Yesterday I drove to the ranch to do some clean-up. With camera in hand, I stopped a few times to take photos. The day started with an encounter with turkeys just past the first gate.
The sun was high, but one photo stood out over the rest, despite the imperfect light.
Down the road a ways, a pair of mallards were doing their version of reproduction. With all the rain, one would think the local mallard crop will be good this year.
At a pond near the second gate, bullfrogs were warming in the sun at the water’s edge.
Enemies of many native species, including native frog species, bullfrogs dominate any pond they inhabit. Fortunately we don’t have bullfrogs on our ranch.
As I walked turned to step into my truck, I was distracted by a tree swallow landing in an oak tree nearly overhead. After several attempts to photograph the tree swallow, I realized that I was getting nowhere. Then this plain titmouse appeared and posed for a photo. Seems like there’s a titmouse pair for each oak tree.
I don’t know why, but the flowers with yellow pigmentation are the first to bloom each year. Blue and purple flowers are the late bloomers.
Johnny Jump Ups are a host plant for the Callippe butterfly species.
Wildflowers were looking good. With the cooler-than-average weather, the annual grasses have not dominated and the broad-leaf plants will win the battle for sunlight this year. They’ve off to a good start.
On the way home, I couldn’t resist another bullfrog photo. These guys are the guardians of the water’s edge. Their legs also fry up nicely.
Looks like two young bucks and a doe peeking at me from below the road.
Red-tailed hawks were on the prowl. Some in the air and others hunting the easy way.
This is a dark-morph redtail.
And, yes, this one’s a light-morph redtail.
Maybe it’s the extra water that has more than normal numbers of Canada geese hanging around the local ponds.
After leaving the gravel road, I passed through some local vineyards to see what might be available. Found a lone pair of hens, avoiding the crowd and then a big crowd of gobblers strutting aggressively.
This pair of hens seemed to be enjoying less company.
It was a great day to be out and about.