Neighbor Family

Buzzards are a common enough sight over the hollow.

For over a decade it was the bigger turkey vultures we would see on a near daily basis, until the black buzzards spread up from the south like armadillos. While six or seven are often together in the sky, there’s been four particular individuals hanging around close for a couple weeks.

These four will hang around the barn, but today they followed this one to a different location.

I wonder if this is the boss as the other three followed it to some oak trees by the spring.

Three of the four buzzards landed in this dying white oak.

The fourth landed on this big oak up on the hillside.

This one was quite interested in what I was doing.

The buzzard with the Elvis hair was more nonchalant.

A Normal Day

Stepping out on the porch this morning we saw about the only resident of the hollow that gives us pause: a horsefly. (I naively call any big fly a horsefly.) Tricky fellow was difficult to see on the black plastic. Horseflies sure do bite hard. And always on the back of the neck. Red wasps? Not as bad as advertised. Copperheads and pygmy rattlers? We invite them to lunch. Horseflies? Mean and smarter than a chimpanzee.

Crossing the yard, we scanned the skies for the needed and promised rain. We saw few clouds but could feel change on the breeze. Near the tiny apple trees we saw this bumblebee on a thistle. (I naively call any big bee a bumblebee.) I normally cut down thistles, but missed this one. Old Chandler sure hated bumblebees.

We circled through the blackberry field (ate a couple ripe berries) to the pond (still empty). The yellow dog dramatically froze and scented the air, so I paused until he barked twice and trotted forward. Back down through the field above the house he was still snuffing around with extra vigor, so I knew something was near (something is always near). I stopped to look at the leaves on a big mulberry tree when a heavy bodied deer exploded out of the brush. It must have been lying down and I think it had antlers, which surprised me. The fat dog tore off through the trees in fruitless pursuit. A normal day.