Looking For A Redhead

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!


Marsha said…
I love wild raspberries!!!
Lynne said…
Love your bike ride pics . . .
Of course, for me, it doesn’t matter . . .
Your pictures are wonderful wherever!

Love the “runner duck” close ups” . . .
Can’t help to feel happy when you see them zipping past.
I think it is the “group run” that brings my smiles!
colleen said…
I loved going along on your bike ride. I'm so happy you got to see the red-headed woodpecker....I've never seen one in person. We have the hairy and the downy frequently and see the others from time to time...but not the red-headed :(. Runners resting????…. did you have that talk with them to slow down a bit and stop to smell the roses? I can smell some of the yummy desserts you make with your berries, now. xoxoxo
Grandma Zee said…
Love all the photos of your beautiful area. I chuckled when I saw the fungus photo, I am from southeastern Alaska and we call that "Bear Bread" I have a large one that has a ink drawing done on it. What a wonderful berry harvest you will have.
Unknown said…
We live in Tennessee and if you go berry picking you are bound to get ticks and chigars too, do you have those up north? If so, how do you keep them off of you? Lisa G in TN
Jeannie said…
Thank you for explaining the equine masks. Anything is useful if it helps avoid those pesky flies! About a year ago we bought a house in the Texas Hill Country high up on a ridge. We are slowly learning about the flora and fauna here. Although not a farm, we enjoy the deer, foxes and birds. The armadillos, not so much, as they dig too many holes in the grass and flower beds.
The red-headed woodpecker is gorgeous!
This N That said…
Did you ever find the missing Runner? Glad you were able to track down that woodpecker..I've never seen a Pileated WP..The Red Heads are rare..others are daily visitors..Never see a Red Winged Blackbird or Baltimore Orioles...I must not be in there flight path..Wow..Huge Fungus..Enjoy those berries!!