Sunday, May 15, 2016

Meanwhile, back on the farm...

While the weather does its yo-yo into spring thing with alternating nice days and some not so nice days, nature in general moves on. Yesterday we had snow flurries several times, but by next weekend we may hit 70F. You never get totally used to it. The shipping season is in full swing with freight, iron ore, and grain moving throughout the area.
The building season is getting started in earnest now that the spring weight restrictions are coming off the roads and things are getting very busy at work. We still have a moment of silliness now and then when one of our builders brought his daughters by after school. This one wanted to sit with Pinky so who are we to say no when she asked so nicely.
Gravity does funny things to his feet.

With the constantly changing weather we sometimes get fog. Being 600 feet above the lake we sometimes get to see the line between conditions. Sometimes it is a weather front or just an atmospheric thermocline, but from here we get different perspectives.  This time it was warmer air over the cooler lake.

Sometimes we can see the lake "breathe".

The birds are nesting and fighting for territory. Today there were a bunch of blue jays making a lot of noise, when suddenly there was a commotion and change in the noise. A Cooper's Hawk had swooped down on their party and got one. Here it is mantling at the edge of the yard. You can see blue jay wings protruding out from under it.
A bit gruesome, perhaps, but the hawk has a family to feed, also. It is just that we see a bit of raw nature being this far from civilization and at the edge of the boreal forest.

With the grass starting to grow everything that grazes is interested in grazing and getting along. Deer carry diseases and parasites that very adversely effect the moose population. So far there doesn't seem to be any harm being done to the horses. Maybe they are developing a cross species friendship.
Let's graze together and be friends seems to be the theme lately. It's okay with me.


  1. You live in a little slice of heaven there Jono. Great shot of the hawk and the bluejay.

    On occasion we also experience a bit of nature in these parts. A prairie falcon has been hanging around our yard watching the bird feeder, hoping for some dinner. A couple of years ago another prairie falcon dismembered a sparrow on our back porch, left only the feet, a beak, and a pile of feathers.

  2. If only the two-legged creatures (people) could get along with each other like the four-legged ones...

    Gorgeous photos, Jono.

  3. How I love your photos.

    Simply sublime. Nature is at least neither cruel or wasteful as a rule. Not something our species can claim.

  4. Nice to see the hawk grazing on the jay. Such a change from the usual ferocious, blood-spattered predation of moose and deer on the grass.

  5. Those fog photos are beautiful. I enjoyed all of these shots, except maybe the hawk one, but that is nature and that is life and it was a quick death for the jay. As EC said very well, nature's creatures - aside from man - do not exhibit cruelty or take more than they need. Although that hawk IS looking at you with interest.

  6. Let's graze together and be friends! I love it. And yes, that hawk and bluejay scuffle was a little gruesome. :( Circle of life sucks sometimes.

  7. I didn't know deer were so germy, but it's nice to see a deer getting along with the horses.

  8. Agi T., Raptors of all kinds are quite efficient hunters and rarely waste anything.

    Sioux, Yes, we are not the most civilized creature on the planet, are we?

    EC, It is real life here and my photos are inspired by yours.

    anne marie, Well most of the time it is.

    Bill, Going over to that spot later you would never know anything happened.

    jenny_o, Thanks! I will get some more opportunities with fog. The hawk is not easily intimidated, but fortunately I am much larger.

    JACKIESUE, Yeah, but I like your bluebonnets,too.

    Vapid Vixen, Sometimes critters get along and sometimes they eat each other. As Frank Sinatra once sang, "That's Life."

    Debra, Indeed!

    Ahab, They're good if you clean and cook them properly, but they have been managed into nuisance status according to me.

  9. Love the fog pictures. Fifty Shades of Blue!

  10. That little girl is a cutie. Pinky, not so much. You make me want to go grazing, Jono.

  11. Nice to see some green grass at last isn't it.... and we had snow and ice pellets on Sunday! YUK> Great pic of the hawk catching his dinner. There's a red tailed hawk who often sits on my fence and surveys the ground for breakfast morsels. I've never seen him catch anything but have seen the tell-tale feathers left on the grass.

  12. Nice photos. I like your grazing motto; but I must admit, around here deer are viewed as nothing but big garden-chomping, disease-carrying, road-hogging rats.

  13. Nice to see spring arriving there! I was peering at the background of your photos - are there still no leaves on the trees? We've had such a freakishly warm spring that everything is green and in full leaf here. Now we're keeping our fingers crossed for the rain that they're promising this week! We've had a total of 1/2" of precipitation since January - need... rain... *choke*

  14. Pixel Peeper, I should try and take more advantage of those foggy days.

    Robyn, Chilling with some friends and food is always a good time.

    Shammickite, The slow green up does test my patience. Our last frost date is about June 13th.

    Tom, Some years the carnage along the highway is disheartening and protecting the garden is challenging to say the least. I think they cause about 8 million in automobile damage just in Minnesota. There are always recipes in the Field Guide to Flattened Fauna when in doubt.

    Diane, The leaves are just barely starting to unfurl. Maybe in another week or so. You are so dry up there and the smoke from the Fort McMurray has gone mostly south of us but is very widespread. Be careful and stay ready to run.

  15. Oh my gosh I love those photos of the lake breathing...amazing.

  16. Came back last week from four days in Tampa, Florida.
    That weather yoyo thing? It's alive and well in Pennsylvania. Florida? Yeah, not so much.

  17. "Let's all graze together and be friends."
    I wish Americans would do that right now. I have never seen such divisiveness. Can't wait till this election is over.
    I don't know how I got off the subject of nature and your gorgeous photos. That's what politics does to me. *sigh*

  18. Raw nature may be gruesome, but it's interesting to watch. Sometimes it even trickles into suburbia. The hawk that's in love with me (long story) and likes to hang out with me on the balcony while I drink beer sometimes stops by to regurgitate tiny animal parts as a way of showing his affection (even longer story).

    Nature is awesome.

  19. OE, Thanks!

    Al P., I grew up (allegedly) in Delaware, so I have seen strange things. Oh, yes.

    Dawn, The election is never over anymore. They have one and start immediately campaigning for the next one. No wonder nothing gets done. Going outside is my sanctuary away from that reality.

    ABFTS, Nature does what it must. Some time ago I collected owl pellets (regurgitated fur and bones) to determine what (who)exactly they ate. The lower jaw will tell you what you want to know. Cool that the hawk would hang out with you. Maybe it's your animal magnetism.

  20. Love the fog pictures.
    The fastest hawk and the slowest blue jay - the fastest lion and the slowest gazelle. Something dies that something may live. Yet species co-exist better than humans.