It's actually been pretty dry here for the last week, so many of the farmers have gotten their crops in the field and some of the corn and oats are already coming up. Here's what it looks like around here--lots of flat fields and and the clumps of trees you see are either farmsteads or sinkholes. The arrow is pointing to a tractor--but you can only see the cloud of dust from the planter or whatever he's pulling behind. The majority of these fields are probably planted in corn, so by the middle of summer it will be a "sea of green."
Here's what hungry deer can do to an arbor vitae hedge during a long snowy winter. I think it's a funny picture, but I'm sure the homeowner who lives here doesn't!
As we were trying to figure out what was planted in the field near our deer hunting area, I noticed a large dark shape in the middle of the field. Binocular review showed me that it was a juvenile bald eagle.
The crows weren't happy about this eagle sitting in their field......
.....and after a few fly-bys, the eagle finally got tired of the harassment and flew away.
Our drive continued up the road and as we came over a rise we saw all the huge, dark birds in a field ahead. "Look at all those turkeys!" said Mr. Johnson. I grabbed the binocs again for a better look.
"Drive closer," I said, "those aren't turkeys, they're turkey vultures!"
I have never seen this many vultures together and on the ground--there wasn't even anything dead there! Here's a close-up for my friend Lynne.
They're not the prettiest bird in the world, but you have to admit they're magnificent in flight.
Continuing on our journey, we turned down another back road that used to be a good "parking" road for us back in the 70's (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). The road has been redone, so there aren't any isolated spots anymore, plus there are many more people who live out this way. One of the farms there had these magnificent animals in their field. Holy cow indeed!
I have never seen horns like these. I don't know my bovine species very well, does anyone else have any idea what kind of cattle these are? Those horns were massive.
UPDATE: After googling "texas longhorn cattle," I sent an e-mail to Mike Crawford at Red Peak Ranch in Mills County, TX asking if he could ID these cattle, since my pictures didn't look like the Texas Longhorns on Mike's website. I got a note back from Mike today and here's what he said, "It looks like they are a cross between a Watusi and Texas Longhorn. When their horns are thick and twist up they are Watusi which it appears 2 of the cows horns in your photos do this. The younger one where her horns are more lateral has some longhorn blood."
I'd heard of Watusi cattle (native to Africa), so I googled "watusi cattle" also. If you're interested, learn more about Watusi cattle at this Wikipedia link.
It was starting to get closer to dark, so Mr. Johnson drove me past the old trout farm where he had seen an eagle nest earlier in the year. The eagle nest was obscured by leaves now, but we did see one of the adult eagles sitting nearby. There were lots of geese on the trout farm ponds and I spotted Mom & Pop Goose with some fuzzy young 'uns.
I asked Mr. Johnson to take one more detour on our way home to see if the Western Meadowlark I have seen previous years was still in the same area. We finally spotted this meadowlark in a small tree, but it never sang, so I can't confirm whether it was Eastern or Western. Any guesses from this picture?