Turkey Trot

Tom and I went for a run yesterday morning and on our way back, we found some competition that encouraged us to sprint after them. New Year’s resolutions include not letting any turkeys lap us on our run. These gobblers had an advantage, as they they took a short cut and glided over the fence. I must admit, they looked beautiful. I had to shoot them with the Canon because it was the only gun we had….

Wait 'til next Thanksgiving......

It was a good thing that they were so far ahead. We had a turkey for a pet. Once. NEVER again……….they can be evil.

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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.

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!

Mallard Hen with Ducklings (painting progress)

These ducklings left the nest long before I finished the painting. Is it finished? I’m not sure. I may add another twig or feather. As long as it stays on my easel I can continue to enjoy the painting  process and admire the look in the mother hen’s eye while her babies are still safe and snug by her side. I have a painting in mind of their first flight. It just gets better. I know how you feel proud mama!

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…..

Frequent Flyers

Our 4th Of July included a return visit from two Crested Cara Caras. Often they are waiting on the fence post for us to bring them a treat. We talked about our habit of feeding these raptors to our friend John Karger. John founded a refuge for injured or orphaned Birds Of Prey which includes eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures and owls. The veterinarian care and rehabilitation that they receive enables 65 to 80% of the birds that are taken in to be released back into their natural habitat. John stated that as long as we did not make a daily habit of feeding these falcons, they would not become dependent on us for their total diet. As a Veterinarian Technician and Falconer, John has provided education and awareness of these raptors through the Last Chance Forever Sanctuary since 1978. During on of our visits with John we learned that the Crested Cara Cara eat primarily carrion along side vultures, but will also hunt birds and rodents. “I give them 30 seconds before they come” Tom said yesterday when our friends were gathered around for the air show.  “Chilly and Willy” as we have come to call them were nowhere  in sight at this point, but it was less than a minute before they appeared to entertain us. Known as the National Bird of Mexico or the Mexican Eagle, our amigos were more than willing join in our Independence Day celebration.