Reub's journey

07 May 2016

Twos


Freshly returned from a late-spring trip to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in central Oregon, I've been looking at the photos. It seems that things come in twos this time of year.

We were told that there are more deaths from owl attacks than rattlesnakes, which I do not believe, but still...it's true that they are well-armed and defensive, so I stayed a good distance away when taking this shot of a mama great horned owl. There was no way of knowing about the owlet until the pictures could be seen on a big screen. Nice surprise!




These two wild mustangs are calmly grazing in one of the most beautiful places anywhere, South Steens Mountain, Oregon. They were so unconcerned and robust that I thought they must be a rancher's open-range grazing livestock. But no. Soon afterwards we saw many other wild horses and I took a zillion pictures, which I may share later.





Later.
A wild stallion and his mare.





I love prairie dogs. Those feet were made for diggin' and that's just what they'll do. After taking 10 minutes to edge closer and closer to these two, we got a pretty good look at one another.




Without prairie dogs, what would burrowing owls do? These little owls take over the abandoned burrows of ground squirrels and badgers, which seems very esoteric, and so no wonder their population is dwindling? At Malheur we found them more than once, though. The male is a little smaller and he works quite hard, bringing food to the Mrs while she takes care of the brood.






Traveling in Malheur is a dusty affair, and the VW needs a good hosing. But first check out the synchronicity between an old juniper and our back window, a matching twosome.

 


There's never been a better reason to put off washing the car.

23 comments:

  1. How I love the similarity between the trees and your window. Just perfect! And how CUTE are those prairie dogs! And the owl with her young.. just wow. Wonderful pics, Kerry.

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  2. Thanks Hilary! I could have hung out with those prairie dogs all day. So funny and feisty.

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  3. Beautiful shots! :-)

    Greetings from London.

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  4. I forgot to add that Tres Tristes Tigres is a nightmare to translate. I have a copy in the original Spanish (of course! :-D ) which cost me a pretty penny. It is worth the effort, especially if you like books that take you somewhere.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Oh man, my Spanish is definitely not strong enough to read this book! Unfortunately, because it sounds so great. Maybe some day I'll come across this book at an estate sale and be able to pick it up for a song.

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  5. Cute pics of the owls and prairie dogs!

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    1. Thanks Linda! They were perfect subjects

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  6. It is difficult to dislike birds of prey when they are so beautiful. I try to respect the fact that they are God's creatures even when they take flight with one of my hens in their talons.

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    1. Owls are often cruel destroyers of chickens and other birds, that's for sure. :(

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  7. great post. I love prairie dogs too but ranchers try to exterminate them.

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    1. Yeah, that's true. The burrowing owls above were nesting at the edge of a ranch and I wonder if that's what happened to the ground squirrels who built the burrow.

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  8. I am so jealous in a nice way. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. You definitely need a trip west, Tabor. :)

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  9. You have a great eye, plus it must take a lot o patience for many of those shots. The Great Horned Owl shot should win a prize somewhere.

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    1. Thanks Joeh! A real photographer would probably have realized what they were taking a picture of and may have done better than I did! People have said that I am a patient person, but I figure it's kind of a euphemism for "sluggish." I am just very slow, which is sometimes helpful when approaching wildlife. :)

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  10. Wide eyes and nice butts....life is always better when you have someone to share it with!!

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  11. Oh my goodness, Owls! I love owls. You saw so much wildlife.

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    1. We saw three species of owls: great horned, short-eared, and burrowing. :)

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  12. Love those owls - both sorts. I think I will be looking for 'my' Powerful Owls again this weekend.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  13. all of these are amazing!

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