Mountains, Cows and Ravens.

The smoke from Santa Barbara has not made it North, yet, today is a very nice day. I have no complaints it has my permission to stay like this for ever. I was out this morning, I’ve been rolling out later than usual because of the change that is taking place. Some critters (birds) are leaving and some arriving. So far the Crows and Ravens have migrated back from where I don’t know.

I took some more pictures of Mount Diablo, I’m planning on creating a panoramic view of it. I have been studying Photoshop most of the day; it’s a involved program to say the least. I am working on removing Utility lines and towers, after 4 attempts I am improving my skills. One issue is that I view as a positive is when working with it I go back to the tutorial dealing with the section I am currently struggling with. That process normally takes 2-3 viewings of the video, going back to the project and apply it. Believe me it sounds a heck of a lot easier then it is; for me at least. The photos are coming out very good which makes it easier to process.

Granted there is only so much Cattle do that is interesting to most people. After watching them for years I find them curious. This morning a Cow climbed on the far side Levee with several Calves following her, it appeared to be a day care. That started my curiosity in motion. I have read accounts of animals adopting orphaned young ones as their own. Indeed there are also numerous accounts of some animals adopting others of different breeds. I’m confident this is not the case in the local pasture however it makes me wonder what caused this to take place. I also wonder how the mothers communicate with one another to insure those left in the pasture don’t panic searching for their offspring.

They all seemed so at ease with following her as she did in leading them, it was quite entertaining. The picture above is three of a dozen she was leading. The little ones were curious as it appeared they were watching Skunk-Puppy from across the water; they most likely thought she is a Coyote. I took way too many pictures of them for a contest I am preparing to enter with the title “Brown”. In order to place decently (which is elusive for me) the image must be unique and the animals have to be doing something interesting. Steers rarely do anything but eat, I have a feeling this image will rank OK, I always go for the top 50%, above that is for me good.

I got a good image of this Sparrow early this morning. Even they are not showing up in large numbers recently but they will be in the near future. An interesting aspect of the migration season the variety of birds flying through on their way elsewhere. Sparrows to my knowledge do not migrate.

The Crows have returned conjuring up the question I have each year as to where they migrate from and why. They were out in their typical form at daybreak, they and the Vultures are generally the first ones out and about. Crows and Ravens share only a few traits which is contrary to what most of us have been lead to believe. Ravens are basic loners to see one accompanied is confusing, the second may or may not be its life long mate. It takes years of observations to figure that out. One of the most intriguing traits of both species is their ability to distinguish friend from foe. They are able to identify their mates in the mob, those birds that are enemies and strangers. Granted some have anomalies such as a white feather, missing a leg or some other give away. But they mostly all look identical, it is truly mystifying to me. My hypothesis is they see an entirely different array of colors than humans and in their world the other birds are brightly colored; a bit like the layers in Photoshop. I don’t know nor have I ever heard that in the books and videos I have partaken of.

Jaques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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