Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February Swans

Swans tend to stay around here in February. Maybe it's the water level, low enough to get to the grasses they eat. We get to enjoy watching them, listen to the hum when they gather up for preening and sleeping, and study them as they interact. We have a lot to learn.

This is a family group. The 3 young are grey necked and still have color in the body. I watched the young eat. Before they turned bottoms up to reach the grass they seemed to scrub the sand with their feet.

Aren't they magnificent?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Home Grown Ginger Root!

A garden is a pleasure. Fresh tomatoes in the summer, along with the usual cucumbers, squash, peppers, and plenty more and maybe a cantelope. Herbs all around. Baby lettuces, mustard and arugula nearly year round! But then there are the unusual things to grow that are great pleasures. Asparagus, Shallots, Garlic, Spring onions. How about Ginger! I use it in stir fry dishes but I may have to explore. Perhaps some ginger syrup for ginger ale.

This is the recently harvested plant out of the pot. The Ginger has been babied in a hot frame. A root section about this size was left in the pot to continue on. A close up of the harvest is also shown.

I store my ginger by freezing it and when it time for stir fry I scrape off what I need with a knife.

The shots were taken in my bed of garlic, which are coming along nicely. You have to plant garlic in the fall to get a good sized head.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A pretty flock of Black and Whites

Here are a few of the Bufflehead ducks that I mentioned. The males a strong black and white with orange legs and feet, the females black and brown with a white cheek. Her legs and feet are dark. Look at how different the white cheek is on each of the females.

I love to watch them fly in, ones and twos come together to form a nice group at certain times. When they land, feet are out splayed out wide and hit first making a soft sliding sound on the water.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A month of Sundays

Duck and swan season over, I can 'shoot' in peace in my own way ... with a camera! I have a nice flock of Buffleheads and a small number of Ruddy ducks and now some Swans in the area feeding, playing and singing.

Here is a Ruddy duck, just a gorgeous blend of brown shades. It's a diver duck, diving for grasses or thrown corn. They like to play and will charge each other in a jousting style, beak first! The are not startled and ply about in the water even when approached by boat making them easy picking for certain gunners.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A new duck spotted

What a fantastic day, warm weather and slight winds from the west and ducks to enjoy.

The buffies and ruddies had a fine day puddling and diving. Even the resident mallards took to diving for corn. Why that's a first for me, I've only seen them tipping (bottoms up!) before now.

We have some swans about. The singing last night was a bit of old magic. We only have about 3 dozen. You cannot imagine what a couple hundred of these spectacular birds sound like unless you are HERE! Hopefully we will get those hundreds before they leave for northern climes!

BUT here is my new duck, a female canvas back. She came in today in the company of a female bluebill.

Isn't she pretty?

Beautiful ducks and a pleasure to watch them run about.