July 17, 2012

Two Chicks!

The second nighthawk chick hatched a day after the first one. 
Chick the Younger is now 3 days old.  Mama seems to hover over them most of the time.  We thought the chicks would quickly become mobile and hide in the junipers, but with their amazing camouflage, they are able to hide in plain sight.
In this video, Mama does her injured act to lure us away.  When we follow her, she hisses at us like a snake in an attempt to frighten us.  Admiring her protective instincts, we left her to do her thing and take good care of the babies.

July 13, 2012

Nighthawk Down

On a ride in The Cedars about 10 days ago, we first saw this bird:
The nighthawk (about the size of a robin) flew up from the ground, but she didn't go very far. 
A few days later, we saw her again.  Steve scanned the area and found her "nest".  The eggs are laid on bare rock and sand, but they're so well camouflaged that they're hard to find. 
We returned daily, sometimes twice a day, hoping to see the hatchlings in the first 24 hours.  After that, they are mobile and would probably hide in the junipers. 
Our persistence paid off.  Here's the video of our discovery:
And a close-up of the chick:
What a cute little fuzzball.  His head is on the left.  You can see his closed eye.

July 3, 2012

Communing with Nature

Boss and Daisy love to commune with nature... and maybe with each other.   "Nice view!" says Daisy.  "Easy for you to say," says Boss.  "You don't have to carry a full sized human up a rocky trail to get here."
'Tis the season for wildflowers:
Skyrocket, Scarlet Gilia

Indian Paintbrush

Wild Blue Flax
And butterflies:
Chalcedon Checkerspot
Pericopid Moth
Mormon Fritillary

We explored several beaver dams, some active and some not. 
Is that a large-eared yellow beaver swimming in front of an old lodge?
While Steve was circling the beaver pond, a curious doe came out of the willows and stared at the strange being that had invaded her world.


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