Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hackee sack anyone?

I've been working hard all week, either on the computer or on the ranch, so this morning I played hooky and went for a three-hour photo excursion to some of my favorite places in our county. This sandhill crane was busy throwing a chunk of cow manure in the air, hitting it with his head and beak, playing with it like it was a hackee sack. I saw it as I was driving by, and I swung back around to try to get a photo before it quit. One photo was all I got, but mercy what a fun photo it is. Anyone out there still doubt that animals play?

A small segment of Sublette County, Wyoming has one of the largest nesting concentrations of long-billed curlew of anywhere in the world. They love flood-irrigated hay meadows, digging through cattle dung for bugs.

I saw more Swainsons today than any other raptor.

This bird seemed to be about to burst its chest as it cheerily sang the song of spring. The Meadowlark is Wyoming's state bird, as it is for several other states.

As I headed home, it was starting to snow a little, and a badger appeared alongside the road momentarily before disappearing into a burrow.


Neutrino Cannon said...

I can never seem to get photos of the sandhills as they come through CO. I hear them plenty though; often they fly so high that you can't see them, but you can hear their calls on the very edge of the wind noise.

That's a fun photo of hackee sack there. Sandhill cranes live what, 30-40 years? Got to do something to entertain themselves in all that time.

Matt Mullenix said...

Wonderful photos!

NorCal Cazadora said...

Fantastic crane photo! The better I get to know animals - mostly by hunting them or observing them while hunting - the more I believe they are not so different from ourselves. Or I should say, we are not so different from them.