Wild Wednesday … Mystery Butterfly!

I’ve been sitting in the middle of I5 for nearly 3 hours. They’re clearing an overturned big rig with a load of steel I-beams. I’m trying to think of something soothing. How about a butterfly. This one showed up on the porch this morning. Good thing the kitten wasn’t around.  Does anyone know it’s name?Normally, I’d have my sketch pad, but not today. I have a project to finish too. Instead I’ll have to settle for a butterfly. 

Wild Wednesday … Bear Skull

drawing, bear skull, black bear, pen and ink, pen drawing, wildlife

Bear Skull in pen and ink.

This skull intrigued me with its bleached bone and hard shadows. I wondered what happened to cause it to be here. It was wild and dirty, and crying out to be drawn. So draw it I did!

bear skull, black bear, pen and ink, pen drawing, wildlife

The bear skull sitting on the running board of an older D6 Cat.

On our way into camp we often stop in a particular landing to give everyone a break from the ride. A D6 Cat tractor was parked there for several months. A local logger had been using it for road repair and erosion control work. During one stop at the landing we found a bear skull. It wasn’t a large skull, probably from a young bear or a sow.

bear skull, black bear, pen and ink, pen drawing, wildlife, D6 Cat

The Cat was parked in the landing for a few months. The skull is sitting on the floor in the entrance. Can you see it?

I couldn’t resist placing the skull in the tractor for the loggers to find. It sat there for weeks undisturbed. Until one day, while we were coming through, it had disappeared. Somebody or something must have taken a fancy to it and packed it off. When I first saw the skull I wondered what it’s story was, but it seems that it’s story may not be done. I wonder where it is now.

California Black Bear, Ursus americanus

One of the locals. A relative perhaps?

 

Wild Wednesday … Have You Herd?

The deer that live around the mill always converge on the hayfield behind the log deck in the fall and winter. This year I’ve counted as many as twenty at a time. I’ve accumulated some photos over the last few months. Typically, I’m not very close so the pictures are a little soft. They just went through the rut and the bucks will soon shed their antlers. Click on a picture to enlarge the gallery.

Wild Wednesday … Waiting For Fish

 

 

bald eagle

Scanning the Sacramento River, this bald eagle is fishing for breakfast.

I saw the eagle perched near the boat ramp scanning the river. I couldn’t get a clear picture that wasn’t full of branches. I slid down the bank next to the water. Slid being the operative word, since I almost took a morning dip. I had a clear view for this shot. The eagle never gave me a look. I wasn’t a fish!

bald eagle

Perched in the tree tops beside the river waiting for a fish.

Forestry Friday … Canyon Live Oak

Canyon Live Oak, Oak, acorns, pen and ink

Canyon Live Oak acorns in pen and ink.

Canyon Live Oak, Quercus chrysolepis, is an evergreen oak of the California Sierra Nevada and Coastal Range. Its full range stretches from Mexico and Arizona north to southwestern Oregon. These trees typically prefer shallow soils like those found in steep canyons common in the low and mid elevation mountains.  Hence the name. These sites are normally poor soil quality and aren’t the best locations for growing commercial timber. Canyon Live Oak is not considered as a commercial species. Its main commercial value is as firewood. However, it has a high intrinsic value as a species important to wildlife. In forest management it is far more beneficial left on the landscape providing food, nesting and roosting habitat.

Wild Wednesday … “cat without a grin”

Bobcat

The big male bobcat slinks away.

I had to go to the mill on Monday to do log inventory. It was a holiday and there were only a few folks at work. It was unusually quiet. I drove around the backside of the log deck only to have a large bobcat cross the road in front of me. Immediately, I stopped and grabbed my camera. Standing on the seat and door handle I had a great view of the cat. He’d stopped and was looking back at me. It was perfect ….. except, I had my SLOW camera. By the time it went through its agonizing start-up cycle the bobcat crept off. I managed only one picture before he slipped away toward the river, fading like the Cheshire Cat.

`All right,’ said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. –  Alice In Wonderland