Big bucks

Big bucks

Big bucks

No, not that kind.  The deery kind.  I was looking out the front garden window at the kitchen sink and saw some does go past the driveway in the upper field.  I hadn’t taken any wildlife photos to post recently, so I thought, what the heck and headed down to the studio to get the camera and put on the telephoto lens.  When I glanced out the rear windows, I saw SIX bucks down by the lake, at least three of which had very large antler racks.

Plans changed in a hurry as I decided to photograph them instead.  I haven’t seen any large bucks at all over the last few years and here was a large herd right before my eyes.  This is the best of the 15 photos I took.  Late afternoon light, a telephoto lens and a bunch of moving animals conspired against me, but this one is not too bad.  I think you can see how big these guys are and how huge their racks look.  I sure would like to find some of those antlers when they are shed in the spring.  Wouldn’t you?

Mr. Turtle is back

Mr. Turtle

Mr. Turtle

With all of the warm weather lately, I have been spending some of my mornings in the flowerbeds.  The nice temperatures and intermittent rains have started the morning weeding chores.  I had just finished one of the lower beds to the side of my studio and when I got up, there was Mr. Turtle almost beside me in the grass.  He was trucking right along (for a turtle, anyway) to the beds next to the gazebo.  I had been concerned about him after the sticky paper incident last fall because I hadn’t seen him after we cleaned and then freed him, so this was so wonderful for me to see.

I raced back into the house to get my camera.  By the time I got back he had moved under the edge of the evergreen shrubs where I had been weeding.  Much to his dismay, I plucked him up and set him down a few feet away so I could take his picture.  Shortly thereafter he continued on his journey.  I hope to see him often over the summer.  We’re kind of like pals after all of these years.

Oh, deer!

New fawn

New fawn

I went to my kitchen sink this evening with supper dishes in hand and in a sweet surprise, I saw a very young fawn walking through the front flower beds. It was dwarfed by the cone flowers, black eyed Susan’s, and even the bird bath as it meandered through the flowers, checking everything carefully before skittering out.

Mom and baby

Mom and baby

Fortunately, I had heard this morning that a doe was wandering around with a new baby and I had brought up my camera with the telephoto lens already attached. I ran to the living room to get it and when I got back, the fawn had rejoined its mother.  It skipped about the yard, more I think from the gnats and flies circling it than from playfulness or fear.  I could see quite the swarm flying around both of them.  Mom finally edged her baby back into the woods and I went back to the dishes.

An arctic fox

Little arctic fox

Little arctic fox

I felt like doing some sort of animal work this week so I looked through my photos and found this one.  I took it years and years ago, but I still like his restful pose.  He fits right in  with this chilly winter weather. That pose sure would keep him warm.

I penciled him up and then used the ink pen to sketch him in.  I had some suitable colors on the watercolor pallet from the last painting, so I went ahead and used them.   I used a burnt umber with some added brown, lamp black and a maroonish highlights, especially to the rocks.

A mixed bag post – the primitive horse painting and more coyote puppies

Redone background

Redone background

I worked some on the background of the primitive horse this week.  It just was floating too much so I added a complementary lilac to the background.  It still didn’t seem quite enough.  I decided to add more of the mossy green I had originally placed around the base. Then more and more.  When it finally felt like I was on the verge of overdoing it I stopped.  I think I like it better now.

I caught something!

I caught something!

I thought I’d add an update on the puppies today, too. We have seen them several more times in the last few days – once for almost an hour as they wandered about the back yard, hunting and playing.

On top of the wood pile

On top of the wood pile

It turns out that there are actually 5 of them.  Once when they were out and wandered farther away from the woods, a doe ran top speed across the lawn past them.  Soon afterwards mom and dad came out from just where we thought they might be watching and moved them back closer to the woods.  That’s when we saw the fifth one.  It must not be quite so bold as the others.  I was glad to see the parents.  As we suspected, the pups are not unsupervised and the parents are keeping a close watch from just inside the woods where we can’t see them.

OOOHHHHH Coyote pups !!!

I had planned to show what further work I had done on the primitive horse painting today, but circumstances dictate a different direction. I think you’ll agree.

4 coyote pups!

4 coyote pups!

Last Thursday as we were shutting the shades for the evening we saw 4 coyote pups playing and hunting in the backyard.  John had just cut the grass in the afternoon and often after that there are a lot of insects moving around, displaced by the mowing.  They had a grand time finding and eating all kinds of bugs.  They wandered back and forth for about 15 minutes stirring up the insects and then munching down what they found. Two eventually disappeared back into the woods on the left and two went over the dirt ledge at the lakeside.  We never saw mom and dad but I am sure they were not far away – probably just inside the woods where we could not see them.  I’ll be looking out there often now that we know that they are around. A little bit later, two returned.  I think it was probably the pair from the lake’s edge.  I noticed one of them had a very distinctive white tipped tail.  I should be able to identify him in the future.

A pup

A pup close-up

It wasn’t as intimate an encounter as when pups came up onto the porch, but I’ll take it any day.  Here is a link to a description of that encounter that I posted in March 2011.  I believe that these pups are about the same age.  If I recall correctly that happened in June 2009.  They seem to be about the same size and another month would make quite a difference in size.

https://ruthsartwork.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/a-coyote-on-frozen-pond/

Another pup

Another pup

And to top it off, Mr. Turtle showed up earlier the same day. I was glancing out the window to the lake and saw him walking through the cut grass.  I snapped a few new photos of him.  Who knows – he might make a nice small drawing with his brown shell and yellow markings.  I was sure glad to see him for myself.

Say hello to my little friend

The dastardly Mr. Squirrel

The dastardly Mr. Squirrel

OR NOT! I was working on the dragon print from the last post and heard a scratching on my studio window. When I looked up, I saw this dastardly squirrel. He was actually stretching himself up, belly pressed against the glass peering in, but before I could get the camera to take a picture, he had settled down to rest on the sill.  He didn’t move as I neared to take the photo from inside, but allowed me to take two shots before he dropped back down to the patio.

One destroyed truck

One destroyed truck

This is pretty nervy of him, I think, given the species bad reputation around here.  It may be all out war again.  And lest you think I am exaggerating or over-reacting, just take a look at this.  I am not kidding.  This was John’s truck a couple of years ago after the attention of an overzealous red squirrel. Evidently the soy based insulation around the gas line tasted pretty good.  Need I say more on the situation?

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