Eagle Fest

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It’s that time of the year when the eagles are nesting, breeding generally in January / February.  Pinetop / Lakeside in Northern AZ hosts an Eagle Fest hosted by the Arizona Game and Fish for an educational experience to learn about the eagles, their habitat, behaviors, and a field trip to see the eagles ‘in action’.

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Female bald eagles lay between 1 – 3 eggs, with only a 35 day incubation period.  The fledgling(s) only stays in the nest for 45 days before being kicked out to fend for itself.

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The juvenile bald eagles, or eaglets are born a light gray and turn brown in color.  It isn’t until they are 4 – 5 years old that the iconic white head and tail feathers appear.  Bald eagles can live to be 35 years old or more.

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Our field trip was at Rainbow Lake, in Lakeside, AZ.  It was fascinating to watch all the waterfowl ‘walking on the water’ as the ice melted on the lake.

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We watched mergansers catch fish and chase each other around to try to steal the fish from one another.

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That is… until the bald eagle got hungry and dive bombed the mergansers to make their catch their own.

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Just goes to show… the bigger bird gets the worm, er… fish.

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Snow Burn

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My sister tells me she enjoys my blog and hasn’t seen a post in awhile… so I guess I have been remise.  Hi, Karen 🙂

So we went out to our burn area behind our house to take some photos of the burn area in the recent snow fall.

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Our singed trees are loving the snow and the soaking water it yields.  While many trees won’t come back… some will.

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We’ve gotten probably 24″ since Christmas all together, so it has been very welcome precipitation for our forest.  The snow has slowly melted in, giving the ground it’s much needed moisture.  We’ll take all we can get.  Bring it on.. and bring more!

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A Whoosh and a Tale

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We got about 8 inches of snow out of this last storm.  I am loving the beautiful fresh fallen snow on the trees.. and this sweet deer taking it all in.

Then… in a Whoosh, 1/100th of a second later, to be exact.  From right behind the tree came quite a surprise to me… and this lucky deer.

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OMG!  What the HECK was THAT?!?!

In a flash, this mountain lion thought he had dinner.   But in just a matter of minutes, he was back empty-pawed.

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Dejected and hungry, he left the scene of the near miss, not to be seen again.

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The deer have since been back… but are a lot more cautious and alert.

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It was the first mountain lion I have EVER seen in the wild.  I felt so fortunate to get a shot of it.  As it was… I was looking through my viewfinder when it happened…. and it was over in less than a blink of an eye.  Life happens quickly, it pays to know your path and be prepared.

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More Best of 2018

I did a Best of. 2018 here….    https://kritterspix.com/2018/12/27/best-of-2018/

I’m fortunate to have taken enough worthy photos that I can share multiple Best of 2018 posts, albeit some similar themes.

ts snohort2_IR.jpg1.  Tree Saddle Snow    First Snow of 2018, January 21 on Mogollon Rim.

vsm st hirt_IR.jpg2.  Blue Shutters    Provence FRANCE

v waterrok_IR_IR.jpg3.  Water Rok    Vernazza, Cinque Terre  ITALY

riostripvill_IR_IR.jpg4. Rio Boats    Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre ITALY

_40A0799_IR.jpg5.  Fog Trees    Fog over Moqui Draw

pt imp river_IR.jpg6. Point Imperial River    Sunset over Grand Canyon North Rim, Point Imperial

D_Smathia_Grand_Canyon_NR_0918 copy_IR.jpg7.  Awesome View    Your’s truly, taken at North Rim Grand Canyon by Arizona Highways Photographer, Suzanne Mathia

cp flwrs hort_IR_IR.jpg8.  Cape Flowers    Grand Canyon North Rim, Cape Royal

AspenMaple_IR.jpg9.  Aspen Maple    Fall Colors on Mogollon Rim

_40A4032_IR.jpg10. Ruins Burst    Sunrise of old Indian Ruins

I love these posts.  They make me reflect on the year past, where I have been and what we have done.  These images are a glimpse into our lives and our souls.  I hope you enjoyed taking the journey with me.

For more pix check out…  https://kritterspix.com/2018/12/27/best-of-animals-2018/    and  https://kritterspix.com/2018/12/27/best-of-2018/.

 

Stained Glass Door

All good ideas start with a vision.

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It’s not like I seek out things to do.  They just come to us, with a need.  Well, maybe, need, isn’t the right word.  How about… a good idea.

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For instance… we have these doors.  They are pretty plain.  Wouldn’t they look better with a stained glass window on them.  That’s what we thought!

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So I drew up a pattern that seemed suited for our area… you know, elk, bunnies, blue jays, trees.

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And then set out to build it.  We have never fretted over the amount of work in any particular project.  I suppose if we did, we’d never get anything done.  We just think of the finished project, and how cool it might be… and set out to accomplish it.

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Once the pattern was finished, I set out to choose the colors… and cut the glass for the 6′ tall door.

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And cut glass….

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Then I began the daunting task of a combination of leading and foiling the glass pieces in a long labor intensive effort that took patience, determination and perseverance.

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Then after soldering all the joints, I had to ‘pack’ the lead channel with a DAP window caulking.

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Then use a gypsum powder to clean the flux off the solder joints and lead channel.

 

I actually made my husband a bet… I expected the project to take a year, he gave me 8 months.  Working long consecutive days at every opportunity I had available to me, I finished it in 6 months.

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Now our door isn’t plain any more.  Who knew we needed a stained glass door… but it was a good idea.

 

A Special Place

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Do you have a special place?

Maybe a restaurant you meet your one and only?  A place of solitude that elicits fond memories?  A spot you go to so that you might clear your head?

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We should all have such a place of tranquility and peaceful reconciliation.  Alas, many of the restaurant / bars that my husband and I remember fondly – where we met, where we danced to quiet music, etc.  – are now no longer there.  And I’m not talking just change in names… buildings gone, and unrecognizably landscapes have taken the place of long forgotten icons.

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But we still have our special place.  It’s not a restaurant or a bar… it’s an attitude of peaceful reflection.  My husband first went when he was a boy of 10 years old.  He went camping with his dad.  His dad felt he should know how to drive in case anything happened to him.  So it’s a place, he first learned to drive with his dad – gone now some 20 years.

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My husband took me there before we were married, some 30+ years ago now.  It was then that we discovered these ruins as we looked over this grand landscape and saw this structure tucked into the side of the hill… seemingly undiscovered all these years.

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We have been going back ever since, and deem it our special place.  It is magical, tranquil, and awe-inspiring.  We should all have such a special place.

 

 

Bison are back

_40A3761_IR.jpgBison at North Rim, Grand Canyon

Back in the mid to late 1800’s over 60 million bison roamed the plains.  From North Dakota to Arizona herds were plentiful and prolific.

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Until they weren’t.  Hunters decimated much of the herds.  In fact, it was in large part ‘how the West was won’, as hunters kill Native American Indian’s food source.  With only some 23 bison left, concerned citizens the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and the Bronx Zoo, among others isolated the remaining bison to prohibit their extinction.

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Today, bison are being re-introduced and bred under the watchful eye of Game and Fish Departments, National Wildlife Federation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and private organizations across the country.  Today’s bison are carefully monitored for disease and genealogy to assure healthy, robust, diverse herds.

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It’s a real treat to see them grazing on the Plains and to appreciate and observe these large historic animals.

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For more bison pix, see my post here … https://kritterspix.com/2018/11/05/they-are-not-buffalo/