Wednesday, August 8, 2012
rainy morning visitors
As awareness started to creep into my mind, I wondered what exactly it was that woke me up. I laid there listening, at first hearing only the sound of Riggs' stuffy breathing next to me (he has a bad cold), then I heard it, the sound that had probably woken me up, and my eyes popped open.
Crunch, crunch. Silence. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Someone was walking around behind our house, just outside of our open window! I extracted myself from Riggy's grip and slipped on my sandals as I quietly left our room and headed for the kitchen window. I hadn't wanted to look right out of our bedroom window, in case it was an intruder. My heart was pounding a little as I crept up to the kitchen window to peek out. What I saw surprised me...there wasn't just one intruder, there were three!
A mama moose and her two little ones were slowly wandering around the yard, sampling the trees and shrubs at their leisure. I felt a smile grow on my face as I went to get my camera and the new to me 100-400mm lens my father-in-law had let me borrow when I was in Homer. I slipped quietly outside to take some pictures, praying the dogs wouldn't notice the big, furry visitors.
I tried to be as quiet as possible, but they all noticed me right away. I was happy that I was on the porch, close to the door and safety. Mama moose are very, very protective of their little ones, and I didn't want her to feel threatened at all by my presence, so I kept my distance. I was so glad to have the lens, so that I could finally get some closer pictures of them.
I was so thrilled to see them root around on their mama to nurse, I've never seen that in person and it was special for some reason to share that moment, since I had been nursing my little one just moments before. The ears on those calves were huge, and they moved them this way and that way to listen to my every movement.
Mama listened closely too, and kept her eye on my nearly the entire time I was out taking pictures. Smart mama if you ask me! There are lots of dogs and bears around our neighborhood, and she has to be alert all the time to protect not just one baby but two.
I wished they would have stayed all day so that I could observe their little family group, but they slowly meandered out of sight. As I was outside watching them, I noticed something else, some other movement up in the trees.
Chickadees were flitting all around a dead cottonwood tree, and I saw a hole near the top that they seemed to be gravitating towards. I took plenty of pictures, but from where I was standing, I couldn't clearly see what was in that hole.
Then I came in the house and imported the pictures from my camera, and I saw a little face and a long beak peeking out of the hole. Now I'm so glad that I found the little spot, as bird watching has become a favorite past time since we moved out here. I think it might be a Northern Flicker Woodpecker, but I'm not sure. Any ideas?