Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Watching and Observing

In August, we moved to a house that lies at the base of a beautiful mountain range in the High Desert.  We've always lived in a neighborhood in a suburb or city and this is our first home in the country.
My husband has just recently retired after serving in the U.S. Navy for 20 years and he was blessed with a job that brought us here.  While moving away from friends is difficult, we love the peace and tranquility that has come with living in the country.
The children have enjoyed exploring the "Sagebrush Forest" that surrounds our property.  While exploring one afternoon they found this cactus growing wild.

We have a herd of deer that wander through our property quite often.  It has been interesting to track and watch this herd change and grow through a couple of seasons.  In late summer, we saw what seemed to be the same four deer regularly;  two doe and two bucks.  Then during the breeding season we saw maybe one or two at a time usually a buck with a doe.  The past couple of weeks we started to see the herd again and it has grown.  There were nine deer total;  four fawn's, two bucks, and 3 doe. We were overjoyed to see all of the little babies.
One morning our small terrier, Wally, was outside when they visited.  He walked up to them, naturally curious.  One new fawn's was curious too.  As I watched the little fawn bend his head down, the two touched noses.  I don't think the fawn liked how Wally smelled because he backed away and shook his head.  Of course I didn't have my camera to capture this cuteness, but I did enjoy sitting quietly and watching these two investigate each other.
My parents bought the kids a "Stealth Cam" for Christmas.  The "Stealth Cam" is a motion activated outdoor camera that can also take night vision pictures.  All of the data is stored on a sd card.  If you look at the bottom of the picture you can see it gives you the date, time, temperature, and the phase of the moon of when the picture was taken.  We attached it to the tree hoping to observe them.  We wanted to see what time of day they were coming around and how often they've been coming. This is going to be a great tool for our homeschool and nature study.
Here are some of the pictures from the "Stealth Cam"

And every now and then we capture some unidentified wild animal:)

From our kitchen window we watched this Peregrine Falcon as he perched on our fence.  It looked like a juvenile to us.  We think he was stalking the small birds at the bird feeder.  He sat just long enough for me to snap a picture.  The next day we saw him flying around over head, gracefully and elegantly.

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