Sunday, June 24, 2018

Rain and birds...

I haven't shared many flower photos, because it has been raining like crazy.  I think we have had about 7 inches of rain in the last nine days.  My husband took these photos for me to enjoy while I was in the hot desert sun.

 Ella loves sitting on the porch as much as I do.  She is very content with the door open, so she can keep track of what is going on inside and outside.  

The two yearling deer came in last night and ate these geraniums.  I can't say I'm overly happy with them.  They specifically went after my delphiniums and ate every leaf.  They also decapitated my sunflowers.  Let's just say they aren't on my favorite animal list right now.  I will remember them come hunting season.

 I'm adding a few more birds to my list.  The Wood Duck was photographed at the Spearfish Fish Hatchery.  The Black Billed Magpie was seen at Devil's Tower.
 These little buggers are called Gambel's Quail.  I am thrilled I was able to capture them as they sped down the road ditch in Nevada.  I am super excited with this addition to my birding list.

I am pretty positive the bird above is a Cassin's Finch. He was very elusive, but after lots of time spent at the Hoover Dam I finally managed to get a photo.   I am not certain if the bird below is a Chihuahuan Raven or Common Raven.  I think it is a Common Raven.

Charlotte thought I was nuts taking a photo of this pigeon.  When I explained about my blog and she saw the blog, she then started taking photos of birds for me.  It was a running joke between us for the rest of the trip. The fellow below is a Brewer's Blackbird.  They were all around the hotel pool.  I enjoyed watching them, but found them quite elusive when attempting to take photos.
This little fellow playing in the creek is a Song Sparrow.  There wasn't much going on here this week.  I held a Christmas Party for the people I work with at the cabin.  It was great.  The sun was even shining, despite the fact the weather forecast said more rain.  The clouds are back today, but it gave me a reason to putter around the cabin and get things put back together after a busy couple of weeks.  What have you had for excitement?

Sunday, June 17, 2018


I am thankful for many people in my life.  One of them is Christina, my friend from Denmark.  We became friends when she was a foreign exchange student and have remained good friends for 30 years.  She has come to visit me four times and my husband and I were her guests in Denmark.  This year she came out with her sister and we went on an adventure to Las Vegas.

We didn't just stay in Las Vegas we rented a car and went to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon.  We wanted to see everything we could while on our trip.  
 The Hoover Dam was on our agenda.  We almost crashed while driving over the dam.  We had seen the movie "Fools Rush In," so we made a wish and threw coins over the edge while crossing the dam.  Then we realized there was actually a walking path on the other side. We are very hopeful we didn't hit any tourists.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

 There is a running joke in my family about what cows are more content, South Dakota cows or Wyoming cows.  I am here to tell you Arizona cows are not content.  I have no idea what those poor creatures eat.  We never saw them eating, just trying to stay in the shade on a 117 degree day.
 The Grand Canyon was certainly Grand.  In many places you could not see to the bottom.   Pictures will never do it justice.  

 We also visited the Joshua Tree National Forest.  We were astounded at the harshness of the land around us.  The temperatures were well above 100 degrees and the only water source we saw was the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  It has to be a difficult place to live.  Luckily there was water at the hotel pool.

We enjoyed the trip to the desert and Las Vegas, but I was happy to be back in familiar territory when we returned to Deadwood. We traded in dry desert for lush forest.   I did make a promise to myself that I would never complain about how dry it is in the hills.   The average rainfall in Las Vegas is 4.17 inches a year.  According to Google our average rainfall is 28.4 a year.  I'll take that any day.  We still had several days of their visit left and it was my turn to play tour guide.   I took them down Spearfish Canyon and then to Devil's Tower.  In all of Christina's visits she had yet to see the tower.  It seems like there is always somewhere new to take guests when they visit.  The next two photos are from Spearfish Canyon and Devil's Tower needs no introduction.  It was the perfect day for a trip as it was a nice comfortable 85 degrees.

Mornings at our cabin were spent on the porch and we enjoyed an evening of pool.  We also toured Deadwood and on the way to the airport we squeezed in a trip to Mount Rushmore.  I don't have any photos of that because I was driving.  We saw it for a few minutes, before a rainy fog covered the faces from sight.  

I am forever grateful that fate sent Christina to our hometown when she came to America.  It has forged a friendship that has lasted years and extended to her family and mine.   It was a great visit and life is grand.  Do you have a friendship that has lasted a long time?

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Jackpot at the prairie pothole...

I had to make a quick trip to Pierre on business.   I took my camera along in hopes of having a moment to stop and catch a few photos.  The prairie potholes are full of ducks and other bird species.  I only got a chance to stop once, but it turned out to be a jackpot.

Northern Pintail
 Northern Shoveler
 Blue Winged Teal
 More of the handsome Northern Shovler
 Ringnecked Pheasant 
 A party at the prairie pothole.  Isn't that a pretty picture?  Everything is so green.
 Western Meadowlark
 I saw a Mourning Dove in Pierre and like a hundred of them on the drive there and back.
I didn't just spend the week driving around the countryside. My husband and I came up with a creative curtain rod and curtain for our bathroom.
 The ends are brass door knobs.  The rod and the knob below were part of a garden stake I had someone make years ago.  My husband drilled out the other door knob and positioned it so you could see the decorative top better.  The curtain is actually an old hammock.  It matched the walls wonderfully.  Once again something old is new again.
The primroses are blooming like crazy.
 A bumblebee on allium.

I have waited all winter for these precious days on the porch.  Life is perfect from the porch.  I was asked how many birds I have logged so far this year.  If you look at the top of my blog, under the main picture there is a folder called 2018 birding list.  That is where I am keeping a log of my Great Year.  I am currently up to 40 species.  I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather.