The Homestone

Friday, May 29, 2015

Late May on the Meadow

We've both been keeping the camera discs full these days, and David took some time to jot down a bit about what's going on.

Spring on the meadow is full of new life. The birds are paired and scattered to their chosen nesting spots. Every birdhouse is full and beaks poke from every swallow hole. We have ten pairs of Evening Grosbeaks this year at the start of the season, so we are hoping to have a flock of thirty+ come September.

A very familiar Doe put in an appearance and posed for a few photographs before she made her way down the meadow. She was especially approachable and I think she was in labour. I saw her on the middle meadow a short time later, and she was in the same area she birthed last year. There are a lot of bears around right now, so I hope she is able to find her safe spot

Meanwhile, Mr Marmot is looking ... He seemed to want to get into the dandelion debate and ate a few while we looked on, commenting on their virtues I guess ... He is such a handsome devil, but on the edge of his territory. No girls have ventured onto the meadow yet and so he has to be content to pontificate and dream. And eat ... and sun himself ... and visit with the humans. Life is good ... !!!

We had a late evening reservation at the dandelion salad bar. It took a while for everyone to show themselves, so we assumed that it was the same bunch that were here last week. It turns out that this is a different sow and her four cubs! She must be very comfortable here because while she is quite aware of our presence, she purposely left her cubs on the driveway for a moment to check the harvest around the corner .. then rejoined them.
We were losing light, and I wanted them to look in the direction of the yard, so I disturbed them enough to get their attention and then got some pics of the procession as they made their way down the driveway toward the front gate

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The Tall and The Small

Sandhill Cranes and Hummingbirds on the meadow.  Here on the meadow we see our Sandhill's in pairs, or groups of four or six.  "The sandhill cranes bugling calls are unique and can be heard from miles away. These tall, gray-bodied, crimson-capped birds breed in open wetlands, fields, and prairies across North America.  Mates display to each other with exuberant dances that retain a gangly grace."
"Sandhill Cranes are known for their dancing skills. Courting cranes stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap into the air in a graceful and energetic dance."

"Although some start breeding at two years of age, Sandhill Cranes may reach the age of seven before breeding. They mate for life—which can mean two decades or more—and stay with their mates year-round. Juveniles stick close by their parents for 9 or 10 months after hatching.

The oldest Sandhill Crane on record was at least 36 years, 7 months old. Originally banded in Wyoming in 1973, it was found in New Mexico in 2010.

The earliest Sandhill Crane fossil, estimated to be 2.5 million years old, was unearthed in the Macasphalt Shell Pit in Florida."

I believe what we have here is our Rufous Hummingbird however we are always happy to be corrected. : )  "Rufous Hummingbirds have the hummingbird gift for fast, darting flight and pinpoint maneuverability. They are pugnacious birds that tirelessly chase away other hummingbirds, even in places they’re only visiting on migration. Like other hummers, they eat insects as well as nectar, taking them from spider webs or catching them in midair."
All Notes in italics are from the excellent website All About Birds