"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Friday, March 25, 2011

Food Chain

 I went out early this morning to take photos on our undeveloped property out west of us
It was a gorgeous, still dawn.  I wanted to catch the sunrise before it got too far up in the sky so I pulled over onto a gravel road.  While I was taking the above photos, two men with a trailer pulled up to round up some cattle that had gotten out.  I didn't take any pictures of their efforts because I figured they were aggravated enough, already. 

By the time I got to the property, the sky was bluing up but you could still see the moon:
The leaves are just starting to bud but it is still pretty bare:

I just tramped around taking pictures.  At one point, I found a shed antler that I picked up to take home for the girls.  I also saw a small skull that looked like a skunk or a possum.

I always like to snap photos of this old farm thing.  Here it is, first thing in the morning:
I didn't realize, at first, that something was on it, watching me.  Look where the yellow arrow is pointing, below:
Yup.  A Great Horned Owl that I didn't notice until it reared up and glared at me.  It took off and I immediately started snapping shots.  They are out of focus but you can still see that it is carrying something huge:
 I'm pretty sure it is a rabbit:
I climbed up on the machinery to see if there was some guts or something (yeah, I'm gross) and lo and behold, a nest!
Well, it is where it is putting its eggs, anyway.  No robin would claim this shack.  Those eggs are just laying out there. 

The eggs were roughly the size of very large chicken eggs - rounder, though.  And heavy.  I moved one but put it right back and left them alone. 
As soon as I took the pictures, I immediately tried to spot where the owl flew by running around to the side of the machine.  It was gone, however, and I have no idea how it could have disappeared that fast so it may have been hiding in the tall grass. 

Here was another casualty of nature:
Something a bit prettier, but still losing its seeds:
After a couple of hours I loaded up to head home.   Here is a section line road about a mile south:
There was a grass fire not far from there that was sending smoke over and darkening the sky. 

The girls loved the antler I brought home:

Evelyn took it, first, but after a bit, she shared it with Pearl and they gnawed different points.  When Evelyn got tired of it, Pearl kept on chewing:
Nature is cruel:

Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl


Anonymous said...

A great horned owl's nest? How cool is that!


Miriam said...

Wonderful photographs!
Great to see you back, Penny.

Infinity Quilter/Knitter said...

Wow is that neat! I even showed hubby. Thanks for sharing.

Florida Farm Girl said...

Food for the soul and spirit, girlfriend, food for the soul!!!!! Wasn't it fun?? Way to go!!

Oh, keep an eye on that owl's nest but as you said, its good not to disturb them. I've only seen the one great horned owl, so I think your nest is pretty special.

Toni said...

Penny, your photographs are wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures and prose. I am glad to see you back, as I missed you.

Anonymous said...

Awesome pictures!

Donna said...

Get the new camera, your pictures are amazing! When our childhood dog "Shorty" used to run like that we would say "Here he comes, and there he goes!" Seeing your dog brought back memories of how fun it was to watch Shorty whip around. Thanks for sharing, WELL worth MY time!

BilboWaggins said...

The owl photos are amazing, well done you.

Continue to be most envious of your land, we'd like to buy a piece of land near to us but the difficulty is we can't find out who owns it!