Wednesday, April 23, 2014

White Crowned Sparrow Visiting The Garden

Mrsroadrunner Photography | White Crowned Sparrow Visiting The Garden

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The White Crowned Sparrow can be found for some time here in our gardens and our wild bird area. This area consists of everything a bird could want!
Cats are prohibited in this area where the wild birds come and go! They bath, sleep, hang out then go on their merry way!
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This White Crowed Sparrow is perched on our raspberry plants. These plants just now started leafing out. Soon berries will appear!
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I do see a rose cane that needs removed....
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Then after some time giving this one some attention, off he goes!
Thank you for coming by and spending time with me! Check out my other photography at . I do sale my photography so I can head out and observe our off the beat and path places here in Oregon! Facebook fan page (give a like??), of course Twitter .

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mrsroadrunner Photography | Amaryllis Flower Project

Mrsroadrunner Photography | Amaryllis Flower Project

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This is my Red Amaryllis Flower Cluster. This is one of my indoor plants that flower. The lighting is artificial and rather funky to photograph within my room.
This flower species is from South Africa and I just do not want to get into the species thing going on since two species have been put into the name "Amaryllis", category sold here in America (other countries too?).
This bulb is HUGE. All these flower bulbs are large, they are a large flower. I have had all my bulbs for gosh over 6 years. I do have several and different colors. I have done this and that with them. From pulling them from the room keeping them in a breathable paper bag in the dark, to planting them in large, medium and small containers. To putting them directly in the ground! Results, the bulb seams to like the small containers best in my environment. Perhaps even root bound??
This bulb produced two clusters of flowers, the one above and another cluster. I waited for this cluster of flowers to open and I hand pollinated ONLY one cluster. Not real hard to do, just a little time consuming! Not as bad as hand pollinated African Violets!!

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If I would thought of it I would have put something near the pollen sacks there but.... I dint. Bright yellow and on these flowers they are a good size.
I went ahead and just pollinated flower to flower.... We get house flies in my room who do pollinate, however the frogs take care of the flies. I put in organic matter to attract gnats, however the frog eat them too. So I just hand pollinate. This way I am sure things are going to pollinate what I want pollinated.
The other cluster of flowers not shown here, I left alone. Just to see if anything was pollinating for me... nope! They all died away.
After some time I got these seed pods, not all four flowers took. Three out of four is not bad odds!!
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I have had indoor photographers give me advice on how to photograph indoors, however this is not my main way of photographing things so ......
This is the seeds pods maturing. Three out of Four flowers took. The first one there you can see it slowly breaking open. Keeping these seed pods dry is vary important, since mold will set in and ruin everything!!
Living here on The High Desert of Oregon humidity is what it is and making humidity is what it is as well!! Other issues which I can make a whole other blog post about just our dry conditions!!
A lot of waiting goes on doing such a thing as this..... wait, wait,wait!! I am giving this project a year or more to get or not get results! Nature is what it is.... breeding plants can take some folks years and years!! Or depending on the species may only take a year to produce seeds, the nest year to grow the seeds. Grafting is a quick way to get results. You take one species of whatever, use those roots to grow the top of another species which there is a lot more to it then that but.... again another blog post!
We do have quite a lot of cross breeding going on outside within our flowers..... this is just because of all the species of flowers and all the pollinators out there doing their job. We never know what it going to cross breed outside until the next year. Outside is not a controlled atmosphere. Some pollen can travel miles on the wind..... however typically hitchhiking on someones boots, legs of insects, dogs, cats, on and on. If a breeder does not allow you to get out of your vehicle, or to walk around their property, dont take offense these folks are just protecting their work. I learned this as a kid and wanted to see a Orchid breeders flowers.....
The pod there in front I photographed that one for it was going to pop open first. You can see it getting ready.

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Again if I thought I was going to do a post about this I would have left the seeds within this empty seed pod for you all to see!
Three chambers of seeds came from this one seed pod. I have breed bugs in the past. Ya, Ya why bugs.... well this reminds me of a egg sacks of the bugs.... the seeds are attached in rows. Dried as these were some fell out others were still attached however dry enough to harvest. Some seeds did not ripen and this was ok too! Heck I do not even know if these seeds will grow!!
Guy calls me a seed queen for I just can not throw away seeds! Seeds are a potential flower and I like MOST flowers. Not all of course for weeds are flowers too!
Mind you I am also not a professional flower breeder so I can not impress you with all those big names in and out of the latin , or some other  language. I started learning this stuff when I was a little girl in grade school. This stuff just fascinated me is all! This kind of stuff just came natural. No pun intended.

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These are the first Amaryllis seeds I have ever seen. Encased in a nice casing that should do well in the wind. They do remind me of other species of seeds. Plants , flowers are like everything else in this world. They want to take over the world with their seed. This is survival, more seeds that are produced, take hold and grow , wins!!
I have put these seeds from this one pod in a plastic baggy. When everyone is done I shall have three plastic baggies. The seeds will be grown inside kept warm. When this time comes I will have to do research on South Africa's climate and it would make sense to copy their climate the best I can in my controlled atmosphere..... if that is I want to see any of these seeds grow into a bulb.
This can take time, lots and lots of time and waiting....... This is just something I am curious about. Bulbs are easier, the bulbs produce a "baby", you take that "baby", off and grow it by itself, and another flower is produced. Flowering and producing seeds will make some species die off. So if you are going to experiment do not be surprised if the host dies. This is life, produce young and life is over. Living and dying is what life is all about.

Thank you for coming by and spending time with me!  Check out my other photography at . I do sale my photography so I can head out and observe our off the beat and path places here in Oregon! Facebook fan page (give a like??), of course Twitter .

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mrsroadrunner Photography | Morning With A Muskrat

Mrsroadrunner Photography | Morning With A Muskrat

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I headed off as every morning when I go on a walk here in our town. Checking my camera bag and choosing which lens to bring with me, knowing it will never be the right lens ha! Choosing whether to carry the heavy water canteen,or just fill up a bottle I have around here. Filled up a bottle with water that fits nicely into my bag is what I chose to do this morning.
As times before a coyote disturbed the peace at the ponds. Hearing all the racket I new something was going down, however I just kept my slow pace hoping by the time I got there things would be calmed down?
If the Magpies would quit telling everyone I was there things would have went a little better? The ducks were on high alert due to the coyote no doubt?? All of them flew making loud distress calls as they went! Some in pairs going this way and that way! I did notice the farmers were busy doing their thing, which the wildlife get used to here in my part of the High Desert of Oregon. Jefferson County Oregon is a agricultural place after all!
As I looked over the first pond I seen nothing in the pond itself but for some small birds who looked like Robins taking baths. I was  keeping a lookout for the Coyote of course, though Coyotes really do not want anything to do with people! I made my way through the brush to the second pond.
I did see something dive under the water. Whatever it was made a ripple in the water. We do have some pretty large fish here, but not in a pond of this size I thought? Shoot someone would have to put the fish here! Fish just cant walk to ponds! Hence why the state of Oregon is dropping fish from helicopters in the more remote lakes for those who hike to the lakes and want to fish.
Really these seam to be holding ponds that are not really used anymore for the farmer who owns the land. Pipes coming from the ponds themselves as well as what appears to be a machine which I really do not pay any mind to for to have permission to be on the land I have to follow some basic rules. Common sense tells me not to mess around with such things as machinery! The owner did not have to tell me this. However, I do find the pipes nice sitting spots. They are really long pipes that are basically on the ground.
I made myself comfy, and waited. Whatever it was will come up again. Sometime! Sure enough up pops a head with vegetation in it's paws!

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The Blackbirds in the tree nearest me were quiet for a second then off the male started doing his display calling to whatever female might happen to be around. The male Red Winged Blackbird did keep me company, along with the female who answered his call.

I watched the Muskrat eat her breakfast taking of course a lot of photographs! No I did not put all the photographs on here, just a couple!

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The Muskrat after a time quit diving and bring up more vegetation to eat to what it looked like to me, she was checking on something?? Where she is there, that is the end of this pond, see the cattails and such?? This is a ok sized pond, I just call it the small pond.
In the next shot here, you can see she is contemplating something! Her behavior made me even wonder what she is thinking so hard about? I am only calling her a she, I do not know if this is a male or female? Perhaps the males venture out more then the females??

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The morning was still pretty chilly at this time, I still had my sweater on. Though gosh the bugs!! I did have to check if I had ticks on me, though it is a little early for ticks I thought...... No tick thank goodness! I am a tick magnet, that is just the way it is! Guy (my other half), claims if there is a tick within a mile I will not only find it but I will bring it home with me ha! This is what happens when you hang out near the water!
Many places the visitors come to, these places do not have bugs to bother these folks as much for these places are sprayed with chemicals. This way folks can have a good time in our part of the world. You go off the beat and path, well.... you will get eaten up just like everything else by the bugs. However, these places off the beat and path are where I feel the best outdoor experiences come from! The trick is to learn where these kinds of places are.....
Now this next photograph is what made me know without a doubt this is no beaver!

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Beavers do not have such a tail, hence Muskrat. Rat..... It is not like you can walk right up to a wildlife species and ask it what exactly do we humans call you?? I think most of my time photographing what I do when I get home is research!! I would of liked this to be a Beaver, why? Well, we do not see Beaver like we used to here! This really is not a place a beaver would be more then likely anyways, due to it not being connected to a river inlet etc.. Well, from what I know of Beaver without looking them up and reading.
I did kind of feel my observation of this Muskrat was over. Thinking just wait.... I am in no hurry, and I refuse to wear a watch or any kind of time piece. Though I did happen to notice the farmers , there was several people out on farm machinery on that piece of land over in that direction. That just happens to be where one can see as plain as day The Three Sisters mountains. What a horrible place to work right?? Where you have beautiful scenery of The Three Sisters mountain, with Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Hood right there in your face ha!
The farmers drove the farm machinery and parked all in a row. Common farmers like things neat and tidy! I assumed it was around lunch time?? Our town does not have a noon time bell like other towns I have been in. This is how I kind of new it was around noonish, or when it was going to start getting hot so 10ish?? WOW it did get hot later on btw!
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I was contemplating getting up and leaving, but thought I would just sit tight.....

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By this time a Robin come over where the Red Winged Blackbirds were to check out the situation! Robin birds are pretty much bullies !! They rather feel that everything is their business! Of course they back off when bigger birds then them are around however the blackbirds are not bigger then they are.
As our Muskrat was in the cattails I started watching the birds more. Jumping down getting drinks and heading back up to their perching spot. The male Red Wing showing off all his color as he screams for attention. The Robin bird trying to scare him out of his spot..... dint happen by the way! I also at this time heard hawks, well Harriers perhaps. This is where I typically see them and they make drive by's. Though I have seen my share of eagles out here. Though this was a hawk. Fact was, it was a Red Tailed Hawk soaring way up high. Circling, riding the wave until I could not see it or hear it any longer.
Keeping a eye on where the Muskrat is.... something is at that spot, for the Muskrat did not move from there! All I could see is it's butt, or um rear end for our younger readers! AND I waited.....
I wait a lot by the way!! Thinking most of my life is waiting! Of course I just can not get my lens in there to see what the Muskrat is doing, thus I think it is waiting when actually it is just a time laps for I have no clue of what is going on and I want to know, so I wait! Why I also do not wear any type of watch, or carry a time piece.... That is a stress I just dont need in my life. Since my sibling took my Cinderella watch did I think time should hold so much control over us. Or was it a Snow White, I think it was Snow White come to think of it.... I was always one to think about why folks do what they do. Hey, I wonder how much that watch would go for these days? MMMM, might just be neat to see one of those now a days. Ok back to the Muskrat!
The wait was finally over!! Went by pretty quickly. I had things to think about and other creatures to watch while I waited, and waited.
WHAM with delight and rather a proud look on the Muskrats disposition, I found out what on earth the Muskrat was doing!!

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The Muskrat was cutting this down! Well chewing it down! Thank goodness we have a thumb right?

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Looks like a pretty good piece of something to eat there doesn't it? If that is you are a Muskrat! Some nice bark, perhaps a bug or more within the bark! Yum Yum ha!
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Now to get the piece of wood to go where the Muskrat wants it to go! Some folks say critters are not real smart..... I dont know about that!? We have watched this Muskrat use up a lot of energy to get this piece of wood into the water, so that piece of wood must be pretty darn important!
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Off "she", goes with the piece of wood to her desired destination. This Muskrat disappeared where I could no longer observe what the Muskrat was doing.
I did make my way over to that spot, and seen it was built up of many pieces of wood! Though I dont know for sure, however I am wondering if this Muskrat had young and was taking this piece of wood to the young to chew on?? Or for this Muskrat to chew on later?? Or just to repair the nest as Beavers do??
Thank you for coming by and spending time with me and the Muskrat! Check out my other photography at . I do sale my photography so I can head out and observe our off the beat and path places here in Oregon! Facebook fan page (give a like??), of course Twitter .