cairistiona: (happy seb)
I just swept part of the kitchen. And with the dust bunny came a tree frog. A TREE FROG. IN MY KITCHEN. WIGGLING IN MY HAND WHEN I PICKED UP THE DUST BUNNY.

One does not expect to pick up a wiggling tiny frog when one picks up a dust bunny made of shed cat hair.

One might or might not let out a little yelp.

Okay, I let out a yelp. Not a scream, just a startled, yelpish, "What the... wait what... THAT'S A FROG."

Because what even.

*sigh*

It didn't look good but was still alive, so I untangled its poor little back feet and then put it outside under some wet leaves because it really looked dehydrated. Lord only knows how long it's been in the kitchen. I only sweep about once every 3-4 days. I hope it lives. I do like little frogs, but I prefer them outside rather than, you know, in my kitchen.

So this latest is in addition to the speckled king snake who has taken up residence in the garage--discovered him when I went out to the car and nearly stepped on him. But he can stay. They're not poisonous and they eat rodents. You're winning at life if a king snake decides to grace your garage. (And king snakes are hilarious because they rattle their tail at you like they're some big, bad rattlesnake. Um, no, little guy. You are not a rattlesnake but A for effort. Here's your Oscar.)

And of course there was the aforementioned hapless turtle who died, although I've seen another one since so we're not devoid of turtles outside. Now if one of those gets in the house...!!!

Just another Monday in the little house in the little woods where apparently the wildlife is now scoffing at my puny walls and doors and waltzing right on in.
cairistiona: (Bucky fire)
I've had a couple requests for a synopsis after I go see Captain America: Civil War Sunday, so I'm thinking about creating a custom filter for that, just to ensure only those who want to read it do and no one else is accidentally spoiled (even though I'd put it under a cut). If you want to be included in that filter, let me know so I can add you.

Now for pics!

Read more... )


Let me know in the comments if you want in on the Captain America list.
cairistiona: (CW Bucky)

After watching a little more carefully yesterday and today, and doing a bit more research, I figured out that a) the hawk is definitely a male in nest-building/mate-hunting mode and b) he has a tree a little farther up the hill where he spends a lot of time roosting and making a "chuk-chuk-chuk" sort of call, which I believe is his way of saying, "Hey, ladies, come check out me and my house!!"

And lo and behold this morning when I was out early-early with Domino: a lady had indeed come to check things out! He was chuk-chuking and she was chirrup-chooping and he was bowing and fluffing and she was... acting like she wasn't interested. :/ Figures. But I'm pretty sure it was all an act on her part, playing hard to get and all. I have fingers crossed the nest will soon be fully occupied. *g* (And she's much bigger than he is, which is typical for raptors.)

I had to giggle as I walked out the door this morning... the woods were noisy. Good lord. While you want to wax poetic about the beautiful sounds of nature, in reality it's all just a lot of really, really horny birds and frogs wanting to bang each other silly. *g*

There, how's that for shattering all your illusions about nature? I live to serve, people. I live to serve.

cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
Sometimes you glance out the window at just the right time, and on a really lucky day you'll actually have the camera handy. This was a really lucky day.

Read more... )
cairistiona: (Santa Aragorn)
Random stuff I took pics of in the last week or so.

Read more... )
cairistiona: (Halloween)
... and all the spectacular foliage is finished, but sometimes you can find subtle beauty on the forest floor. Snapped this morning while waiting on Domino to do his business!

Beauty is often very subtle in the woods this time of year. #Autumn  #nature #Ozarks #mushrooms #lichen #forestfloor
cairistiona: (Happy Aragorn)
Being bored last night, I decided to open the weather radar app on my phone last night, as one does. (What, you mean you don't?)

I don't live in El Paso, but I was virtual-traversing the southwest US, checking on the remains of Hurricane Odile, and happened across this radar signature from an area of Mexico just S/SW of El Paso (the National Weather Service doesn't of course have radar sites in Mexico, but the El Paso office one extends a little ways into that country. Radar is no respecter of borders and border patrols, what can I say).

It was so unusual that I decided to do some screen shots of it and made a rather rough .gif (apologies for the herky-jerky quality. This is the first attempt I've done at .gif making!) And putting it under a cut so the blinky doesn't drive y'all nuts on your flist page.Read more... )

So... any guesses on what may have caused this? The answer is under the cut.

Read more... )
cairistiona: (nom nom nom)
I sauteed the morel mushroom just now. Actually ended up a sort of cross between saute and frying, but whatever the mixed method... it was sublimely, wonderfully delicious. Everything I've ever heard about how wonderful morels are is absolutely true. My dad loved his half and then ordered me to go out in the woods to find more! I think I might do that this morning, though I already checked the place where I found this one, and nada. But maybe there some elsewhere. *fingers crossed*

 photo IMAG3128_zpsb6e6896f-1.jpg

I'm amazed my woods aren't swarming with hobbits....
cairistiona: (mist)
[livejournal.com profile] bluegerl and I have been discussing fireflies and I found this lovely video...



I live quite a ways south of Nebraska but this is also pretty typical of the fireflies (or lightning bugs, as they're usually called here) flashing on a warm and muggy summer evening.

And if that isn't peaceful enough... this is pretty much what it sounds like in my woods at night right now:



Play them both at once (turn the sound down a little on the University of Nebraska one) and you have the sounds of a peaceful spring and summer evening.

Ahhhh.

Ah choo!

Mar. 21st, 2014 08:33 am
cairistiona: (mist)
While I was driving my daughter to school this morning, I drove past a corner of our property I can't see from the house, and to my dismay and alarm, I saw a puff of smoke coming out from the trees. I slowed down to look, but the smoke dissipated and there were no flames anywhere that I could see. I dropped off my daughter, drove back, and still saw no more smoke nor flames, so I wondered if it was perhaps pollen that I saw. I remember being in the Rockies during pine pollen season and seeing green clouds of pollen wafting on the wind, so I thought maybe this was juniper/cedar pollen. So I googled, because Google Knows All, and discovered that yes, cedar or juniper (same tree, different names) puff out clouds of grey pollen that look exactly like smoke:



That video, taken in east Texas, is far more dramatic than my little puff of "smoke", but you can see how, if you didn't know that was pollen, you might be calling the fire department (and that makes me wonder how many calls the fire department gets from people who don't realize that's pollen and not smoke!). I also wonder how many times I've looked out at our hills, which look pretty much like these in the video, and thought I was seeing mist rising when it was actually pollen.

Nature be crazy!
cairistiona: (nom nom nom)
Went outside the other day and found Ms. Happy trundling along the driveway with a piece of bark in her mouth.  I followed her into the trees and she kept on going, proudly holding it up like it was the Best Thing Ever. There are bits and bobs of tree bark and branches everywhere on our property, so I wonder what it was that was Speshul about this particular piece!

Photobucket

There's no fathoming the mind of a turtle...
cairistiona: (nom nom nom)
Went outside the other day and found Ms. Happy trundling along the driveway with a piece of bark in her mouth.  I followed her into the trees and she kept on going, proudly holding it up like it was the Best Thing Ever. There are bits and bobs of tree bark and branches everywhere on our property, so I wonder what it was that was Speshul about this particular piece!

Photobucket

There's no fathoming the mind of a turtle...
cairistiona: (Default)
After several days flying out to branches and often spending the entire night on the branch, the two oldest eaglets have fledged!   This doesn't mean they've left the nest for good, but it means they've flown away from the tree into the "wild blue"... or at least around in the sky above the tree and the farm and the hatchery.  I believe they'll actually stay around the nest for up to a year as Mom & Dad teach them how to hunt.
D13 takes off, and other photos and news from RRP... )
cairistiona: (Default)
After several days flying out to branches and often spending the entire night on the branch, the two oldest eaglets have fledged!   This doesn't mean they've left the nest for good, but it means they've flown away from the tree into the "wild blue"... or at least around in the sky above the tree and the farm and the hatchery.  I believe they'll actually stay around the nest for up to a year as Mom & Dad teach them how to hunt.
D13 takes off, and other photos and news from RRP... )
cairistiona: (Default)
Look what I found this morning when I pulled up the webcam!  D12, the oldest of the 3 chicks, has branched!  It's a bit of an optical illusion because of the camera angle, but that branch is about 5 feet below the nest and he's probably about 6 feet away from the nest (he's about 3 feet tall so I'm guesstimating), so branching isn't just a stroll out there for the eaglets.  They have to polish their flying and landing skills and make sure they're strong enough flyers to fly up and back to the nest.  Apparently D12 felt ready and so now she sits, lording it over her two siblings who are still wingercizing and hovering over the nest. *g* 

Photobucket

Here's an explanation of the learning-to-fly process from the Decorah Eagles website FAQ:

"When will they fly?
Learning to fly is a process. They are currently wingercizing. This entails flapping their wings and hopping. Late in the wingercizing phase, a gust of wind will lift them accidentally, and they will hover over the nest because their muscles are strong enough to hold their wings in the correct position and their flight feathers are long enough to sustain the lift.
Branching comes after that. Branching is defined as a small hop and lift onto the closest branch. Unless there is a panner present at the time, we will not see this first very small journey away from the nest to the branch.
Fledge or first self-propelled flight away from and back to the nest tree comes last.
The whole process last 10-13 weeks."

cairistiona: (Default)
Look what I found this morning when I pulled up the webcam!  D12, the oldest of the 3 chicks, has branched!  It's a bit of an optical illusion because of the camera angle, but that branch is about 5 feet below the nest and he's probably about 6 feet away from the nest (he's about 3 feet tall so I'm guesstimating), so branching isn't just a stroll out there for the eaglets.  They have to polish their flying and landing skills and make sure they're strong enough flyers to fly up and back to the nest.  Apparently D12 felt ready and so now she sits, lording it over her two siblings who are still wingercizing and hovering over the nest. *g* 

Photobucket

Here's an explanation of the learning-to-fly process from the Decorah Eagles website FAQ:

"When will they fly?
Learning to fly is a process. They are currently wingercizing. This entails flapping their wings and hopping. Late in the wingercizing phase, a gust of wind will lift them accidentally, and they will hover over the nest because their muscles are strong enough to hold their wings in the correct position and their flight feathers are long enough to sustain the lift.
Branching comes after that. Branching is defined as a small hop and lift onto the closest branch. Unless there is a panner present at the time, we will not see this first very small journey away from the nest to the branch.
Fledge or first self-propelled flight away from and back to the nest tree comes last.
The whole process last 10-13 weeks."

cairistiona: (Default)
Managed to get a quick couple shots of the two little ones this morning.  It's harder to do... the Mom tends to stay on top of them most of the time.  But here's Fuzzball 1 and Fuzzball 2, for lack of any other names at the moment:

Photobucket

And feeding time. Pretty sure this is Michelle, the mom:

Photobucket
cairistiona: (Default)
Managed to get a quick couple shots of the two little ones this morning.  It's harder to do... the Mom tends to stay on top of them most of the time.  But here's Fuzzball 1 and Fuzzball 2, for lack of any other names at the moment:

Photobucket

And feeding time. Pretty sure this is Michelle, the mom:

Photobucket

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