As I write this, I have been gone from home for 20 days. 20 long days and I miss it. I miss Barb, I miss Dakota and yes, I even miss Zoey. I miss waking up and looking down our valley at the turkeys and deer wandering around. I miss the sound of Zoey snoring. I miss my morning hugs from Barb, I miss our shower, I miss Wednesday nights with Dan, Bonnie, Kevin and Cheryl, my sore body misses our hot tub. I miss our happy hours with our neighbor. I miss having the fun that Barb is having with Forrest, Somer and Lily and I miss even working on the house.
It seems, the older I get the more I miss these things. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy coming up here, seeing everyone and helping out. The days go quick and before I know it, the fields will be all planted and Barb will join me for the next leg of our summer adventure. Part of me wants to just go back to South Dakota and enjoy the summer there. But I would regret that and wish we would have followed through with our original plans. So, when we are done here, we will carry on.
I also enjoy driving the country roads and seeing and photographing the local wildlife. And I got some good ones this week! My goal is to photograph each of the waterfowl species here. This week I got a couple of new ones. The Gadwall, Widgeon and Ruddy duck. All pretty in their own right. In this first shot you will see an out of focus pintail hen, but she was not the subject of this photo. The real subjects were the pair of American Widgeon in center. The drake has a distinctive light blue bill.
The Ruddy duck has been a favorite of mine since I was a small child as I spent hours watching them on the local pond in our neighborhood.
Then there is the Gadwall. Not the most colorful duck in the world, but still pretty in its own right. One of my favorite stories about the Gadwall is when I took a guy out hunting who wanted to get a prime example of a species to bring to his taxidermist and have mounted. Every duck he shot that day he asked if it was good enough to mount. None were really prime examples of the species, so I kept saying no. He finally got a beautiful drake Gadwall, a duck he had never seen or shot before. After retrieving his bird, I excitingly said "You got your mount'in duck!" He seemed pretty excited too and when we got back to camp, he started telling everyone he got a Mountain Duck. The experienced duck hunters looked at him weird knowing there is no such species. I had to explain to him that it was not a Mountain Duck but a duck to take the taxidermist to get mounted. He got a rash of sh#t from his buddies the rest of the trip as they asked him what kind of ducks he shot the next day.
|A pair of Gadwalls|
Then there is the challenge of getting some aerial photos of each. My goal this week was to try to get some good shots of a flying Pintail. A real challenge, trying to get them in the frame and in focus. I am pretty impressed with some of my shots. I could not decide which ones I liked the best, so I included all of the ones I liked.
|Two pintail drakes taking off|
|Mallard and Pintail drakes|
Then I got this sequence of a Redhead taking off. These are diver ducks, so they run on the water when taking off.
These last two here of Blue-wing teal and Gadwall
Besides the waterfowl, I got pictures of this yellow-headed blackbird and a couple of mammals as well. This moose has been hanging around on one of their pieces of property all winter and I caught this fox running across an open field.
The weather this week has been a roller coaster. Tuesday, we saw a high over 80, Thursday the high was 45 with strong winds. Wednesday, we got a gift from Canada in the form of smoke. When we woke up in the morning it was bright and clear. By 9am, you could not even see a 1/4 mile.
|A cart full of wheat|
Oh, Bob S and I even got to pick rock a couple of times this week. And no, not with a rock picker, with our hands walking through the field and loading them into the truck or tractor bucket. Good times. Reminded me of when I was a teenager and helped out some farmer friends back in the day. The only difference is that I am a lot sorer when I wake up in the morning.
Bob S left on Friday morning, it was great spending the last 18 days with him. I have not seen him that much since we were back in high school 40 something years ago. His departure means I get to get back in the tractor and roll the pea and bean fields! Because they cut so close to the ground when they harvest peas and beans, they roll the fields after planting so any remaining rocks are pushed back into the soil and do not damage the combine when harvesting.
Chase, Chris and Holly's middle child graduated from kindergarten this week. Holly is pretty camera shy, but I was able to steal this one off of Facebook.
Here are he and Gavin holding up a couple of chickens.
Looks like you are keeping busy but that missing of folks is hard. I for one miss home more as I have gotten older than I used to in my younger years! Travel is not easy on me either. Hoping all conts to go well and you back with what you love, your home, your place, your life before longReplyDelete
The problem is, is that we love to travel and see new things! I guess it is good to miss something, it makes you appreciate all that much more.Delete
Good morning Jim…what a great post. I think the bird Barb saw at your feeder is a Western Tanager. I just captured a photo of one at Cave Creek last week and they look the same, but I could be wrong. I can’t imagine Joe being gone for any amount of time…it’s good you are staying busy and Barb has family to keep her company. I’ll say once again a huge thank you to you, Farmer Bob and his family and other friends that have worked so hard. Great photos of the water fowl…I know how hard it is to capture birds in flight. And how cool to see a moose!ReplyDelete
It looks like you are right! Forrest and family are leaving this weekend, so Barb is coming to join me next week!Delete
Looks like Barb is having lots of fun without you. 😉 Great pics of the wildlife. I remember rock picking on the farm as a kid…not much fun. I think that bird is a Western Tanager. Stay safe!ReplyDelete
I despised rock picking in my younger years I didn't mind it so much this time, but it was only a couple hours.Delete
We too miss home when away--maybe it is our age?? I was just away for five days and was so ready to be home with Mike and Emmi. We have the smoke here in Montana--it's awful--way too early for that business!! That's one big, busy farm where you are working!ReplyDelete
We had some strong winds yesterday which blew out all the smoke, so we are smoke free at the moment!Delete
Oh yeah ... it's surely a lot of really hard work, but so satisfying when you are done for the day! I'm always so happy to get home, but then I'm wishing I was off visiting something new. There will be time for home sitting when we are OLDER!!ReplyDelete
LOVE all those duck pictures ... so many different kinds!! Mountain Duck ... that's a hard one to live down.
You are right about the satisfying part. You are also right about being home and wishing you were somewhere else, and being somewhere else and wishing we were home. I am so confused!Delete
The kids are keeping keeping fresh fish on the table. Google thinks your mystery bird might be a Western Tanager.ReplyDelete
I appears as though Google is correct, thanks for letting us know!Delete
Nice that the planting is almost done. You are a great friend. Where are you headed after Barb comes to get you?ReplyDelete
We are headed east, then north, then east some more to visit some friends and do a little fishing!Delete
I noticed that you didn't miss our daily conversations of solving the world's problems. I would say that the bird is a yellow warbler that was pretty embarrassed by the redness of his face. My guess he ran into the tree while trying to impress a female. I also think Barb has always had more fun when you are away.ReplyDelete
All my bird expert friends say it is a Western Tanager, but I think I will go with an embarrassed Yellow Warbler.Delete
Great duck pics! I can’t believe they have moose on their land! I didn’t know moose were in ND? I’ll bet you’re missing the fam. But they look like they are having a great time. So where ya headed after farming?ReplyDelete
Where are we headed? I cannot tell you, it is a super-secret undisclosed location.Delete
Isn't it lovely to live a life where you have so much to miss and also so much to enjoy where you are :-) Your bird pics are wonderful and I love the Mountain Duck story! Glad Barb will be with you soon and that you'll be down the road on more summer adventures very soon.ReplyDelete
That is a great way to look at it. We truly are blessed!Delete
You have been on quite the great adventure! But there's no place like home, that's for sure. I bet Barb missed you a lot, too.ReplyDelete
That bird is gorgeous no matter what it is called! :)
One thing that I do not mind about not being home in the summer are the tourists. I don't miss them at all!Delete
Oh, those two dogs of yours are going to be SO HAPPY when you return home...Barb, well, her vacation will be over! lolReplyDelete
Zoey will be, Dakota is indifferent to anything "not momma".Delete
As always, your post is filled with great stories...I can relate to the missing home part, Mario has been at our GA spot going on 4 weeks, I'll be seeing him next week. Sometimes a little time away makes the reunion's that much sweeter! Say "hi" to Barb, and hope to catch up one day!ReplyDelete
So good to hear from you! Why didn't you go with him? Barb arrives next week. So looking forward to it!Delete
Boy, that rock picking sounds like a great deal of fun. I bet if you were to swing it like a discus while placing it in the bucket you would whittle any beer-induced love handles right down. Sounds like some productive farm days and soon it will be a wrap. That Tanager is gorgeous, the yellow-headed black bird too, though. Hopefully it won't be smoky all summer - I saw that Denver was suffering from that Canadian fire's smoke.ReplyDelete
I have not weighed myself since I've been here but I would have to think that I had to have lost a few pounds. But then again, the tractor time eating munchies is probably not helping!Delete
That is an adventure. You are working ahrd.ReplyDelete
My sore and tired morning reminds me of that every morning!Delete
We both figured you're keeping your next adventure a secret LOL. I have something in mind, but we shall see if I'm right. You are working hard for sure! Love the pic of you and the beer. Nice the kids have been at home and Barb is enjoying having them I'm sure! I'm sure she's missing you as much as you miss her!ReplyDelete
I would tell you, but a signed NDA prevents me from doing so.Delete
Definitely a male Western Tanager. Not sure what kind of beer he’s drinking though…ReplyDelete
Probably Onid's favorite beer....Free!Delete
i have so enjoyed getting to know you and your adventurous life. it is so much more exciting than mine. it is funny how people get to "know" you through these entries. there is no place like home, i can believe you miss it and miss barb, but it is so nice to read a man write that!!ReplyDelete
your wildlife photography was really awesome in this post. many of these ducks i see, some i do not!! barb was lucky to see and capture a picture of that tanger, i don't see anything that colorful here!!
i got a big kick out of the cone of shame, the double chin, and the one finger picture!! you are having fun!!!
That is what I love about reading blogs, you get a peek into other people's lives. I like getting ideas of places to visit and things to do. You seem to keep yourself pretty busy it seems!Delete
With all the fun they are having at home without you I'm not surprised you are feeling a bit homesick. I am sure they miss you just as much.ReplyDelete
I am pretty sure they planned all that fun stuff just to make me jealous!Delete
Hopefully you are on your way home by now as I type this. You sure deserve a vacation after all that work up there. Nice shots of the waterfowl and others. Never seen a yellow headed blackbird, didn't even know they existed.ReplyDelete
No, I still have four more days here. The good news is that the workdays should be cut in half after tomorrow so I should be able to catch up on my sleep.Delete
I don't see the yellowheaded blackbird in many places but they are pretty common here.
Being apart after so many years isn't fun for most of us. But I'm sure your friends in ND are thrilled to have your help. Jim, your duck photos are spectacular! And thank you for the live duck photos. So much prettier than the dead row. Haha! I love the fade in the first photo of the bigger duck and my other favorite is the ducks in flight as pairs in the last duck photo. Great work!! Thanks for the dog photo. I hope Dakotas feelings aren't too hurt that Barb did send a photo of my favorite puppy! Hope the weather holds and the smoke isn't too bad.ReplyDelete
I was quite pleased with my flying photos the past two weeks. Dakota arrives this week and I'll make sure to get some pictures of her since Barb is obviously biased!Delete
We know a couple of farmers but their farms are no where near the acreage that your friend has. We appreciate his very hard work. And a big thank you to the farmers buddies. I loved the Mountain Duck story. After 7 months we will be home today. It's time to take care of doctors appointments, dental appointments, getting the taxes done...you know...fun stuff. Blessings...ReplyDelete
Welcome home! I bet it will feel good to be home for a while so you can start planning your next adventure!Delete
Looking at the smile on your face, I guess that beer helps get rid of the homesickness! :) xxReplyDelete
Nothing like a cold one at the end of a hard day!Delete
This is a fine nature filled post with waterbirds, domesticated creatures ( cute photo of the two dogs sitting together, Colourful Tanger, Yellow-headed Blackbird, and the fish. I enjoyed the humour too! :=)
There is quite a bit of nature to enjoy and photograph just about anywhere if you just slow down to find it.Delete