Monday, February 28, 2011

Itchy Trigger Finger...on the Camera

This happens every time. I love the baby rabbits, and take too many pictures. I always think, this litter is the cutest, the most advanced etc, etc , of any of our litters we have ever had!

Today the first brave bunny left the nest box. Brave Bunny was trying to figure out how to get back into the nest box, so I gave him/her a hand.

Right around this time in their development they need a lot of food and will begin trying to eat solid food. So I figured Brave Bunny was probably Hungry Bunny. He had seen mom out there and thought, hey....I think I need a snack. So I gave them a little bit of timothy hay.

The little sibling in the back was focused on grooming it's two siblings . The two in front got a hold of the same stalk of hay, one on each end, and chewed it down until there little noses touched. I took this picture just before the bunny on the left let go.

These guys are the cutest and smartes bunnies we have ever had....

I know. I know!

You had me at Junk Drawer.

I am starting a new class this evening. Mixed Media. The little blurb in the class catalog said "... each project will be a personal work of art...incorporating such things as junk drawer items,." .... Wait. What!?!?

Junk drawer items I have in spades. Most of this stuff I need. Those round white plastic things that come in pizza boxes,they look sort of like three legged tables, they work great for holding oasis in place for flower arrangements. The syringes are for bunny doctoring. I do have junk room items.

This would be my junk closet...the blurb says 6 projects...I think I have enough stuff to keep me going for six years. It kind of piles up you know? Ex Girl Scout leader (10 years), ex 4-H crafts, sewing and scrapbook leader (6 years)... ...Hummm.... Maybe I can do this kind of art and clean out the closet too, question is, where do I put that many "personal works of art"? New mantra...If it fits, it ships.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Frosty Sunday Morning In Southern California.

Woke up to clear skies and 30 degrees here in southern California

Frost on the grass,

Hungry little birds in the feeder,

 and Hank glued to the window watching them.

Of course my Road Warrior, Lycra Man, had to go out on his 60 mile ride this a.m. That's ok, his rides keep him sane, like my walks in the park keep me sane. Oh, he prefers MAMIL pronounced, mammal, it stands for Middle aged Men in Lycra...but I like Lycra Man better, has more of a super hero ring to it. Anyone who can get on a bike in 100 degree - 30 degree weather and ride 60 miles, most of it up hill, is a super hero in my opinion, but I might be biased.

The baby bunnies are doing great! They are "popcorning." In rabbit raising lingo that means they are learning how to hop. They pretty much jump straight up in the air. Just little jumps because they are building muscle. They tried to eat some hay this morning.   

Hank tore himself away from the window long enough to have some kitty salad. He says the white tulip salad he had two weeks ago was better. Dude, that wasn't  salad , that was a flower arrangement!

Hank wants to know if there is anything I wont photograph in his life....yes kitty, your glitter box, as the girls called it when they were little, that is off limits.

He says, thanks.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Storm #2 on it's way

Cat Walk.

We had a big rain storm move through our area last night and are due for more rain off and on today. This morning was bright and sunny so I decided to go for my morning walk before the new storm arrived.

I must have a million shots of these guys, the Drakes...I love the sun on their green heads. I love this huge old Oak tree.

After a rain, I like to take the dirt trails through the park.  I get muddy, but some times I find the best animal tracks. Once I found the tracks a Red Shouldered Hawk left as she had swooped down on her prey. I saw her hunting in this area yesterday, so I thought maybe I could find her tracks again. But Red Shouldered Hawk tracks. I did find,

Raven Tracks

Worm Tracks

And then a set of tracks that stopped me in MY tracks.

Bob Cat Tracks. Four toes, no claws, scalloped pad, hind foot print stepping on, or close to, the forefoot print.

I followed the tracks through the park about a quarter of a mile, until the cat must have decided to go back down into the creek bed. I was pretty excited! This is why I got rid of my treadmill. I need to be O-U-T-S-I-D-E it helps me keep a grip on what little sanity I have!

Friday, February 25, 2011

My debut as a "documentary voice over personality"...Not. Presenting, Mini Rex babies.

These little guys are 2 weeks old. They were born without fur, blind and deaf. When they were about a week old their eyes opened. This week their ears opened and they can hear. Pretty scary for the little guys. Probably next week they will be strong enough and brave enough to come out of the nest box.

Oh what a difference a day the little guys are again, one day can hear the other critters behind me rattling their cages, they are like...stop with the baby photos and bring my breakfast!!!! I hope these little guys don't get too brave. We are supposed to be getting "the coldest storm in decades" if they should fall out of the nest box they could freeze.

So you can get a feel for how much these bunnies have grown in two weeks,

One day old

Two weeks old

and still growing!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Meet the rabbits in the rabbitry...

Here are two of our "oldest" rabbits. They were the first litter in Kathy's breeding project for 4-H...this was back before she switched to Mini Rex..these bunnies are Mini lop. They are 4 years old, brother and sister, please meet....

Opi wan conejo
These two were never really show rabbits, however Opi, when he was under 6 months old, did win a best of breed.  As I said these were the beginning steps in Kathy's breeding project, something to build on.

So not show animals...but certainly Mister and Miss congeniality. These two keep us laughing!

It is really hard to get a picture of Hermione's face. If  her cage door is open, she assumes the "pet me" position.

This is Hermione's house. While she is waiting for me to bring her breakfast she runs in the round window and out the door and back into the round window over and over. You can see her hind end in the fore ground here, still in the "pet me" position....

Opi...if I give the other rabbits, especially other bucks, too much attention, he gets mad and thumps his hind foot. Thumping is rabbit talk for I am scared. I am mad, look at me. Humans have to decide which one it is....
With Opi, if he then turns his back, it means I am mad...

If I go to his cage when he is thumping and find this...
Opi with his pine cone in his mouth, that means look at me!!!!

Anyone who has animals will know , they all have personalities. Rabbits are no different. We have some that are reserved. some are out going and some in between. some are picky eaters, only eat certain parts of the hay or don't like oats added to their feed. Sometimes the feed store will be out of our brand of feed so I have to buy something different to tied them over, I have critters that will not eat the new food, will try to pick through it looking for a small grain of the old feed they are hoping is way down there in the bottom of their bowls...

I love these guys...I hope you enjoy them too. I will introduce you to more bunnies...Kathy's baby Mini Rex will be coming out of the nest box prepared for cute baby bunnie pictures!!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Just Want to fly.

When we lived in Houston we went to watch The Blue Angels at the Houston air Show. They were amazing! I thought to my self, I would love to be able to do that.

This was a surprising thought, as I am afraid of heights. I hate to fly....It's not do to the, take your shoes off pat down routine. I just can't get over the fact that I am in this huge aluminum can and NOTHING is holding us up in the sky,no big tree, nothing. I do envy birds. I would like to fly like they do.

When I was thirteen or fourteen years old, I had a recurring dream that I could fly. No one in my family believed me. So I took three running steps, pushed off  like a long jumper and soared into the air. I could look down on the roof of our house and the tops of the trees that lined the front walk. I could see my family, their faces upturned, watching me. They called to me not to go so high, to come down. I hovered there and watched them. Not wanting to cause them concern, I came down. When I landed , they turned away from me, and I was left standing  in the yard all alone.I thought, I should have stayed up there.

The dream was the same every time, it never changed.

Some times I wounder if that is why I love to dance so much. A fast Waltz, a Polka or Western Swing. Spinning and flying around the dance floor, moving in rhythm, feeling light and free. Dancing was the closest I ever came to feeling the way I felt in those dreams. 

Maybe it was the music. But that is a whole other story.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

That's The Woody Woodpecker Song!

Here in Southern California we have the Acorn woodpecker. These guys live in large extended family groups and  store thousands of acorns in holes they make in  trees, called granary trees.

These are empty storage holes.

An abandoned granary tree. This family has moved it's storage place to,

A telephone pole.

 You can see the acorns around him and his front door above him. Do you remember the old Woody Woodpecker cartoons? It is said the cartoonist modeled Woody's laugh on the Acorn woodpecker. When you hear their call, I think you will agree!

Click here to hear the Acorn woodpecker's call.

Click here to hear the Woody Woodpecker Song!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Great Backyard Bird Count...Cat Friendly Version.( a.k.a. bird nerd humor)

Hank was a little down since he could not participate in Cornell Universities Great Backyard Bird Count. In an effort to cheer him up, I told him we could do an indoor bird count. Sort of like a scavenger hunt.

Ok, smart guy, not this bird!

See Here's 2!

What would make you think I am out of my gourd?

Here is a boat load in this room, this is only some of the owl collection!

 Hank, come and see! This one moves.

I got this one because I love that line in the song Gulf Coast Highway, "...and when he dies he say's he'll catch some black birds wing and fly away to heaven..." Anyway, on with the hunt!

What? No. It's not calling my name, it is saying cuckoo!

Ernie's Friend !

Hank , here is another one!! Hank where are you?

I can see you you know...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Morning Tradition at our house...

French press coffee and sharing the newspaper.

My back yard, the Honeymoon Destination for Mallards.

Do you remember the children's book "Make Way for Ducklings," by Robert McCloskey? I loved that book when I was little. When I had my own kids I read it to them too. Man I was wishing Mr. and Mrs. Mallard had 4 less ducklings, so many Jack, Pack, Mack, names my mouth got all tied up...Anyway, for the last 12 years a pair of mallards comes to our house every spring. They were back this week.

I don't know if it is the same pair, but their M.O. is the same. Land in the pool, hop out groom a little, nibble on the bird feed the finches have scattered all over the pool deck.

Waddle around the pool...slowly. Mister is very vigilant.

Waddle to the koi pond. Mister must check it out first before he lets Missus go in.

If everything is to his liking in they go. They paddle around,

Take a bath, flap their wings.

They never make a nest here. Our place seems to be the courting/ honey moon spot. They will be here as a pair for a few weeks and then Mister will come by himself for a while and then he stops coming too. Every year I hope this will be the year they stay and raise their ducklings...maybe this year...