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.

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 … Don’t Even Breathe!

black bear,black tail deer, pen and ink, drawing, wildlife

Fawns are often killed by black bears in the Spring. Right after birth, fawns know instinctively to lay perfectly still. They have almost no scent. If the fawn doesn’t move a muscle and the bear is up wind it my not see the little deer.

I have you folks to thank, or blame for this pen and ink. It’s the third version of this fawn. You can see the two previous versions in the post Wild Wednesday Fawn Redo. First was a sweet vignette, which Mary told me was lacking. So I added more detail and asked if you all preferred the simple vignette of the more complete fawn. I received lots of great feedback and the majority liked the additional detail. If more detail is good then a lot more should be great. Truth is, I kept adding more and more because I had a vision. That’s when the bear came along to add some drama. The first rendition was lackluster. Now it tells a story, so thank you Mary and all you folks who commented before. Listening to a good critique only makes us better artist and writers. Even if I grumbled about it at first.

On a side note, if I’d known it was going to morph into this final drawing, the composition would have been different. However, I think it works okay. What do you think?

Wild Wednesday … Fawn Redo

Fawn002A fawn lying low to avoid a predator. I added to the original pen and ink. Mary thought it was lacking. Is it an improvement?

fawn, deer, black tail deer

The Fawn as I originally drew it in a vignette.

fawn, deer, black tail deer

The pen and ink was based off of another fawn picture I took. I love when they are just a couple of days old and they’ll lay down and be still.

Wild Wednesday …Rutty Buck

 

A lot of deer come down to the foothills to winter. I saw this big black tail buck on the way home last week. He wasn’t far from the house. The rut is going on right now and hunting season has been over for awhile, so the deer are unconcerned with people. It’s a great time to shoot them with the camera.

French Gulch

I had to visit one of our loggers the other day. My route took me through the little hamlet of French Gulch. It was settled during the Gold Rush, but you rarely see any rush around this sleepy little town these days.

We also enjoyed some rain. They say El Nino is coming and we’re hoping so.

Black Tail In Velvet

deer, black tail deer, buck, Columbia black tail deer

A Spring black tail buck with horns still in velvet in pen and ink.

This is always busy time of year around here, which is the reason I haven’t posted for awhile. When Fall comes, we disappear into the mountains. It’s our time to put some miles under our boots, over the mountains and through the woods.  This is when we go out to procure some fresh organic protein to get us through the year.

I photographed this buck last Spring.  He was feeding under a blue oak tree. His antlers were still growing and in velvet.