Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Stuff I saw today

I decided to take a short drive around some of the smaller county roads near my house today and I took the camera to record anything interesting I came upon.

A lovely chestnut mule...

This chestnut tobiano paint turned to face me as I drove past, and had absolutely no intention of running or shying. In fact, I got the distinct impression that I was being surveyed and found wanting.

Since it was midday, most of the cows were resting in the shade.

This mama was carefully monitoring her resting calf, and right after I got this picture, she snorted a warning and the baby leapt to its feet, and they both trotted rapidly in the opposite direction.

Our local Cowboy Church. I know the pastor and his wife very well; they're awesome folks.

And then I happened upon a committee of Coragyps atratus (American black vultures).
Interestingly, everyone I know around here grew up calling these "buzzards"... but when I came back home and began processing the pictures, I decided to look up the scientific name for buzzards, and discovered that buzzards are actually more hawk-like. These birds are actually vultures, just not the ones with the red heads and the white ruff collar.

Want to know something super-gross about these birds? Besides the fact that they consume roadkill?

They urinate down their own legs. This serves two purposes -- it's like a natural antibacterial agent, since they tend to walk around in super-germy rotting carcasses -- and it evaporates, helping the bird cool down.

You're welcome.

They're not particular attractive birds. But they do serve a useful purpose.

The view from a little bridge.

Common wild sunflower (Helianthus annuus)

This plant is a fascinating one. It's commonly known as dodder (Cuscuta californica).

Dodder is a parasitic plant which used to be classified as the only species in the Cuscutaceae family, but which has been genetically determined to belong to the morning-glory (Convolvulaceae) family.

It actually reaches and wraps itself around whatever is growing nearby. It sends out these teeny-tiny little "syringes" that suck the nutrients straight out of it. Kind of like a vampire weed. It can be a terrible pest if it gets out of hand.

And then a windmill, because I love American windmills.

I also love Cooke County, Texas. There's so much beauty here if you open your eyes to see it.

1 comment:

Omnibabe said...

I want to go to that cowboy church!