Saturday, January 7, 2012

Nature Girl Takes a Walk .... and a Tutorial on Seeing Stars

Sometimes, my morning walk gets highjacked by Nature Girl.

Yesterday as I looked out the back door wondering how cold it was, I could see something sitting in my favorite cottonwood tree.  

A big something.  We have both large hawks and owls here … we see the hawks periodically, but only on the rarest occasions do we get a glimpse of an owl before they’re gone on the silent wings they’re so famous for.   They do, however, hoot and screech for us at night.  We like that.

So, knowing it was not best for my exercise program, but unable to resist, I grabbed the camera instead of the handweights.

I tried to walk quietly ... but quickly enough to get close and get a good picture before the owl flew away.  And while I walked I tried to get the camera set to the best setting.  Which is complete guesswork for me.

 Someday ... I am either going to take a photography class or read the manual.  I promise.

Can you see he's turned his head to look at me?

 I think it's a horned owl, like this one

Alas, he's seen me and is preparing to fly.  And that's the last photo I managed of him.  I didn't even try to get a picture as he flew away.  Sometimes it's best to just watch life ... in real life.  But now that I know where he likes to see the sunrise, I'll be looking for him.

When I came to the place of the Bee Tree, I noticed:

a real live honeycomb!  Sans honey, sadly.  Bees took up residence in this tree two years ago.  I'm not sure how that large honeycomb managed to squeeze out of that very narrow hole.  Maybe something stuck its paw in and raided the honeypot.  Or maybe bees do spring cleaning?

Guess what this is?  It's a hog snuffle!  (this is my term.  I'm pretty sure a hunter would laugh at me.)  There are wild hogs in this area of Texas.  Apparently, they like to dig things up from under ground and eat them.  So much so that they're a serious problem to farmers and ranchers.  I have an acquaintance whose car was  totalled when three big ol' hogs ran into her at dusk.  They get really big.  But I've never actually seen one.  My son saw several once last winter, down in the creek.  He had a camera in his hands.  And did not take the picture.  Much the same as I did not take the picture when in California last month and Jeremy Piven walked right in front of our car.  I, too, had a camera in my hands.  Apparently, I have passed my quick-thinking skills along to my children :o)

Did you know robins migrate?  For about two months they are everywhere here, in big flocks.  Once the kids and I counted more than one hundred in the grass, looking for worms.

This was in the middle of the field.  I'm sure the dogs pulled it up from somewhere.  I really hope it wasn't on someone's back porch waiting to be hung up in their living room.

My most favorite tree is the Cottonwood.  They grow to astounding heights, and when the wind blows, the leaves shimmer and whisper.  Total magic.  In the spring, they release little seeds that blow away in whispy cotton.  I used to tell Abbie they were fairies on their way to a party.  It could happen :o)

But here's something else magical about the Cottonwood Tree.  If you snap a brittle Cottonwood twig in two, exactly on the growth ring line ...

You see stars!  How cool is that?  Now this star I can photograph :o)

Shared joy is doubled joy ... let's double the joy for both of us - what are you most grateful for today? Click below to leave your comment. I'll go first :

  1. I almost called you to bring the shotgun the other night, because the coyotes were so close. Exciting to live in the country, but it can sometimes affect your blood pressure!

    Awesome nature hike you took us on there! LUV IT!

  2. hmmm, I don't think NatureGirl could bring herself to shoot a coyote ... well, unless one was bothering family or animals ... that would definitely raise the bp!

  3. Wow - what gorgeous sights! We have hawks everywhere, but seeing owls and honeycombs and hog snuffles, how thrilling!

  4. How wonderful to have an owl in your yard! What an amazing yard!