Earlier this week, I mentioned that on Monday's bike ride,
I had seen my first red-headed woodpecker sitting on a fence post along a back road.
Tuesday we retraced our biking trail and again saw the same
woodpecker in the same area.
Wanting to get a photo of said woodpecker,
we headed out on another ride yesterday morning.
It was a cool and breezy morning... perfect weather.
We rode directly to the area of our two sightings, only to see
no woodpecker sitting on any fence posts.
We did, however see a few deer running through the cornfield across the road.
Running, until they reached the top of a small hill,
where they then stood and observed us observing them.
Just as I got back on my bike and started peddling,
a flash of black and white caught my eye...
the woodpecker had flown into my line of sight...
landing on a tree at the side of the road.
I stopped my bike and grabbed my camera.
A little far away,
let's zoom in....
How about that!!
We have so many downy, hairy, and red-bellied woodpeckers at our
bird feeders; and I have seen pileated woodpeckers flying through the woods-
but never, have I seen a red-headed woodpecker on the farm.
I was so happy to find this fellow again.
One of the things that I love most about biking through our countryside,
aside from the absolutely beautiful surroundings,
is seeing all of the flora and fauna as it changes through the seasons.
I hear the "bubble-zee" song of the red-winged blackbird,
even before I spy him in the tree above me.
These handsome birds are a welcomed sight each spring.
You can practically build a calendar on what wildflowers are blooming
at what time!
I love finding unusual surprises, like this
enormous shelf fungus that was about 12 inches wide:
And then there are always sweet farm animals along the way...
and you know how much I love pigs!!
Since I had my telephoto lens out yesterday,
I was able to catch some close up photos of our shy runner ducks
as they went about their busy-ness.
Much of the day, they are on the move -
combing the fields for tasty bugs.
Visiting Mr. and Mrs. Gnome...
then resting in the cool shade.
Lately, they have reliably been laying 3 to 4 eggs daily.
The elders lay in a neat nest in the corner of their house.
The youngsters drop their eggs wherever...
sometimes out in the grass,
but usually in the middle of the house.
Duck eggs taste like chicken eggs,
perhaps just a smidge stronger in flavor.
They are wonderful to bake with...
as a higher protein content makes cakes rise beautifully.
One of the many things that we love about runner ducks
is their reliable egg-laying.
Every summer, there is curiosity about the masks that our horses wear,
and concern as to how they can see where they are going.
Each of our equines has his own fly mask...
designed to keep the flies out of their eyes.
Flies can be a terrible nuisance to farm animals,
and we try everything we can to reduce our fly population,
and protect our equines from them.
As for how they can see through the masks,
here is what they see:
(camera taking photo through mask)
(kind of like wearing a dirty pair of sunglasses... but certainly better than
having flies in ones eyes!)
Lastly, we've been spending a little time each morning picking berries-
blueberries, red raspberries, and wild black raspberries...
It's going to be a berry good summer!!
As you can see in this photo, raspberries ripen at different times...
and it's the same with blueberries.
Therefore, we pick them all by hand.... day after day after day!
We will probably be picking berries for the whole next month.
Always check your vehicle for stowaways!