Monday, September 14, 2009

Nature's Beauty

Yes, my blog is a bit late and I want to get back on my Monday blogging schedule. So I'm going to show you some great pictures from the ranch and post without a painting - something I've never done! I had a bunch of interruptions today and my schedule is so not what I wanted it to be. This will help me get back on track.

The new baby ducks and chicks are so cute. We ordered 6 assorted crested ducks. It will be fun to see what these look like soon. They grow so fast. Our early summer crew is enjoying Lake Jean. The main duck in this photo below has a personality already! This one is always flapping, bouncing up and down, cocking it's head.

duck 7resized

duck 8resized

The top knots on these 2 little guys below are different, one leans much more towards yellow, the other towards white. They tend to hang together.

duck 9resized

Ok, I'm going to get gushy, but this is just too cute - Alright, I know it's gushy and mushy.

duck 10resized

duck 11resized

We had some much needed rain this past week. Wednesday brought 3 3/4 inches and 2/10ths more fell this weekend. Yes, we are happy to measure rain in 10ths of an inch!

The trees aren't up to par this year due to the drought and heat. This wild persimmon's leaves aren't looking very healthy. I'm hoping the rain will perk it up. The fruit of the wild persimmon is normally about the size of a quarter. It feeds a lot of animals and birds. This year many of the trees simply didn't put out fruit, none at all. The fruit on this tree is the size of a blueberry. The wildlife has lacked a lot of it's normal food this year.


And here are our happy ducks at Lake Jean! This is from our early summer batch. They're quite at home at the lake.


I snapped these 2 photos below just a few days before the rain came. With all of our summer heat and drought, these are blooming beautifully. They are both in the Nightshade family. The yellow is Buffalo Bur. This patch is so full of flowers, very thick and healthy and very prickly.


I am amazed at the intensity of the purple on this flower. Normally it's a lighter color. This is Silver Leaf Nightshade. It's about 2 feet tall and should be in bloom through October.


I'm pretty sure this is a Vermillion flycatcher. I couldn't get a closer shot than this. That little head was soooo intensely colored! Gorgeous.


Look how much the fawns have grown:

My beautiful picture My beautiful picture

So, the nature show is over for today. Next post I'll be back to normal, have a painting for you and will try to get my helpers back too. Until then, you can find me on Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to click here to sign up for my (usually) monthly newsletter!

You'll find my small watercolors and smallest oils in my Etsy store . You can purchase my oil paintings and studies on my website .



Marionette said...

This was a very interesting post. I just love the cute duckies!!!! I often (as you know) post photos about my life on Kauai without a painting. Your blog is wonderful and I love reading about your life in the Texas Country!!!!


Michelle (artscapes) said...

The ducklings are so cute!!!!

Manon Doyle said...

OMG.... the chicks are so darn cute!!!

Felicia Kramer said...

Love those duckies!!!! All the photos are great- no need to feel bad - good photography's an art!

Judy Mackey said...

I used to live by a lake and have ducks and ducklings - Awwwwwww - I loved seeing all your photos!!

Anonymous said...

Wonderfull pictures. The first picture with the small duck is soo cute. :)

Jean Levert Hood said...

Marionette, aren't they just adorable! Thank you for the vote for a blog w/o a painting. I'm so glad you enjoy reading it!


You have no idea how many photos I have of them!!!


Manon, even though we've raised them most every year, I just can't get enough of them when they're little!


Felicia,Thank you! I take so many photos of our area. I love sharing them!


Thank you Judy! We'll put them at the lake when they are a little bigger. It's pretty hard for the little ones to survive the predators out there. We have a platform in the middle of the lake they can escape too, and they make good use of that. Thank you for visiting!


Thank you anonymous!

Mary said...

I'll enthusiastically cast my vote with all your readers, Jean--this is a super post. Of course, we love to see your wonderful paintings, but your blog has always offered so much more. I enjoy seeing the wildlife, the flowers, and your excellent photography. Plus, you express your upbeat, creative approach to life beautifully. Thank you for posting.

I am thankful to hear you had rain and hope more comes soon. I remember the desperate feel of a serious drought from our years in Southern California and will never take rain for granted, even here in (usually) rainy north Florida.

Debra James Percival said...

Your photos are wonderful. I am looking forward to what you paint next. All the best.

brendathour said...

I love the baby ducks, they are so sweet! I wonder what the little light brown ones will end up looking like. The little yellow guy is a comic.

Jean Levert Hood said...

Mary - Thank you for the vote - and your very kind comment. I really appreciate my readers! I hope folks will check out your blog too,
I always read your posts!

Yes, rain is something that most years we wait for. There is a 'greening up' already from the rain, giving the animals some much needed browse.


Debra, Thank you! I'm glad you like them!!


Brenda, they are just too funny sometimes. It will be fun to see how these grow up.

John M. Mora said...

That flycatcher ---I love them - first one I ever saw was at Salton Sea in southern CA. Miss being in the Southwest.

I also like the wild persimmon photograph a lot - it is a beautiful composition. Just lovely.

Thanks for your visit, my best.