June 15, 2010

Lots of Birds at Mangas Springs this Morning!

With birding friends due in from Louisiana Thursday, I decided to check out the Springs this morning.  It's been a good spot in March but didn't know what to expect today.  Loaded up the camera with the new Bush Hawk shoulder mount, and although the lighting was pretty poor (all at ISO 800) under all the lush green trees, managed to get a few acceptable pix of the literally hundreds to birds around...

The goldfinches seem really preoccupied with the water, and hardly noticed my presence.  A couple of house finches were much more bashful, but finally snapped one a quite a long distance.
I guess the treat was when a very careful Blue Grosbeak appeared, seemed like I waited forever for him to get comfortable enough to fly nearby, although in mostly shade.

The finally was this Western Kingbird, surprisingly orange-ish on the breast (no color alteration in editing) - may just be breeding plumage, if anyone has any better guess please leave a comment. 

Other birds of interest spotted, but not photographed were a couple of Yellow Finches, a Bullocks Oriole and my old friend the Vermilion Flycatcher!

June 12, 2010

Goat Milking 101

Another highlight of our return was having my life-long Louisiana friends Rhett and Ann McMahon out here.  Yep, that's right, after spending two weeks here in Silver a month or so ago, they made the decision to give this place a more permanent try, and so far, love it as we did!

Rather than buy prior to learning the area, they wisely decided to rent a nice home here for the first year.  As a result, we all were invited to the landlord's place today to try our "hand" at goat milking.  Who'd ever believe a move to Silver City would result in this adventure!

As Francis, our great hostess, took on the first milk-laden mama goat, her pet turkey and loyal milking companion, Henrietta,  greeted us all at the barn door and  was close at hand to supervise the whole operation.

and, Kim and Ann enjoy playing mom for a few minutes to the "kids"...

Rhett was the brave one, first to volunteer his " hands" at the new procedure and after patient instruction from Francis and the with skillful hands of a surgeon, a white stream ringing into the bucket shows success!

Having kept so many critters over the years, things came pretty easy for Kim, who took matter "in hand" with little additional coaching from Francis.  However the milking must have triggered the motherly instinct in her, as you can see she just couldn't resist cuddling one of the kids again!

Annie was up next, and after heaps of concentration, discovered that by holding her mouth just right, success was eminent.  Wa-la  - there is milk in them little things!  

Finally, my anticipation and worry that I too would be called upon to try my "hand" at this was fulfilled when Annie and Kim proclaimed "OK Sam, it's your turn".  Not wanting to be left "empty handed" so to speak, I grabbed on both sides simultaneously.

To everyones surprise, the old days at my Aunt Vesta's farm helping milk the cows paid off, as an instant double flow rang into the bucket with no coaching or instruction.

I'd have to sum things up by saying it was:
     Udderly Fantastic!


June 10, 2010

Back in New Mexico for Spring!

After almost two months in Louisiana, it feels pretty good to be out of the high humidity!  The first few days were spent unpacking and trying to find the right spot for all the stuff we brought back.

I couldn't believe the amount of "things" we'd kept, having given away and sold most everything we'd collected over the years before leaving to full-time RV!  We Americans are something!

The highlight of the return had to be the yard just out front of the cabin.  We were truly amazed at the number of wildflowers we'd returned to!  and the neighbors say this is nothing compared to later in the summer when the rains come.  So, hope you enjoy these as much as we have....