Herding Ravens

Virtually all of the seasonal birds - the song birds - have departed for destinations south for the remainder of the year. I've been feeling their absence more intensely than I ever anticipated. More on that in an upcoming post. The remaining birds are those who fly these skies year round: mostly red-tailed hawks, magpies,… Continue reading Herding Ravens

Rudbeckia

Over the past several years, in late summer I’ve noticed a tall, leggy plant with big leaves and a brown top. Some are taller than me (I’m 5’4”). Based on the round, conical shape of that brown part, I always figured it was some sort of daisy-type flower that I’d somehow missed earlier and was… Continue reading Rudbeckia

Ladybugs

A few days ago, I was pulling weeds from my gravel driveway. The night before, I had used the sprinkler to dampen the ground, making it possible to pull roots along with the plant from the otherwise sun-baked, hard ground. As I removed plants that morning, I discovered several ladybugs moving among the stems, apparently… Continue reading Ladybugs

Dragonflies

Four years ago, on July 31, 2016, while working at my computer in my home office I noticed some dragonfly love happening under the eave just outside my window. Near sunset. How romantic! What caught my eye.Fuzzy closeup. At first, I didn’t realize what I was seeing. It was easy to identify them as dragonflies… Continue reading Dragonflies

Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: Great Horned Owl

Great horned owls are making a comeback in my neighborhood. At least, I hope they are. I wrote last summer about my dog Conall briefly catching an owlet in his mouth in July of 2016 (it survived). I also described two encounters, several years ago, with great horned owls in the forest. I used to… Continue reading Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: Great Horned Owl

Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: House Wrens

I had no idea what a house wren was until Conall caught a baby wren in the yard two years ago, spitting it out unharmed. That's when I noticed an upset adult wren on the other side of the fence, in the wildflower garden. Wrens were using a small hole in the siding of my… Continue reading Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: House Wrens

Bird Updates: Sandhill Cranes and Tree Swallows

Some of the local birds have been busy lately, fascinating to watch. Some updates to previous posts. Cranes The boys monitoring the ditch on the west side of the road. Earlier this month while walking my dogs on our usual valley road, I heard sandhill cranes making more than their usual ruckus. (I wrote about… Continue reading Bird Updates: Sandhill Cranes and Tree Swallows

Tree Swallows: Nature’s Fighter Pilots

I’m not a “birder.” Haven’t been in the past, am not now, and…well, maybe at some point in the future I will be. I do like birds, but I’m not patient enough to be a birder. A birder is, by definition, a bird watcher. Someone dedicated to bird watching. I’m an observer. Amused by birds,… Continue reading Tree Swallows: Nature’s Fighter Pilots

Red-winged Blackbirds – “Nature’s Assholes”

Red-winged blackbirds aren’t very big. They’re smaller than robins, about 8” head to tail. But they’re easily spotted, at least the males: jet black feathers with bright red and yellow shoulders that are even more visible when they’re flying. Here in the central mountains of Idaho, they’re one of the first migrating song birds to… Continue reading Red-winged Blackbirds – “Nature’s Assholes”

Dog Photobombs

The vast majority of my nature photos are taken in the nearby national forest during runs and hikes with my dogs. I simply stop and photograph whatever catches my eye on a given day. Wildflowers are favorites, as are streams, foliage, frost, cairns, and sunlight through trees. I love taking photos of my dogs on… Continue reading Dog Photobombs