While looking at a timber sale last week with a fellow forester, we walked past this big northern Pacific rattlesnake. His dog walked within inches in front of the rattlesnake and it buzzed like crazy. The dog didn’t react to the snake at all. That’s probably why the snake didn’t strike the dog. I took the picture and video with my cell phone so it’s not the greatest quality. Be careful if you hear this sound.
Pacific fisher in pen and ink. Mary and I had a chance meeting with a pair of fishers. That’s when I took the photo that this picture was based on. We watched this fisher as it climbed up and down a Douglas-fir tree while it was hunting.
The Pacific fisher is a large member of the weasel family that makes its home on our California timberland.
This was a different Pacific fisher that unknowingly visited us. Observing wildlife from a hidden hunting blind is a great way to watch animals in their natural state.
The fisher investigates our wildlife camera. Come on little fella just a bit farther. Darn, we didn’t get his picture on the wildlife camera.
The company I work for, Sierra Pacific Industries, has been involved in a fisher relocation project for a number of years. Our partners in the project include US Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and researchers from North Carolina State University. The purpose is to re-establish fisher into parts of the Sierra Nevada Mountains that used to be their historic range. The project has been highly successful. You can read more about the project here at the Fish and Wildlife Service website.
“Dreaming of the Night”, pen and ink of Kowanni the great horned owl.
Kowanni, as it turns out is female. She’s about twenty-one years old according to her handler Hollianne. She came to Shasta Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation after suffering a permanent wing injury from being electrocuted on a utility pole. She’s been with Hollianne for about two years as she has outlived her original handler. Not only is she an animal ambassador she’s also a foster-mother. When SWRR get great horned owl chicks brought in they are placed with Kowanni and an old male owl named Captain to be raised. Less human contact with the youngsters make them easier to return to the wild. Many of the rescued animals live at home with their handlers for the rest of their lives if they are unable to return to the wild. It’s a beautiful ministry they do for their animal charges.
Kowanni and Hollianne.
Hollianne was kind enough to let me get my picture taken with Kowanni.
Here an update for Kowanni the great horned owl. I’m planning to finish tonight!
I’ve added my previous progression pictures and the original photo of Kowanni for fun. Although, they aren’t very illustrative of my process other than I draw when I can. By the way, don’t you think Bliss is a great photo prop. She kind of doesn’t really like it. This is the look I get just before she gets up and leaves.
Inking the night!
I thought maybe a woody update would be cool, not sure it’s working. Bliss just wasn’t into it.
Jury duty sketching.
This is the real Kowanni. In case you missed my last post, he’s a resident of Shasta Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation. Actually I’m not sure if Kowanni is a him or her. Sadly, he’s not capable of hunting so will never be released. I want to portray Kowanni as he is meant to be.
This weekend is the Shasta Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Open House. Mary and I will be attending for Red Tail Publishing. We sell children’s books and art prints. This year I decide to do a special art print of a special owl. Here’s a work in progress of Kowanni the great horned owl. It’s the same picture I was working on at jury duty.
Kowanni is a resident at SWRR because he can’t be returned to the wild due to the nature of his injury which left him unable to hunt. I took a photo of him last year at the event in his capacity of animal ambassador.
Here’s Kowanni on his perch. My drawing is of him where I imagine he would want to be if he could. Stay tuned for updates.
I had jury duty today. It’s always good to come prepared to do a lot of waiting around and wait we did. After I finished returning work emails I settled in. However, I was prepared because I had my traveling sketch pad a assorted pens. There was nothing left to do but sit and draw. I was at a table. There were two ladies at the same table and one wouldn’t stop shaking the table so I couldn’t use it. I managed. I find drawing makes the time go by quickly. Also, when I’m focused on drawing, people don’t talk to me, which is nice if I don’t feel like talking. The judge finally came in to update to us. The cases before the court all pleaded out instead of going to trial so they cut us all loose.
It’s been a quiet week around the osprey nest. They’re hunkered down and sitting on the eggs. It’s a good week to share another one of our locals. I ran into this youngster out behind the log decks. I can never guess what animals I may bump into around the mill. Wildlife will exploit habitat wherever they find it.
If you like opossums and you want a great children’s book about an opossum I highly recommendOh No! Baby-O. Written and illustrated by Mary A Livingston.
A week after the male osprey arrived the female showed up. They’re together again for another breeding season. While waiting for her to arrive he kept busy doing guy stuff. Click on the galleries to enlarge the pictures.
The male and female osprey are together again.
While she was away he watched whatever he wanted like any guy would.
He ate out all the time
Finally, at the last-minute he decided he’d better clean house.
This could take a while…
He’s totally checking her out!
Apparently, an incident was witnessed by several coworkers between an eagle and the osprey. On Monday, one of the eagles showed up and began circling the nest. The male osprey took off and began to circle up to the eagle. When the osprey reached the eagle he began diving on it. After multiple diving runs the eagle began turn belly up to give the osprey its talons. The aerial combat went on until the eagle moved off.
Incidentally, I discovered this on the neighboring property. You have to click on the gallery to see the bald eagle on the nest.
Our eagles have a nest next door. I didn’t see the eagle in the nest until I looked at the picture on the computer.
The nest is in a huge valley oak beside a pond. I think this is where the eagles were going nest all along. The just liked partying at the osprey nest.
He came with no fireworks, no fanfare and no eagles.
The week prior the eagles were notably absent and the osprey hadn’t arrived. Last Monday when he did arrive the eagles had been gone for a week. They must have a nest elsewhere and were using the osprey nest as a private getaway. You can see the eagles here.
Now that he has arrived his vigil begins. The female is fashionably late every year. More osprey news to follow when she hits town.