Monday, May 30, 2016

Roadtrip to Southeast Oklahoma

We took a road trip to the very tip of Southeast Oklahoma stopping in various towns 
on the way to Beaver's Bend State Park.  We stopped in Sulphur and Antlers - the deer capital 
of the world - which makes me sad, because it's all about hunting them. )

Mountain Fork River is lined with Bald Cypress trees - some are in the river. 

Displays, murals and info in the Nature Center

I loved this watercolor called Tree Planter by William McNamara (1983).

A quote by the artist:

"We all have within us the impulse to look into the clouds and find an image, 
to see a face in a rock, a scene in the grain of wood.  We also have an 
impulse to make a mark, whether it be a scratch on a rock, a line in the dirt, 
or a brush stroke upon paper.  By learning to control the movements 
of our hands, we can create our own patterns, own clouds in which to look 
and find images."

Mountain Fork River
Broken Bow Lake

I was mesmerized by the geology in this area.  

I also met a few new wildflowers on a short walk
inside the Ouachita National Forest.

Indian Nations Trail

We continued driving southeast and were amused with town names
like Moon and America. 

Moon, Oklahoma was woodsy, humid and green.  :) 
We stopped in Tom, Oklahoma - the last community in SE Oklahoma. 

We then crossed the border into Arkansas and turned back west
 to check out the Red Slough area in Oklahoma's Choctaw region.
This wetland development was humid!  I mainly wanted to see some

The Red River borders Oklahoma and Texas like a winding snake.  
We crossed over to our southern neighbor, Texas, then back to Oklahoma via the Red River. 

See why it's called The Red River?
This little road-tipster crashed hard. :)

We had a wonderful day trip and now I'm admiring some of the beautiful pieces
of shale and river rocks I carried back in my t-shirt.  They are like layers
of nature abstraction - in material, texture and image.  I see
landscapes, skies, storms, marks in rock, , ,
If I could make jewelry they would be amazing settings.
I may apply clear beeswax to the pieces.
My imagination is going with them...
Just like the artist McNamara said -
we create our found images.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Hike around Elk Mountain

Greg and I were on the rocks this weekend.  

We were in the midst of flowers too.

We're having a mild and rainy spring here in SW Oklahoma!
The lakes and creeks are full and the land is bright green.
Actually I wish we could dry out a little bit… :)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sweet baby girl...

On Monday I was at home recovering from a medical procedure and 
 didn't have to go to bed, instead I spent the whole afternoon in
the backyard with Zody and Fearless.  
Fearless was coming and going from the trees to the feed on the patio.

I put out food for her on Tuesday morning and then called to her in the evening
when I got home from work.  She didn't come and I joked that she may have flown away
(even though she had her own paradise here!)   A little later Greg discovered
feathers by the patio -  I recognized them immediately.
I watched those feathers develop over the last few weeks.  My heart hurts with sadness.  

Some of Fearless' feathers are buried in the garden.

I can only guess -  something snatched Fearless while she was
innocently eating on the back patio…. I was only angry for a
short while.  Maybe a roadrunner - we have plenty right now.
The neighbor's mischievous chihuahua?  Fearless was used to
my Zody, so this other one may have snuck back there.  I don't know.
I do know, after processing my thoughts and feelings over the 
past few days, that I accept this ending better than the
lawn mower that was going to get Fearless.   

I miss her.  I sorrow over losing her.  I'm grateful for what will
 always be one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.

Like a friend said, she enjoyed a few of God's
beautiful sunrises and sunsets with a full belly and joy.

I wanted her to stay forever.

"Listen to what you know instead of what you fear."
-Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Fearless (The Female House Finch)

I figured out that Fearless is a female house finch by the markings on her chest.  
The male has the pretty rose-colored head and chest.

She really likes strawberries and bananas.  I've sprinkled in dandelion seeds, flowers and leaves.
Sweet peppers, apple and cilantro too.  She's not interested in the seed mix and still likes 
moistened (dry) cat food. 

Saturday morning was emotional as we had Fearless's release planned.
I cried tears and my heart flew off when she took off toward the post oak trees.

Well, she decided to stick around all day and I made sure she had many platters
of her favorite foods.  She was actually very snuggly and spent a lot of time on Greg's
shoulder and even in my lap!   In the evening we brought her back inside.  
For the past few days I've placed her on top of a ceiling lamp chain with 
post oak branches and leaves for comfortable bedding.  lol.
 She wouldn't move until the next morning when she heard me move about.  

Today she has enjoyed flying to and sitting in our backyard post oak forest,
returning several times for food on the back patio.   I can call her and she comes.
I can hear and distinguish her beep from all the spring bird chatter. 
 I don't know how long all this will last, but I'm enjoying this season.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Fledgling (Fearless)

For some reason, I decided not to use a sidewalk (at work)
but to cut a path through a lawn, and that's where  
I found this helpless baby 'crying'.
 In fact, a groundskeeper was nearby on a riding lawnmower. . .

I spent some time searching for its nest, but only
located a nest with a bird sitting on one egg.
Instinct told me that wasn't his/her place
and my heart told me to do something crazy.....

  to raise the bird!

Always hungry!

I got very good at making nests.
Learning how to perch.   I named him Fearless.
 Getting used to the outdoors - temps, wind, sounds, sights,,,
Yes vultures are up there.

Stormy weather outside.
Practicing flying....
Good morning, Fearless.

 I've chopped up countless mealworms, 
warmed catfood, prepped & sprinkled egg shell calcium on food.
Even took it to work with me for one week!

Graduated the nestling to fledgling.
Transitioned from heat lamp to covered birdcage at night.

I've learned so much about birds!
It's a great commitment to raise one.

I think its a Song Sparrow, but not sure if male or female.

I think my biggest mistake is that Fearless
has imprinted on me now - thinking I'm its parent.
 We just like each other so much.

I'm currently waiting on her to eat on her own,
hoping she'll switch to seeds soon.
The plan is to show her the food source outside 
and release her...

We'll know when it's time.