Welcome Visitors

Wish they would stay……I know that if we had deer eating our beautiful garden, we would not appreciate seeing them so much….but WAIT> We don’t have a garden, our petite piggy  would polish that off as an appetizer, along with the goats…..so we welcome all the deer when we see them. It is pretty rare. After 15 years of living here, it is still a treat to see  deer. Just a few weeks ago, we started to see two near our pond. These two fawns are twins that live at our friend Judy’s ranch. Just the cutest….

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Lean On Me

Our niece, Anna asked me to do a painting of a Barn Owl for her room in her new house. I became inspired to grant her wish when I read Wesley The Owl by Stacey O”Brien. This is a book that I will always own and cherish. I gave my first copy to Annie and I will buy another to keep. It is that good. My husband Tom should really appreciate the fact that after reading about how heavenly, yet horrific it can be to raise an owl, I am not going to adopt one anytime soon. A friend just generously offered to allow me to help raise an orphaned Screech owl. Isn’t there enough screeching in this house already? Another well meaning friend has recently reminded me how much I would love an Alpaca. This is so tempting but after last week, I think I will wait til next year’s new crop. If an owlet appears on my doorstep, I think I might be in heaven, though. Just sayin’

Fly Away Home

For the last several years, I have visited the same friends in the Texas Hill Country and I still need directions. Even so, I will inevitably make a wrong turn at the last fork in the road. My favorite friend to visit is a four year old Vulture named Buffy who was orphaned and had to be hand fed and cared for until she learned to survive on her own. Even after she learned to fly and was able to soar with the other Vultures she never needed a map to find her way back to her birthplace. Our friend Bruce has a way with birds and has rescued and rehabilitated numerous species through the years. They remind me of dogs with feathers. As much as I have read about birds, especially birds of prey, I am still clueless as to how they are able to migrate. I can’t even drive to the north side of San Antonio without a map. If you call someone a birdbrain it is supposed to be an insult, but more and more I realize how fascinating and complex birds are. Two weeks ago, Buffy and another Vulture were brought here to our ranch to be released so that they would have a safe environment free of the dangers of highways and power lines. We kept them confined to the aviary for a week and then according to plan we released them hoping that they would stay within a mile or so. Not a chance…..Yesterday, my phone rang. I did not recognize the area code or number. “Buffy is here perched on my shoulder” The call was from Dave, a neighbor of Bruce’s. My little birdbrain had flown 100 miles.

I can see for miles and miles

There’s no place like home……

John Deer and Jane Doe

We have not seen any deer for awhile now. We really loved seeing them. After a ray of sunshine yesterday, it’s kind of a cloudy day today. This is a pencil sketch of a Whitetail Buck that I am working on……Thanks to Leicaman for photographing my art and for the pre- game appetizers

Have a great Super Bowl Sunday!

Last Night and the Night Before

I could not wait to get home Friday night. Tom and I had a cook out planned and we wanted to get started before sunset. I thought we might just walk down to the tank and sit on a blanket and eat a salad, but I should have known better. I saddled up Pony Boy and he was my couch for the evening, while the Gourmet Chef grilled bell peppers, zucchini, carrots and onions to compliment our jalapeño and cheddar cheese burgers. Pony Boy munched on hay and was content to hang out with us. We had a radio, but it was more fun to listen to the Cara Caras (Mexican eagles) and the Owls as it got later. Last night was even more fun and Tom had the whole day to plan our feast.We had corn on the cob, roasted on the fire, green beans on another grill, chicken and sausage on the 3rd one.

Spooky's first pony ride

Noche and Okie stayed home (their choice)and I was a little bit worried about bringing Spooky. I thought we might lose her when it got dark, but she stayed near us all night. She even went for a ride on Pony Boy. Sky was really good, too. She did a little exploring, but never wandered off to far.

Every day opens up new possibilities for fun that only could be realized by living out here with the solitude, open land and abundant wildlife. Just recently we have been excited to see several deer on our property for the first time ever. Last week, I started putting out corn so that they will appear on a predictable basis.There is a big buck and at least four doe in his harem. I can’t wait to see little Bambis in May. If I feed them enough, maybe they will hang out here more often and try some of Tom’s roasted corn on the cob! We took lots of photos that are posted here. Check out Just Saying to see some of the ranch recipes.

How To Lose A Pig In Ten Days

Starring Will Feral…….

 

mud,mud,mud....I love mud

mud,mud,mud....I love mud

The plan was for us to be pig sitting for a few days, but it took longer for our friend Eddie and his family to build a pen substantial enough to secure this guy. “Bacon” became very comfortable in the barn and he had it all to himself. I turned it into a piggy paradise, making sure that he had all his favorite treats and plenty of mud. Filling up his buckets of slop and cleaning out his wading pool became a work out I guess you could call Piglates. When it came time for him to go home, I put his food, water and toys in the trailer, but I think because it was obvious how much I loved hanging out with him, he figured I really didn’t want him to go. Eddie, his dad and I tried for hours on Saturday, with no luck. We discovered that if sufficiently poked and provoked, a domesticated pig can revert to a ferocious feral hog in a matter of minutes. Finally on Sunday, Tom was able to lure him into the trailer using a trail of waffles. These were the same waffles that I had tried, except that when I said go I really meant NO and when Tom said GO he really meant GO!!!!!

Mexican Eagles

We have lots of these birds around the ranch, but these two we call Chilly and Willy have been coming back for the last two years and raising their young in a nearby nest. We supplement their food supply in exchange for the pleasure of watching them soar and show off for us.

Not By The Hairs On My Chinny Chin Chin

 

pastel painting with pan pastels

pastel painting with pan pastels

We got the best liddle ponies on the planet…How cool is it to walk outside and see these monsters begging for a carrot or two. No halters needed to lead them, just grab a long lock of mane or maybe whiskers in his guys case. Whatever,  jumping on a pony bareback in the pasture rocks….

This is a pastel painting completed with these cool pan pastels…They have a gallery that has posted several of my pastel paintings, which is cool because I have no clue what in the heck I am doing but they sent me a ton of cool stuff…..maybe $200.00 worth of supplies just for letting them put up my paintings.  I am having a blast.

Ducks Unlimited

watercolor painting Mallards Flying

Hey Mom. Look at us! She must be so proud. Three boys and a girl! Mama duck does it all by herself. All we can do is paint their picture and laugh at them when they take their first few summersaults trying to land for the first time. We love it when they make their first full loop around the house. “Babies flying!” Tom says and our world comes to a halt as we sigh in awe of how thrilling it is to see our ducklings in formation for the first time, every time. It may be four, six , eight or more. Sure they are a target up there, or when they are swimming in the tank,  but aren’t we all. Faster, stronger, tougher. A duck’s gotta do what a duck gotta do.

The original watercolor painting is for sale. Please click on leicalady.etsy.com for pricing and shipping information. Thank-you!

Will Fly For Food

I forgot how wonderful our Canon 300 mm lens is, until I switched from the 70 to 210 zoom to take pictures of the Falcons that were showing off for us. They were the opening act before the fireworks display that we had later the night of the 4th of July. They knew that they would be rewarded with a treat left on the fence post…..