Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spadefoot Toad Back in Oregon

Spadefoot Toad Back in Oregon


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Meet again the Spadefoot Toad that lives here at our property showing up once in a while in our pond.

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Since our weather has been warm for this time of the year, I started watering. The next morning this Spadefoot Toad was in this fabricated pond. We placed these fabricated ponds into our natural ponds for water conservation. Our part of the High Desert has been getting drier then normal due to the limitation of water. We felt in 2014 that 2015 might be worse thus the prefabricated ponds.

As soon as we installed these two prefabricated ponds, this Spadefoot Toad showed up in this one. Last year the tadpoles hatched,grew and left the pond. This cycle looks as if it will continue in 2015. We have no clue how long this species of toad has lived here on our property? Since we have other species of frogs here, the singing of frogs and toads coming from our ponds goes on both days and nights. I try and photograph the visitors or the residence of wildlife we have here at home.

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The photographs you see here are from two days. The first day this Spadefoot Toad wanted nothing to do with me, kept coming up in the shade mind you. As soon as the Spadefoot Toad noticed movement down it went into the dark depths of the pond!

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The Spadefoot Toads head usually was in the shade. Might be to hot in the sun? Frogs and toads skin is very thin.....

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I took several shots of the feet. Being diggers the feet of the Spadefoot Toad is different then water based creatures.

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Since I do not pick up the toads or the frogs here without cause, such as death, this Spadefoot Toad is not touched by anyone! I do not allow us to pick  the Spadefoot Toad up by our hands. I just do not want to hurt them! So this Spadefoot Toad comes and goes as it wants to. Only seeing one adult stuck in the fabricated pond so far. Tadpoles are a different story and I have a net for these, again I just do not want to touch them.

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You can see the side of the prefab pond in some of these shots. On day two the Spadefoot Toad seamed very.... it no longer was darting down under the water to the black depths of the pond. This concerned me due to the Spadefoot Toad behavior when it first was seen in the pond the day before. The question, what would happen to this Spadefoot Toad if it was unable to get out of the pond and go back into it's burrow went through my mind. I dont want to hurt the Spadefoot Toad by being ignorant!

I expressed my concerns to Guy when he got home from work and he seen the Spadefoot Toad was not expressing the liveliness of a creature who is doing well. So Guy placed a board in the pond, if the Spadefoot Toad wanted out, this could be a way it could get out. Since we have no idea how on earth the Spadefoot Toads even get into the pond? Assuming the need to breed is so great, getting into the prefab pond is easier then getting out for the creature.......

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The next morning the Spadefoot Toad was gone. I like getting the photographs I do of the wild creature who show up here, but I am not going to go so far as stressing out the creatures who show up here. Stress is a killer of both small and large creatures. That to me is not a good host.

Who knows there might be Spadefoot Toad eggs again in 2015? It is still very early in the year..... We may just see this species in this pond again?? I have yet to see a grown Spadefoot Toad in the other pond. I did photograph several of the tadpoles last year in the other pond. Lets hope the snakes do not move in and wipe out our little ponds this year? I am on the watch for snakes, and the smell of such snakes!

Thank you for coming by and checking out these photographs that were taken ..... oh last week? A few days ago now.... If you would like to read the blog post of last year when I just learned what I have photographs of you can read that post here if you would like or copy and paste the url http://www.mrsroadrunner.com/blog/2014/6/spadefoot-toad .

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bumblebee and the Cosmos Flower Bloom

Bumblebee and the Cosmos Flower Bloom


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Meet one of our common pollinator here at our garden! Round and round the bee goes!

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If photographs do talk for us there is not a whole lot more I can say! You can see the photographs I took for yourself!

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This flower is the Cosmos Flower.

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We do have several kinds of Bee's here at the house now, even though there is not to much to eat out there at the moment!

Thank you for coming by and checking out my Photographs!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Heliotrope Flower Bloom

Heliotrope Flower Bloom


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Meet the Heliotrope blooms and plant!

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Not sure why I do not give these container plants more attention then I do? These have to be the top fragrant flowers we have? Profuse bloomer of these purple little flowers and the foliage dose not look bad either!

Here in our part of the High Desert of Oregon we grow this in one of our big containers! For us this Heliotrope does not survive our cold winters. Guy claims if we brought it inside it might?

Pollinators - no real pollinators to speak of that I have observed.

The spot for the Heliotrope is a extremely sunny location which is not shared with the public. The soil is my own mix, part low grade cheep house plant soil (found anywhere and everywhere. To me I see this as a filler, like white rice. It does not have to much value however it fills a belly),part peat moss, part high quality soil we have to drive to get, part mushroom, part steer . When I can find good guano I have a tendency to throw that into the mix.... this works for us!

Watering is two times a day with no exceptions ! A big misconception some folks have in our part of Oregon is, you can water one or two times a week and your garden will flourish. This is just not the case! Guy did stick up for folks saying if they keep the water on all day and night two times a week they may get away with some plants? We also disagree with the using the run off from the big farms and ranches. I wont use this water that we pay dearly for. If I can not drink the water, the dogs, cat can not drink that water there must be something nasty about it, right? I am sure it is fine for such things as lawn? Water is a hot topic for me so I will leave this issue or start ranting.....

I highly recommend this flower to grow! Perhaps we should try it in the ground some day??

Thank you for coming by and checking out the photographs of this day of the Heliotrope!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Honeybees on The Red Poppy Flowers

Honeybees on The Red Poppy Flowers


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Meet the Honeybees that were on these Poppy Flowers of August 1, 2014!

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We do seam to be a stopping point for many pollinators during the peak blooming time of the year. This is now March still and we are getting the flower beds ready for 2015 flowering season by pulling weeds, seeding,waiting on a tuber delivery, working the soil, still needing to run the tiller and the chipper since we have piles of brush here and there from last year! Everything is taking off early this year!

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You can see from the photographs above, there are two different poppy flowers! These are both from Red Poppy Flower Seeds, though the one Poppy Flower has more of a orange tint to it!

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By August I spend a lot of my time outside if you can imagine! A lot of work to do and this is the busy time of the year here at home and all over Central and Eastern Oregon!

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The Honeybee's photographed here start arriving early in the morning when sun starts to warm everything up. The honeybee's stick around until evening time.

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Since the Poppy Flowers are so delicate of a flower, over head watering is a no go. The Honeybee's are found at our ponds or the other hardier flowers getting drinks from the mud we provide. Honeybee's like other insects do not drink water as you and I do, then back to work they go!

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Every dang time I get visiting people here they swat at the bee's! These Honeybee's are more then likely from the shipments of Honeybee's we get from California to pollinate the big farms. Though since we have many species of bee's visiting us at any giving time at the peak blooming season, it is not wise to swat at the bee's. Some bee's do not like this!

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Our place just hummmmms with the sounds of the Honeybee's doing their thing and I kind of like the sounds!

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A place with Honeybee's is a healthy place! I worry when I see no Honeybee's in a location!!

Thank you for coming by and checking out the photographs from August 1, 2014!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Dragonfly of the High Desert of Oregon

Dragonfly of the High Desert of Oregon


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Meet the Dragonfly of our home here in the High Desert of Oregon!

Hope you all had a good weekend? We got some things that needed done , done in the garden. Now it is time to start putting out the seeds for the future flowers and the visitors to our garden! Many of my photographs of 2014 did come from our own garden. These photographs of this Band-winged Meadowhawk is no different!

These photographs came from one of our ponds, and fruit trees that hang over that pond.

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I do get really good questions asked of me! The questions that is on my mind this morning was if I just push a button and take many photographs of the subject? Well...... one thing that folks may not understand is, keeping that button pushed results in oh lets just say a lot of photographs!! So unless I want to go through what a thousand, two , five thousand photographs of the same exact subject the answer is no. I do not just keep the button pushed. If that was the case I would have so many photographs to go through!! OMG makes me wince at the thought!

Like many folks who have to have a lot of stimulation, one day I can have many photographs of many different things if that day has been a active day! This of course is out of my hands, wildlife is going to do what wildlife wants to do!

The photograph above is the first of these three photographs I took. I really do not know if the subject is going to stick around? So, first thing to do is get the subject used to the sounds of my camera, and to get whatever used to me per say. Walking slow, everything has to be done with purpose!! Taking a step, you better think about that step!

Adjust the lens, since I do not mess with my camera settings I do not have to worry about that. I do not use a tripod, typically. So I do not have to worry about a tripod scaring whatever wildlife. Take a shot, or a couple shots.

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Step closer, depending on how the wild creature is behaving! This Meadowhawk or dragonfly was not showing signs of stress. Adjust the lens, take some photographs.

I personally refuse to put my lens on "auto". This is a lazy, bad habit when dealing with wildlife photography! Some lenses do not even have a auto feature! Get used to "manual", mode. Depend on your own ability to act quickly as well as the ability to read the creatures behavior. You know if a creature is ready to fly away! If you do not, practice, practice when you have practiced, practice some more! I also keep all my lenses on the "stabilizer", feature. If that lens has one?

When you do not use a tripod you have that chance of doing what everyone does, move. When dealing with such things as branch of a tree, and a creature, the branch moves, the leaves move and the creature will move on and on and on. This is just the way it is. You have to deal with this!

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Depending on the creatures behavior, step closer. The shot above is the closest I felt I could get! I do not want to run off the creatures that visit our garden! These Band-winged Meadowhawks or dragonflies mate here in our garden. We also get other kinds of dragonflies here who will mate if they can find a mate! This took us years to build however a creature who can come and go as they please will not feel secure if they are constantly being threatened by people.

The background on these photographs is just the garden. Since this was August 1 of 2014 the garden was in full bloom. Seeing the leaves the Band-Winged Meadowhawk is on tells me this was our fruit tree that hangs over one of our small ponds. This tells me that the background on these shots is pointing out of the six foot dog fence, and that flower bed. Blurring out the fence, leaving the green and some other colors that are flowers!

Editing my photographs: These photographs had nothing done to them. I try to not do anything to them. I dont know photoshop and frankly neither does many of the people who think they know photoshop! Shutters at some of the photoshopped photographs I have seen .....

Just had a scare, news from Bend Oregon just said it was snowing! We have the door wide open and some of the windows, does not feel cold enough to snow!! It is not , raining here! We have flowers in bloom already! Others are getting ready to bloom with buds on them, like the lilacs! Last thing we need is snow or that horrible frost!! We even have some birds in nests here at home!!

Thank you for coming by and checking out these photographs of the Band-winged Meadowhawk from August 1, 2014!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Central Oregon Garden Spider

Central Oregon Garden Spider


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Meet the garden spider that set up shop in our corn!

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Some folks may or may not realize but coming up with things to write about and show you sometimes gets hard! I thank the person who gave me the idea to write about and show this spider (even though I do understand some folks are not real thrilled with spiders. A sibling of mine is included in this category). I still jumped right onto the idea this person gave me, if the person knows they gave me the idea or not!

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Being organic I do rely on such help from insects such as this spider! Rather a larger spider compared to some other spiders we have here! This spider is not in the category of the Black Widow or that Brown Recluse we have in our part of the country so this spider is ok in my book! Plus it was in the corn, the corn we grew just for the birds.

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Rule of thumb here at the house is if you can hurt me you can not set up shop. This spider just does not fit into that category either!





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Thank you for coming by and checking out this garden spider! Of course I really do not know what species this spider is, I just know I photographed it where it should be ~ in the garden!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Western Tanager Visiting The Garden

Western Tanager Visiting The Garden


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Meet the Western Tanager! One of the more flashier birds who have visited us here in our part of the High Desert of Oregon.

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Primarily a insect eater, this Western Tanager also likes the fruit, such as our raspberries! This Western Tanager is near our raspberries checking out the situation. Though one of the small ponds is right there as well, so perhaps this Western Tanager was thinking of getting a drink?

It can get rather hot here where we live, the ponds give all the birds a nice safe break from the heat!

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The first time I seen the Western Tanager was up in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness area just singing it's little heart out way up in the trees. It is nice to see them here at the house!

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When the Western Tanager shows up, you just can not mix them up with other birds and they are fun to watch! Even though this one was not in any way trusting of me, or the dogs. This tells me this Western Tanager bird was not around for very long, or seeing this was in July one of the wildfires made this Western Tanager come this way?

Typical birds who stay here any length of time do get used to the activities around here.

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The colorful Western Tanager took flight and went to the fruit tree as you can see in the next two photographs.

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Keep a eye out for the visitors to your home, never know what is going to show up!

Thank you for coming by and checking out this visitor to our home!