Country Woman Paints

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white crane

Where I live there are many birds, bees and other buzzing, feathered beings as well as those with all manner of fur.
All go about their lives with a purpose known only to them!

I think these majestic white cranes are amazing.
And they can fly too!
I get to have them up close and personal every once in awhile, tho Bella plays a part in their wariness lately.

Bella the Great Pyrenees

Bella

They don’t realize they scare her much more than she does them!

crane-and-cows If you look closely, you will see three white cranes amongst the angus cows…
A hint:
two are on the left just coming over the ridge.
See them?

quail+postI have to share the much loved quail.
These are really silly birds, especially right now as they begin to nest.
They get very gullible{dumb} whilst trusting they are in charge of their world including big white hairy canines.
The one on the post is showing off, sleeping on one leg.

~The Bees~

bee and lavenderWe have thousands of honey bees buzzing all over the budding lavenders and other flowers right now. They definitely begin to call voraciously when the scent of lavender is in the air.

pantry shelves

We are the lucky recipients of a few cases each year from beekeepers in exchange for the use of our meadows below the eucalyptus trees and wildflowers
(and my 30+ lavender plants, etc.)!


And then there’s the bumbles.
Bumble bees seem to prefer the spicier flowers in the garden. In this case, Bog Sage.

My advice?
Never plant this variety of salvia because it wants to take over everywhere except where you’d like it! We pulled it all out in the spring and now have at least 3 beds again, all spreading beyond 6 feet in all directions.
Oh well… They provide nectar for the bumble bees who end up packing
bright gold saddle bags on their legs.
They become so heavy they barely make it back home!

~The Others~

I think I could post once a week on creatures I’ve spied in the places I frequent.
Most show up in that sly way that scares me half to death!!
Like the snakes.

So far I’ve seen, besides the gophers like this lovely old man of about 6 undulating feet, fat garter snakes, baby king snakes, dozens of aggressive little ribbons and many snake skins that are deposited at the mouth of the vole holes.

vole holes

vole holes and house shoe

YAY for snakes!
except…
rattlesnakes!

baby rattlesnake

baby rattler

Our neighbor has already killed 30 on his ranch up the road from ours.
So far, fingers crossed, they’ve not shown much interest to nest around here. But always I listen for that rustle of their rattles when I pass by the enormous mounds of rosemary or when someone left the garage door open, as if to invite them all into a cool dark cave!
And since they’re nocturnal, a late-night trip to the deep freeze in the garage can be a bit scary.
Frankly I just know too much about these serpents!

Since having that baby rattler in my house a couple of years ago, I am very wary.
They prefer the rockiness of higher up the mountain but do come down at times.

And for anyone’s information who might live in their habitat,
the babies and younger rattlers are far more dangerous than the older, bigger ones.
This is because they haven’t yet learned to hold back their venom.
Instead they release it all in one bite, making it deadly to those who are small enough to die before they can make it to an ER, like me.
We need a snake-bite kit … Make that a dozen kits!

big gopher snake

And last but never least, this 6″ tall girl is just plain from another planet.
When she feeds, delicately holding her victim in her arms or turns her head and looks at me with her orange eyes *blinking*, though I know they are one of the “good” insects, I still shudder a little.praying mantis

The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.

Emily Dickinson

15 thoughts on “Good, Bad and Weird

  1. camilla wells paynter says:

    Love your wildlife observations! The cranes are stunning, and the quail photo and description of their comical behavior is fabulous. I’ve rarely observed them standing in the open like that–great shot! Thanks for this window on your “wild” world. Do get a snakebite kit.

    1. ĽAdelaide says:

      Yes, we’ve discussed it “off and on” forever and never have. However given their seeming abundance, it is definitely time! And my gratitude for your kind comment. I’m glad you enjoyed my meanderings! X

  2. suzicate says:

    Gorgeous photographs! Thanks for sharing.
    30 Rattlesnakes? Oh my! A rattler in your house? I think I’d have to move! I can’t begin to imagine!

    1. ĽAdelaide says:

      I’ve lived in the country with snakes for 40 yrs so have grown accustomed to the “idea” of them and have rarely seen a rattler. That one got in via husband who had been chopping up a fallen oak. Apparently he disturbed a nest and this guy thought he’s hop a ride … he ended up in the living room, hissing and spitting and coiling for all he was worth. Very aggressive because he was cornered otherwise they are docile and run away. Their saving grace I think.

      Anyway once outside via broom and husband whilst me screaming standing on couch, he saw he was a rattler and cut off his head. Sorry but we do not practice “catch and release” since life is precious… meaning OURS is precious! 🙂
      xox

  3. Great photos! I’m with you re:the snakes. Fine if not poisonous but if my family is threatened, they have to go.

    1. ĽAdelaide says:

      Yes, many people do not agree but where else do you put a poisonous snake for relocation I ask? It may not be “PC” but it is what it is–reality! Lovely to see your comment, Elena, thank you!xxx

  4. susancrow says:

    The pictures are simply amazing, especially the crane; I’ve never seen one other than than the possibility of one high up in the sky. I’m glad to see the bees around your place haven’t suffered the problems of so many others these past few years. So far the honeybees and bumbles seem to be getting on well too – best to give them a good home or make a safe one.

    The snake going around the corner is a great picture. Do you remember Kipling’s story Rikki Tikki Tavi? He was a mongoose who kept the family safe from cobras who lived in the garden but who liked to come inside. I recommend the Jungle Books as sheer marvels for you who love animals and nature. I’d read them long ago but they’re even better now. Yes, I also remember the rattlesnake incident. Scary business and wise to jump on couch or chandelier (if you have one).

    I keep coming back to the crane and remembered a poem by Hafiz that I saved. It’s called:

    What Do White Birds Say

    The earth has disappeared beneath my feet,
    
It fled from all my ecstasy,
    Now like a singing air creature
    
I feel the Rose
    
Keep opening.

    My heart turned to effulgent wings.
    
When has love not given freedom?

    When has adoration not made one free?

    A woman broken in tears and sweat
    
Stands in a field
    
Watching the sun and me

    Trade jokes.

    But never would Hafiz laugh
    
At your blessed labor

    Of finding peace.

    What do the dancing white birds say
    
Looking down upon burnt meadows?
    All that you think is rain is not.


    Behind the veil
    Hafiz and angels sometimes weep
    Because most eyes are rarely glad
    
And your divine beauty is still too frightened

    To unfurl its thousand swaying arms.

    The earth has disappeared beneath my feet,

    Illusion fled from all my ecstasy.
    Now like a radiant sky creature

    God keeps opening.
    God keeps opening
    
Inside of Me.

    1. ĽAdelaide says:

      dear susan,
      this poem by hafiz is simply stunning. i sat here stunned reading it and will definitely repost it in my next post with another crane photo. they are really amazing birds and yet so ugly too…i think it’s that they are big, white and still get off the ground that makes them so amazing or maybe it’s the way the glide around silently on those long straw legs as if they will break beneath them? i’m not sure but they’ve been adored forever for some reason.

      we had only one year when we noticed a drop off in the bees and worried. this was really before anyone was paying much attention. since we’ve had more than we need. sometimes i think they didn’t go anywhere, just all came home here to roost! then, of course, i read stories of thousands found dead, both the bumbles and the honeys.i do remember that story-barely-i always loved the title and the way it trips off the tongue. 🙂

      thanks for the lovely words tonight, dear heart. i hope it has settled down in your neck of the apt. xoxox

  5. Mel says:

    Amazing poem…and equally amazing photos. I think I might be envious that these are all in your own back yard. I sooo love the company of the critters that find their way here….but I have to go a few b lo cks to see the mud cranes or the white herons. Why we call one a crane and the other a heron, I have no clue. LOL. Midwest folks are like that. They are such graceful birds despite their gangley legs and big beaks. I always celebrate when one flys over. Yes, we have rattle snakes in the bluffs by the rivers and creeks. They don’t like the flatter bits, but we do keep a snake kit in our vehicles for adventures. I’m notsomuch fond of those, though I do like the other snakes we have. Bit of a fan, actually. Yes, bit strange to most folks! LOL. I’m still waiting on my ground squirrels…I miss ’em!!
    Thank you for sharing your critters with us!!
    Ohhh…I just need to brag that I have lightening bugs!! Wooohoo!!!

    1. ĽAdelaide says:

      hi sweets,
      hmmm, so love the critters… well, i’m not sure, no i’m sure i do NOT love the spiders at all. i detest them and have tried so hard to not want to kill every one i see. oh and potato bugs, i detest them too — they only come out at night, spend their lives underground but this time of year, somehow someway, they find their way into the house in the middle of the night and run around. the things just so creep me out i cannot even talk about them. they have another name but don’t remember it so you might not know what they are. some kind of HUGE beetle anyway.

      i think the rattler is the most common venomous snake in the US but am not positive. glad you keep a kit, what’s in it? i really don’t know if i can get one here, CA being CA-everything seems restricted or off the shelf because it causes something, anything. i’m a fan of snakes too but that’s probably evident. most hate them and i’ve had women tell me they won’t read my blog because i post photos of them… hmmm, ok. and you miss squirrels? hmmm…

      and you have lightening bugs… i want to at least see one one of these days in real life. or even reality tv life maybe. xoxoxo

  6. Linda, the white crane and Bella are so beautiful! I thoroughly enjoyed all your pictures (including the lovely house-slippers).

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    1. ĽAdelaide says:

      Wendy,
      I’m so happy you liked my post. I enjoyed yours today! xox

  7. Clanmother says:

    I so enjoy the storyteller side of you! You have a creative spirit that draws us all with a gentle voice … Lovely!

    1. ĽAdelaide says:

      Thanks Rebecca! You always leave the nicest comments. 🙂

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