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.
Bliss and I were out marking trees a few weeks ago when we came upon several wood rats nests. They build these large stick pile akin to a beaver lodge on land. They are very industrious creatures. They are also an important prey species for forest predators.
Bliss was very impressed with this massive collection of sticks. So impressed that she claimed it for herself. Sadly for her it wasn’t going to fit in my vest and she could only carry one stick at a time.
This clever rat built its nest in the trees. No sticks for Bliss from this one.
Bliss found a deer skull under the nest. “No Bliss it’s not a rat skull and no you can’t eat it!”
This is week that the osprey customarily return to their nest in the electrical tower at the sawmill. I haven’t seen them yet. Usually the male shows up a week or two before the female. This year they will be in for a bit of a surprise. A little over a month ago a pair of eagles moved in. I’m not sure how this will go, but the eagle are a lot bigger than the osprey. I’d have to put my money on the eagles. Click on the gallery to enlarge to photos and get the dirt.
Nice looking birds.
He seems to have staked a claim here.
I keep waiting for them to gather sticks, but the haven’t. I not convinced their serious about nesting here.
These are all osprey pictures from previous years.
The osprey have inspired art from yours truly.
This has been an osprey nest literally for decades.
It’s a prime location for fishing birds with its grand overlook of the Sacramento river.
It hasn’t been without struggle. last season it rained so much the nest grew a garden before the birds arrived. They had to weed it.
When the summer heat get over about 106 the parents shade the chicks.
Two years ago the male osprey was struck be a helicopter blade and died. he was trying to defend the nest from the helicopter that was inspecting the tower.
The osprey have raised many generations.
The osprey probably won’t be too happy with the new residents.
Stay tuned to see how this turns out.
Below are a few of the osprey posts over the years.
By now, most folks are used to the competition Tim (The Forester Artist) and I have with our original art donation to the Sierra-Cascade Environmental and Resource Fund annual education auction hosted by the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference. Up until last year, Tim kept coming out on top, but then I smoked him when my […]
I found this to be an interesting story on plans to reestablish forests in Northern Britain. It’s a noble goal to be sure. The goal is to plant 62,000 acres back to forest with 50,000,000 trees. The cost is expected to be $690 million. That’s where I start to cringe.
When comparing projects done in California by private timber companies doing wildfire restoration I think it could be done better in Britain. We would use about 20,000,000 trees to do the same size area. With soil site preparation, tree planting and initial herbicide treatment to control the weeds for a year or two, our reforestation cost would be about $25,000,000 for 62,000 acres. Now, if they were to plant the trees in Britain at a 12’x12’ spacing like we would here, they could cover 165,000 acres. Our costs here would be approximately $65,000,000. Plus, planting the trees as close together as they propose, about 7’x7’ will require the trees be thinned within a few short years at substantial expense. Otherwise, the trees become overly crowded and stressed.
This doesn’t sound like forestry, because it really has a price tag for landscaping. I believe it’s a worthy project, but can be done better. I realize our infrastructure for these types of projects is different and cheaper, but that is still a huge cost difference. I also know that many American foresters outside of California are thinking my cost estimates are too high. That’s California. My suggestion is to draft some good Canadian reforestation foresters to come over and lend a hand.