set out some of my chicken feed as a treat if they pick off some of our huge ugly gophers? Think they will bite?

plains pocket gopher 2                         prarie dog

Pocket Gopher:                                                                                Prarie Dog

  1. Can’t tell here, but they have very long sharp teeth and claws.
  2. Are almost as big as a Prarie Dog.
  3. Take out the roots of EVERYTHING!
  4. Neither is cute or cuddly
  5. Both are dangerous (I actually saw some in a pet shop in WI – oooh nooo Mr. Bill! Now I hear they are having a prairie dog problem – duh!) and do not make good pets!
  6. Both will dig holes large enough for a goat, cow, or horse to break a leg in!
  7. Cattlemen and/or a good hunter can pick off a prairie dog on the plains – they are bold and brazen.
  8. Gophers are sneaky! If a cat or dog is patient, they may get one. Our guineas would rip it off if it ever had the guts to show its face to them – but nooo – they have too much fun tearing up all of our good fruit tree roots – jerks.

Well, I have news for them…soon it will be warm enough for our Bull snake momma to come out – wooo hooo – love her!!!

 

 

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WOW – WHAT AN AMAZING NEW THING WE HAVE FOUND!

Nope, it’s not a dragon.  However, one would be welcome here- LOL.

Nope it’s not a unicorn, but around here it is just as rare to see.

It is the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (No – it’s not a strange creation in Looney Toons, it is real) was my gift this time!

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I know some (ok most) of you are laughing at my minor miracle, however, you need to realize that it is the simple little things in life I treasure the most!  Relaxing in the living room, knitting up a pair of Christmas Bronco socks for my sister, I happened to look up and out the window and there they were!  Not just one but 3 – 1 male and 2 females.  I love sneaking a peeks at the trees out front while I knit.

We have a new huge picture window right smack dab in the middle of the east wall which faces the front yard.  There is a sad pine tree that managed to survive the fire and it has a bird feeder hanging in it, which is usually loaded with sparrows (not the cute Johnny Depp/Jack Sparrow kind).  Next to the large picture window, to the north, is a smaller window.  This one gives me a great view of a tree that has not been doing well (the Elm’s in this territory fall apart at the wave of a hand, so the winds we have had are beating the snot out of them), it is very old but is still hanging in there.  This time of year there are no leaves on it which aided in my great view of the new visitors.

We see Blue Jays every winter.  Chickadees, and the occasional Downey Woodpecker.  But these 3 were brand new.  I/we have been here 15+ years now, and they have never graced us with their presence until now.  Just before the fire, Red-Headed Woodpeckers showed up.  I thought they were extinct – but obviously not.  They are still around – yeah!  I now have an ear-to-ear smile while I am telling you this story.

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Chickadee Flicker

I love birds and bird watching.  It is a simple way for me to feel great joy.  Unfortunately, I am usually without camera when I spot them.  I even have a couple of binoculars placed in certain spots in the house to get a better view at the woods fields.  However, I never fail to miss a good photo shoot – darn it!!??!!  So, until I become a better photographer (I am trying friends -wish me luck!), I will continue to be a spectator in their wonderful world of flight and color.  I also pledge to continue to feed the birds, and hope you will too!  (P.S. A lot of them help me to destroy the bad bugs in the gardens and yards – BONUS – WOOO HOOO!!)