The baby goat brothers are less than a month old. It's so fun watching them grow. The photos here show the boys climbing and up and down all over their very patient mom. What a precious sight this was! They are so full of life. I don't want them to be sold at auction for meat when they get four months old. I hope I can find someone who will take them as pets. They're very sweet and cuddly.
I still haven't gotten any shots that I call hitting the sweet part of the bat, but I'm having fun. Baby goats are a cross between a puppy dog and a colt mixed with goat. They are so sweet and their fur is soft. They're cuddly to hug and fun to watch. The definition of frolic should have photos of baby goats.
The twins are boys and after they're weaned at around 4 months, the plan is to sell them at auction for meat. They'll bring $40 or $50. I hope to find someone who would like to have them as pets or pack goats.
Sure would love to have a better telephoto lens, but slowly I'm learning to get better clarity on the action images. I've learned exactly what hawks do right before they take off. I love learning stuff like that.
On My Finger
'WAITNG FOR SPRING'
In 2011 I wrote this: "The more I learn about bees, the more I want to know. My first "bee" blog was on February 19, 2011. I'd discovered a beehive with honey bees - the one pictured below. I am reminded of the famous quote by Lao-Tzu where a thousand miles begins with a single step. My bee journey began with a single bee -- quite literally. I was photographing one bee in February and as I followed the bee around, I looked up at one point and realized she had taken me to her beehive. Since that day, I've been visiting the hive often -- sometimes daily -- weather permitting. It's been my very own live nature show. I am in love with, and in awe of, these stunning creatures!"
"While many people only hear the trademark “honk” when geese make noise, there is evidence that Canada geese can communicate with different sounds. Scientists believe that there are as many as 13 different Canada goose calls for things like greetings, warnings and contentment.
Canada geese may be one of the most talkative animals after humans. Goslings, or baby geese, begin communicating with their parents while still in the egg! Once hatched, there is also evidence that they respond differently to different calls and noises from their parents, indicating a sophisticated level of communication." Read more
An excerpt from my BEE INSPIRED book:
"Bees have brought a savory sweetness into my life, just as surely as they bring sweetness to the table with their honey. They have been the light on my darker days. When I need to regenerate my weary soul, I head to where I know the bees are busy. I have my favorite spots where I bathe in their energy. I know how strange this sounds to non-bee people. How I would love to open their eyes and hearts to this simple joy and wonder of nature. I try capturing a little bit of their magic through my camera lens, but like all the best things in life, nothing compares to experiencing it in person. My hope with this book is that, as you flip through these pages, you will be inspired to get more familiar with these lovely creatures, and will also choose to learn about the plight of bees around the world as they face an uncertain future, right along with our own."
So why does a woodpecker peck wood?
Answer: The woodpecker pecks, or beats its strong bill, into tree trunks or limbs for several reasons. First, this rapid drumming is used as a mating call. Second, the pecking creates a hole for a nest, with the wood chips it leaves forming a cushion for the woodpecker’s eggs. But most of the woodpecker’s pecking is done in search of food. Once the hole is made, the woodpecker’s long tongue shoots into the hole and spears insects on a barb at the tip of its tongue. A sticky saliva on the tongue also helps trap the food. source
I captured these photos this afternoon. At one point, I had two birds and one butterfly on my hand at the same time. But I couldn't take a photo because I had to protect the butterfly! The birds are used to me giving them nuts (pecans today) and while they were waiting for their usual treat, the birds were eyeing my butterfly pal. I verbally told the birds a firm "no!" and shielded the butterfly with my fingers at times. (This is a re-post from 2011)
The birds seemed to know that "no!" wasn't good because they would step up my arm, away from the butterfly, and I've never seen them do that!
This butterfly (above and the one I'm handling) is a Pontia protodice or also called the Checkered White and Southern Cabbage Butterfly. The one shown above is female.
This was when I first discovered the tongue on a butterfly! It was fascinating!
On my way back from my outdoor photo shoot with the baby goats late this afternoon, I snapped a few pics of this hawk. On any given day, in less than 15 minutes, I can spot a half dozen hawks or more as I drive in any direction.
I posted the photos of the hawk grooming herself (below) on my other website back in August of 2013 when I was building my tiny cabin in the mountains, but since this post is about hawks, I thought I'd re-post here.
It was early; the sun had not yet landed on my solar panels, and just as I sat down with a cup of coffee this morning -- and I mean JUST sat down -- I looked out my picture window and caught this young Cooper's Hawk landing in a tree in what you could call my 'front' yard.
At first, the hawk was hunting. I took some unremarkable portrait shots, but eventually the hawk stopped surveying the land for breakfast and turned attention to her self.
She knew I was there. After I felt like she wouldn't fly off from being spooked, I whistled and made bird sounds to try to communicate. My dog was intently watching (it's the same tree a baby squirrel entertains him most mornings), and my cat was circling my feet, yet the hawk by this time was so comfortable; enough so to preen like this. To witness live nature shows is one of the best parts of living so close to the earth. It's never ho hum and I never tire of the wonder and beauty of life.
I took the photos below in 2011.
"Our lives end the day we become silent over the things that matter."
After playing with the baby goats a second time today, the chickens were out enjoying the unusually warm and sunny weather. It was late afternoon where the light can dazzle, shine and reflect like no other time of day.
Whenever I see chickens I think about the brutal conditions in commercial chicken farms and can visualize that conveyor belt full of baby chicks where inspectors are callously plucking them off and dumping them into the trash like they're objects instead of living creatures. After I posted this blog I came across the undercover investigation at Hy-Line Hathery that shows you the gruesome reality of the commercial egg industry. I saw it years ago, and can't watch more than a few seconds again. Some of images are burned into my memory. If you eat commercial eggs, the right thing to do is know the truth behind how they get to the grocery store. I implore you to watch this:
According to a new study called The Intelligent Hen sponsored by the Happy Egg Company, chickens may be brighter than young children in numeracy and basic skills. The study was co- authored by Christine Nicol, professor of animal welfare at Bristol University, and Robbie L’Anson-Price. Robbie's background is in zoology and conservation with special interest in animal behavior.
Writer Radhika Sanghani explains more about the study in a June 2013 article. "Hens are capable of mathematical reasoning and logic, including numeracy, self-control and even basic structural engineering, following research. Traits such as these are normally only shown in children above the age of four, but the domesticated birds have an ability to empathize, a sophisticated theory of mind and plan ahead."
"The domesticated chicken is something of a phenomenon," Nicols told The Times: "Studies over the past 20 years have revealed their finely honed sensory capacities, their ability to think, draw inferences, apply logic and plan ahead." Nicol explains the animal is capable of distinguishing numbers up to five and is familiar with transitive inference - the idea in logic that, if A is greater than B, and B is greater than C, then A is greater than C." FULL ARTICLE
In a good review of this study, counter points are made in an article called How the Intelligent Hen Study Fails Chickens written by Robert Grillo, posted in http://freefromharm.org/.
"There’s a lot of buzz in the animal protection movement about a new chicken intelligence study that, once again, maintains that chickens are even more intelligent than we once thought. Not surprising, of course, considering the absolutely abysmal and distorted perception our society perpetuates about chickens today. And yet the attitude of surprise that surrounds such studies and the reaction to them reveals a very powerful cultural distortion in itself — that chickens are essentially stupid.
Overall most animal protection advocates view the findings of this or any other study that elevates our understanding of chickens as a hopeful sign that attitudes about these birds are finally changing for the better which must eventually translate into better treatment. So what’s the problem here?
For one thing, consider the fact that the Happy Egg Co., which was the subject of a major VIVA undercover animal cruelty investigation, sponsored the University of Bristol Intelligent Hen Study (a very official-sounding title) to “inform range and enrichment design on its farms.” To me this strongly suggests that the overall intention of the study is narrowly focused on how to improve the welfare of hens already bred to produce eggs on commercial farms. Yet, by studying them under the very conditions that inhibit their ability to express their true nature, the study is flawed by its very design and completely ignores how the commodification of chickens sabotages any serious attempt to understand their intelligence."
"Christine Nicol, said the findings point to “the importance of providing these amazing creatures with the environment that enables them to live out their natural instincts.” However, if this statement has any meaning whatsoever, it most certainly means that raising chickens for commercial purposes — a purpose that has nothing to do with expressing their natural inclinations — is in direct conflict with an “environment that enables them to live out their natural instincts” since even so-called humane farms systematically deny them all or most of the conditions under which they could perform their natural behavior." READ FULL COUNTER ARTICLE
How I miss color! Below is a baby deer from last summer. I have a series of shots of this lovely fawn and her mother. Everything feels so vibrant compared to the dormancy of winter. I'm finding myself somewhat bored with what's available to photograph. The light has been so dull.
Day 4 & 5
I thought one of the twin babies was gone. I assumed he/she didn't make it, but after talking to the owner, I discovered one of the babies is very clever at getting out of the pen and hiding in different places. I'm so relieved! Tomorrow they'll be outside all day and I can spend some time with them.
The stall inside is small and I have no good way to get an appealing view to shoot some pics, but what I did get was to pet this little guy. Mom trusts me and the baby was looking to mom for direction with me. The little trot and bounce the baby had was precious, and then there was the kicking the heels up as she/he circled mom that was a real smile maker.