More Bewicks. 

I have shared my excitement throughout this entire Spring for our nesting Bewick’s wrens.  The same pair have nested in two different houses on the patio.  Their first brood was four babies.  A second brood fledged Thursday; three more!   The birdhouse is about 5 feet from where I sit while drinking my coffee each morning outside.   The little wren parents were used to me and would fly back and forth to feed the babies while I was sitting there.  So sweet. 

This is the second of the three that fledged.

Kite spotting.

While hiking at Pedernales Falls this week, I brought my camera along.  I wasn’t really birding, but I was keeping an eye out for them.  We saw a number of species of birds.  This one was a lifer for me – a mississippi kite.  I am really surprised this turned out, the bird was at least 200 feet away, way atop a dead, scraggly tree.  The sky was very overcast and the light was flat.   After severely cropping and adjusting the exposure, I like how this one turned out.  The kite is a cool looking bird.

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Happy trails.  

I went to Pedernales Falls State Park today to hike with a couple friends.  They had never been, so it was fun to show them the different sights and trails.  

We walked a bunch.  After six hours or so, my Fitbit had logged almost nine miles.  Whew!

Cuties.

We have birds nesting in a number of places in our yard.   You’ve already heard a lot about the Bewick’s Wrens.  A Carolina Wren also nested – in one of the aloe plants out back.   The babies are out of the nest today, and I got a picture of mom/dad feeding one of the fledglings.   I counted four babies at one point.  You can see another one on the left edge of the bench in this shot.  I hung the bark butter up again nearby and the parent bird is going to it every few minutes to feed the little ones.  Such cuties.  Their tails are so stubby right now, I don’t know how they get around.

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Class of 2017.

I attended one of the many University of Texas at Austin convocation ceremonies today.   The daughter of a college roommate of mine graduated.   Being on a university campus always feels a bit like home to me, no matter how brief my visit might be.

Seeing these young people graduate college and turn to take the next significant step in their lives makes me nostalgic.   I can recall the excitement of the prospect of having your entire future before you.   For me, that day was 30 years ago.   I feel older; but not old.  A little part of me wishes I could do it all again.  The rest of me is content to look back on a life that’s more than half way lived, enjoy the memories, and cherish the remainder.

Congratulations to the all the graduates of 2017!!!

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Deer blind.

While cooking lunch yesterday, Monte saw a doe and her fawn right outside the kitchen window.  Mom seemed to be standing guard while baby was walking around in the planting bed around the big red oak.

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After a few minutes mom slowly wandered out of view.   We couldn’t see baby either, but thought maybe mom had been putting the fawn in a safe place so she could go off to find food.   We have seen similar behavior before several years ago – I posted about that time here.   Apparently, a doe will leave a healthy fawn on its own in a safe place for up to as much as twelve hours, while they forage for food.

Turns out that is exactly what was going on.  I walked out front to see if I could spy the fawn, and sure enough, it had tucked itself in a deep hollow in the planting bed created by a new row of limestone Monte had placed there a few weeks back.  Safe and sound.

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It was a pretty good hiding place.  When driving by the house later that night, I could only see the tips of the fawn’s ears above the limestone.   At 1 AM, I walked outside to check, and, sure enough, baby was gone.  Mom came back as promised.

 

Red yucca blooms.

Pretty flowers.  I have four red yucca plants in the yard, each one seems to bloom every other year.   But luckily for me they are not all on the same schedule, so I’ve had at least one in bloom every year.  My next plant on the wish list for the yard is a white yucca.  Stay tuned.

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This little piggy went to market…

I can’t believe it has taken me so long, but today I visited Texas Farmers’ Market at Lakeline Mall this morning – open 9am to 1pm every Saturday.  They set up right in front of Dillard’s in the parking lot.  I really enjoyed it, and the beautiful day that came with it.  They have all sorts of fare:  veggies, cheese, meat, eggs, bread, sweets, olive oil, pasta, flowers, doggie treats, live music, sweet smelling pamper products, a little place to sit down and rest, and more.  I’ll be back.

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Hold still!

Scissor-tailed flycatcher, in motion.  They say the male’s tail is longer than the female’s, so I’m guessing this is a she.

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Taken at Commons Ford park.

Who’s watching who?

I really don’t have the intention of turning this photoblog into a birding blog, but since, for the time being, I’m spending lots of time looking for my feathered friends, bird moments are what you get.  🙂  But I will try to work some other subjects in.

I was watering plants out back this afternoon and heard some birds making a ruckus in one of the trees by the fence.  I walked over to find several birds squawking at a large shape sitting in the tree.  I’ve discovered hawks and crows in other similar situations, which quickly fly away after I walk under the tree.  I walked along the fence line to see if I could get a good look at what it was.  I saw our resident eastern screech-owl:

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He didn’t budge, other to turn his head from time to time.  I didn’t have my camera when I first saw him, so I walked back to the house to get it.  He was still sitting there when I got back.  I assume he has a nest he is guarding.  I’ve captured him on the infrared critter cam once or twice at night, but have never laid eyes on him before in person.   And he can say the same.

Colorful.

I was excited to see my first ever painted bunting this spring, and several others since then; all on different visits to Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park.   I haven’t captured a NatGeo-esque photo of one yet, but I was happy to get this one today, showing its beautiful colors on display.  If you would like to see your first one, too, check out the park.

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