Along the Natchez Trace

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wheelin' Around Heaven... and other Activities....

We've been entertained lately by aerial activities ...
This Red-shouldered Hawk appears several times a day...  usually in the afternoon.  His call is distinctive, bringing me out of my chair in an instant... as I grab my camera, run out the door and aim at the heavens.  There are always 2 ...  maybe a pair?  But sometimes there is a 3rd...   and yesterday there was a 4th hawk as well.  However, from the manuevers that went on, I believe this last hawk was intruding and a territorial scuffle had ensued. 
I wonder why a hawk's flight is called "wheeling"?

And...  at the other end of the size scale...
The Black-chinned Hummingbirds have returned.
This male is feeding on a salvia flower.  I caught his wings in flight so the picture looks kind of strange...  I wish the sun had caught the purple throat... 

Wildflowers are popping up all over!
This night blooming primrose is a welcome sight each morning.  The leaves look almost like a dandelion, but there's no mistaking the yellow flower.

Yes, just a weed.  A wild onion!  But isn't the bloom pretty?

I haven't Identified this purple flower yet...  thought at first it was a violet of some sort, but after looking closer at the leaves, know I need to check again....  I got lucky to catch a honeybee dipping into the flower.  Glad there are still honey bees around!

Another unknown (to me)....  All these flowers, and many more, are growing wild on our daughter's place, here in Texas.  I might ID them all ....  sometime....

The last picture of flowers is of one seen along many Texas highways....
Indian Paintbrush

You'll see huge patches of it...  sometimes growing among the bluebonnets or some other wildflower.  It is certainly a bright spot no matter where it grows!

Bill and I had some last minute errands to run yesterday.  One of those was to go to the local feed store and buy shelled corn for Celeste's deer feeders. 

The first thing I heard when we walked into the feed store was these peeps.  Yes, they had chicks for sale.  These are Rhode Island Reds...  pullets...  so in a few months, they'll be laying beautiful brown eggs.

(Just a little note...  when we lived in Alaska, sometimes we'd drive down to Homer.  One day there was this big sign outside a place... said... "PICK UP CHICKS HERE".  I did a double take before I realized it was a feed store...  not a bar)

Before RVing, Bill & I bought 50 chicks each year...  straight run.  Now... in theory, that means 25 are male/25 female.  We'd replenish our layers with the females, and replenish our freezer with the males.  Sometimes I miss the farm...  and baby chicks.... and then...  I remember how much it tied us down....

This feed store has its own mouser...
Looks to me like she's the Queen.  She didn't care one bit about those chicks just below her.

This plant stand certainly brought back memories!  Bill built one quite similar to it, only ours had "grow lights" above each shelf.  We'd start seeds in February...  four flats to a shelf...  four shelves.  Then when they were big enough, we'd put the flats into the greenhouse and start the next group of plants.  It took a lot of work, but we had our own organically grown food to eat so it was well worh it.

Oh yes...  we came after corn...
Ten Bags....  50 pounds each.....  That better last those deer for a while!

I might add here that the wildlife here at our daughter's is never hunted.  The deer and other wildlife are fed only to supplement their food supply...  and for everyone here to enjoy their presence.

This will be my last post for a few days.  We fly out of DFW early tomorrow morning...  to Ft Lauderdale...  then catch a flight to San Jose, Costa Rica.  Our rental house won't be available until Saturday, so we have plans to stay in a hotel north of San Jose   until then.  So it may be Saturday or Sunday when we'll have internet service again.  And...  as usual when we're out of the USA, we turn off our cell phone. 

Well, I guess it's time to pack...

That's All For Today...


  1. We used to have chickens also on our hobby farm we sold about 8 years ago. We also tried our hand at sheep, turkeys, and even a couple of calves. I enjoyed them all...but it is the chickens I miss. I often remember picking them out of the catalog, hearing the cheeps when I went into the post office to pick them up, cuddling them and putting them under their heat lamp, and then watching them wander the farm after they grew was the best part. We even had a chicken who used to come to the front door and eat the cat's food! But...I'm content with my memories because life has other experiences just as wonderful to offer me that I'm looking forward to!

    1. We used to pick up our chicks at the PO too. We lived on a rural route so our mailman would call me at work to come pick up our order... He sure didn't want to haul them around all day in his car! I do miss the chickens, too... BUT... I especially miss those fresh eggs.

  2. Thanks for identifying the Primrose, we have seen them and just love the night time yellow blooms. Enjoy your trip.

    1. I came up with "bottle evening primrose", but I'm not positive. BUT... it IS a primrose. Thanks for the good wishes.

  3. Your comment about the "pick up chicks here" reminded me of when our boys were young. Some animal rights protester had painted the side of a local barn with the words "free farm animals". Our boys got all excited thinking someone was giving away their animals and we could get one for free! Love the picture of the hawk and all the flower pictures. Hope you have a nice flight and lots of fun in Costa Rica.

    1. Your comment made me laugh. I can see how kids would get that idea... I had to think twice myself. Thanks for the good thoughts.

  4. One man's weed is another's wildflower. Your wildflower portraits are wonderful, and the red-shouldered hawk is spectacular. Have a wonderful time in CR!

    1. I've always been fond of wildflowers... uh...weeds... they are another excuse not to mow the lawn until the neighbors complain. Thanks!

  5. Wow Sharon I hope someday I can train my camera to take great shots like yours. How nice to enjoy the red-tailed hawks. Enjoy Costa Rica and we look forward to your blogs about the trip.