Friday, December 19, 2008

Local Wildlife

It is amazing what we find living right here in our backyard. This rural environment makes it seem like the surrounding 5 square miles is 'my backyard'. Most days we see the deer as they nibble on my garden (even in the winter they are still eating the leaves off the apple tree). The elk we only see occasionally and the big horn sheep only when it gets cold and snowy. On our return from 'town' today we spotted a herd of Big Horn Sheep in the community baseball field. There were several ewes and few of the big guys with the curly horns, the rams. Those horns are quite something. Had me wishing for a good telephoto lens to get up close, their faces have a lot of personality.

Another bit of wildlife I have been learning about are the birds. I put a bird feeder outside our dining room window and enjoy watching the wide variety of birds that come for their meals. Lots of chickadees, nuthatches, downy woodpeckers and sometimes, blue jays and stellar jays. Along with the birds comes the squirrels who vacuum up the fallen seeds. There is one little squirrel that visits daily that I have named ‘Cheeky Two-Tail’ cause it teases Bailey something awful and its little tail has a funny little tuft coming out of it, like a second tail. The blue jays are a little big for the bird feeder but I love their colours.

So when our neighbour (and artist) Caroline Kelly was showing us some of her unique paintings I just 'had to have' the bluejay. Caroline does all her paintings using rocks or antlers as her canvas. Each one is unique and mostly wildlife based. She searches out just the right rocks, and uses the texture of the rock to bring her paintings to life. They have to be seen. Here is a pic of my blue jay which now hangs just in side my front door. She has many more I would like to buy, but I will have to pace my spending due to the fact that I am a 'stay at home' country wife now. And loving every minute of it.