I was ask once on a webinar how long did it take to do a pen and ink. I wasn’t sure. I rarely take time to complete a piece in one sitting. The process for me is usually broken down into segments done when I have time to draw. This time I wrote down my time as I completed different segments. Here’s how it broke out.
The final time was 6 hours and 15 minutes. It was done over approximately 10 sessions averaging 37 minutes each. I drew during lunch breaks, while waiting a doctor appointments, sitting at road construction and in the evening at home. It was not efficient and I probably could have done it in 4 hours without interuption. I draw when I can.
Douglas Squirrels, (Tamiasciurus douglasii) are small squirrels. They’re smaller than gray squirrels and larger than chipmunks. John Muir described them thus, “He is, without exception, the wildest animal I ever saw,—a fiery, sputtering little bolt of life, luxuriating in quick oxygen and the woods’ best juices.” I think of them as the security alarm of the forest. When one is disturbed it sounds it’s loud chirping alarm and it doesn’t care whether it’s alarming on a person, deer or bear. Once they start, they won’t stop until you leave.
This hunting season has been postponed for us. The Carr Fire has resulted in the area we hunt being closed due to the fire danger. So we wait. I prepared this post months ago and this seems like a good time to post it. There are a couple pictures of some of the game we harvested, but mostly it’s images from our season.
When we hunt big game we immerse ourselves into the experience, always. We don’t just experience nature we participate in it. We hunt to for food. Each meal we prepare we reminisce over our experience and appreciate where that food came from. We observe things that time of year we don’t always see the same way during the rest of the year. As a result we take a lot of pictures. This gallery is a small sample of the sights and sounds we enjoy each season.
Our bow hunting season started mid August and rifle season ended in late October. It was grueling and difficult hunting in rugged country. The weather was hot much of the time and we had to contend with constant smoke from the wildfires during bow season. We cover a lot of ground on foot and spent hours in ground blinds. One of the benefits is we never know what might show up near our blinds. The cameras are always handy.
Phanny joined us for some pre-season scouting.
A painted lady landed on my arrow tip while we sat in the hunting blind.
The fence lizards cruise our hunting blinds searching for ants.
A Pacific fisher unknowingly visited us.
The fisher investigates our wildlife camera. Come on little buddy just a little farther. Darn, we didn’t get his picture.
The gray squirrels didn’t detect us most of the time, but when they did we heard all about it.
Yellow jackets and hornets are always a risk in the woods. This bald-faced hornet isn’t to be trifled with.
Tiny birds like this brown creeper were around nearly all the time.
Fungus growing on a black oak snag.
Big ferns grow in the stream zones.
Butterflies would land on us while we sat in our blind. They were drinking sweat from our skin.
Canyon live oak
A steller’s jay in for a drink.
Smoke was a constant nuisance in the early season.
This acorn woodpecker was panting because is was so hot.
You can’t beat the view when the smoke is gone.
Sugar pine cones
A doe in my bow sites. We don’t take does in California.
Doe close up.
A California Sisters butterfly.
This bigleaf maple is just beginning to change.
A large black bear cruises through.
Tanoak acorns blanket the road. Acorns are a very important food source for all manner of wildlife.
A bigleaf maple leaf gets more yellow. They are our reminder of the seasons passing.
My hunting partner.
The steller’s jays were like little bits of sky.
The red tail hawks were always cruising about. We weren’t the only hunters out there.
It’s rugged country. We work hard for everything we get.
Big sugar pine.
Our camp is a swarming ground for the local ladybugs. Did you know that ladybugs bite!
I was watching a bear down in the thicket of live oak trees.
Old growth sugar pine.
Fall color from the black oaks and bigleaf maples.
A golden bigleaf maple leaf has seen better days.
Calk boots in an oak tree?
Those are timber faller’s boots. There is a story wanting to be told here.
An early snow warns us that the season is winding down.
Leaves changing one at a time.
If you wait long enough someone’s trash becomes an artifact.
Mary worked hard for this fine buck. It was harvested on a high remote ridge. We had a long steep pack out.
A view from one of our blinds.
I love the change of the season.
Fall color and snow.
What a view!
The dogs love to investigate our bounty when we get home.
“I see you!”
No the camera isn’t tilted. We hunt some steep country.
What! Didn’t you hear it’s Squirrel Appreciation Day, January 21st. Our blogger friend Linda Martin Anderson alerted me to this important day in her blog at A Writer’s Playground. Check it out. A kid friendly blog with every special day of the month to discover.
Giving the look!
While winding down a steep mountain road two hunting seasons ago, this little scamp was gathering nuts. I surprised him and he ran up a large black oak tree. Just a short way up the tree he turned and gave me “the look.” He was sure I was coveting his nuts! Then he berated me as best he could with an acorn in his mouth. So I shot him. Sorry, I meant to say, I shot his picture with my Nikon. You can see it here, Forestry Friday … It’s The Time Of The Season For Squirrels.