Friday, March 16, 2007

Bathing In The Garden...

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom
I put a sprinkler out for a little while today and this Mourning Dove wasted no time in making use of it, splashing and preening in the rain-like shower for nearly 20 minutes. The bird seemed especially interested in washing the underside of its wings.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Have You Met The Queen?

QUEEN TRINITY Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom

The Calico Queen doesn't approve of photographers, she makes me feel like a paparazzo! She's glaring at me in contempt because I won't let her go outside where all the birds are.

The picture was shot at dusk in the natural light of a window and reminds me that a photo doesn't necessarily need to be sharply focused to be of interest (enlarge it and you might see what I mean). I saved the image at 400 dpi (up from 180) in Photoshop after cropping it about 50% and then increasing the color saturation ever so-slightly, a couple of notches maybe.

Canon S2IS/Manual setting, ISO 50, handheld, 1/3 of a second at F3.5

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sciurius griseus

Western Gray Squirrel
(Sciurius griseus)
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom
10:31 A.M.
This Gray Squirrel (among several scampering around the grounds today) paused for a drink at our giant boulder birdbath in between foraging excursions to the various suet cages this morning.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

This Morning's Picture - 7:43 A.M.

CASSIN'S FINCH (Carpodacus cassinii) Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom

This male Cassin's Finch was part of a group hanging out in the dormant Quaking Aspens along the southwest shore of the Stanfield Marsh during our walk this morning.

I love the color in this photo which hasn't been altered other than cropping it a little bit to bring the finch up close.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Nine Days Later...

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom
Our last post, 9 days ago, found us with 4 inches of new snow but this week has been spring-like and new life bursts forth once again, ever-ready to reclaim its place in the sun.

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom
This is the lettuce mix we planted last October which has thrived outdoors at our elevation of 6,750', under fiberglass panels, through the worst of a rather mild winter, but still surviving temperatures as low as minus 10° F.
We'll leave these hardy greens uncovered at night from here on out, even though our night-time temps are still in the low 20's, unless we get another extreme cold snap. We will get more snow but these plants are established enough to survive, and even thrive, under an insulating layer of snow now.

Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom
This spinach was also planted from seed in October, directly in our raised beds, and covered with corrugated fiberglass panels.
I kept the seedbeds wet until the spinach sprouted and then watered once or twice more afterwards.
Otherwise, the only water they received until today was the condensation dripping from inside the fiberglass covers.
This morning , after uncovering the plants, I soaked them with the watering can using snowmelt from our rainbarrels.

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