Wood Duck Daze

When I went out on a walk this morning, I found Daddy Owl in the tree he sits in when he watches over the owlets. Mama Owl’s ear tufts barely stuck up above the edge of the hole in the tree. A few cranes flew over close to the tops of the cottonwood trees. Most of the cranes have headed north. Only a few cranes are holding out.

Then I saw something moving in the cottonwoods. It was a female Wood Duck hopping and flying around between branches. A male Wood Duck soon followed. That was the first of three pairs of Wood Ducks I saw in the cottonwoods as I walked in the bosque this morning.

A couple of months ago there were some birders looking for the elusive Wood Ducks. I told them they were too early. They looked at me like I was crazy. The birders acted like the Wood Ducks are rare. Well, they were quite rare in the middle of the winter, but they are not rare now.

I took a lot of photos of the Wood Duck pairs. I was thinking about the best way to show a lot of Wood Duck photos and decided I’d write a song and put the photos to music. The song is not very polished, but I had fun doing it. I hope you enjoy Wood Duck Daze and the all photos of the Wood Ducks.

 

Crane Dance

Sunset on the Sandias with cranes in the foreground from Southbend.

Just after sunrise one of the cranes made quite a show of dancing for another crane. There are 21 photos in the sequence with three intermissions. At the end of the post, I included an animated GIF that shows the crane dance in motion.

Quarter moon at sunset.

Daddy Owl slept through the show.

Landings

“How do you like my impersonation of a Crane?” Oh, Spunk! I think you look more like Chupacabra. “What do you know stupid Paparazzo?”

“We think Spunk looks a lot like a Crane.” Who asked you Daddy and Mama Owls?

Sandhill Cranes landing at sunset. Another colorful sunset. The sliver moon was just above the trees after sunset.

 

Frosty Morning

Frosted backlit leaves.

We had a light dusting of snow combined with frost this morning. The sky cleared in the early morning hours and the temperature dropped to 20ºF (-6.66ºC).

Cranes and geese in a frosty mist.

Frosted links.

Marina’s Incognito Pear tree all cold and frosty.

Snow and frost on the black bamboo.

 

My New Ax

Surprise! I’ll bet you thought my new Ax was going to be a new guitar? As you can see below it’s a real Ax for chopping down trees. Laurie asked me why I got a chopping ax instead of a splitting ax? It’s pretty simple: like a Lumberjack, I chop down trees.

My new ax is made by Husqvarna, and it’s a solid, heavy-duty ax.

Mama Owl and Daddy Owl are still hanging in the tree across the irrigation ditch from where they have nested for the past four years.

Like a Lumberjack, I felled two elm trees in a matter of minutes with my new ax.

Crane looking for a morsel before going to bed.

Remember Monty Python’s The Lumberjack Song?

Kittens, Cranes, Kitties, Crows

Gwendolyn  gargoyling

Glenda and Gwendolyn have full run of the house, catio, and deck now. Teagan had cast them as flying monkeys in a kitty fantasy, and she was right. The kittens are like a couple of flying monkeys. They have become very difficult to photograph because they won’t hold still if they are out of the dark kitten caves they have made for themselves in the laundry room. The big kitties have finally accepted the kittens and everyone is getting along reasonably well. The big kitties have become much more playful under the influence of the kittens. Of course, the big cats are also teaching the kittens many of their bad habits.

Cranes coming in for landing with crows in the background.

Marble

Gwendolyn

We’re just dropping in the see what condition all the conditions are in.

Spunk in the fuzzy hammock I replaced the last burlap hammock with.

The murder of Crows continues.

“You didn’t include me in the title?” Nope! You’re the intermission.

Cranes cavorting

Glenda in the dark.

Cranes at sunset

Gwendolyn: “What cream?”

Glenda

Gwendolyn: “La Llorona? What were you saying about La Llorona drowning kittens?” Children. She drowns children.

Glenda: “Kittens are children too!”

EEK!

“EEK! A mouse!” “Nice jump Dude!”

“That was close.”

“I’m not impressed.”

Intermission

“Did someone say ‘Mouse’?”

“Meh!”

“False Alarm!”

The excitement in the Rio Grande and bosque this evening. Cranes and owls. Spunk and Sasha had to comment.