Hummers, Moths, Donkeys and Ropers

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October 2, 2005
: The weather has turned slightly cooler and hints of the coming autumn are in the air. We still have hummingbirds at the feeders, but not as many, and these are passing through. I will take the feeder down when two or three days go by and no hummers show at the perches. We saw several huge hawks perched not far from each other, also obviously passing through; they were gone the next day. I want to get outside more this year than I did last, so I can hear and hopefully see some flocks of geese as they migrate over The Lair.

One day recently I glanced out the window at a patch of old fashioned Four O'clock flowers that are growing voluntarily (they volunteer readily, and would take over if I didn't work to control them) and I saw a hummingbird moth working the fuchsia, yellow, and occasional white blossoms. I grabbed the Minolta camera and snuck outside to see what I could record.

hummingbird _moth

working the flowers

Hummingbird moth

Working the flowers

 I took a few pictures of the moth, and while I was standing there, a hummer decided to work the flowers. I liked the juxtaposition of the two sipping  the nectar at the same patch at the same time, and although I could not catch them both in a shot, I did get pictures of  them both while they were there:

hummer

Working the flowers

Humming bird at same patch of flowers

Working the flowers

We had a neat adventure and introduction to a breed of miniature donkeys that are raised by Marilyn and  Ron  Mecham. They are owner's of Top's Ten Acres in Lampasas, TX,  and they sell Registered Miniature Donkeys. They kindly called us one day when they were going out to take water to the animals and invited us to come and meet their babies. I was eager to photograph them. This is an old breed originally from Sicily, and have always been small.  It was fun to see how affectionate they are. They like people and will come up to a person and ask to be petted. One even grabbed my shoelace, untied my shoe (much as a playful puppy would do), and was pulling away from me before Ron rescued me. If you look at the lower  picture, you can see a dark marking in the form of a cross on the the shoulder and back of the of the donkey. One legend has it that the little donkey that had been Jesus' mount on Palm Sunday, came to the hill at Calvary. He wished with all his heart that he had been allowed to carry the cross for Jesus, as his task was to carry heavy burdens. The donkey is said to have turned his back on the sight of the tragic events, but he did not leave because he wished to stay until all was over because of his love for Jesus. According to the story, in reward for the loyal and humble love on the part of the little donkey, the Lord caused the shadow of the cross to fall across his back and left it there for the donkey to carry forever as a sign that the love of God, no matter how humble, carries a reward for all to see. Whether true or not, that is a loving little story.


Farris and donkeys
Here is Farris with two of the little ones.

donkey
This picture clearly shows the cross on the back and shoulders of the donkey.

Another invitation came from our friend Cliff who invited us to a team roping competition. We had never been to one. Cliff participates in them, and he knew that I was looking for opportunities to get some "action pictures" with my Canon camera. It was 101 degrees at 7 pm and twice I thought I would succumb to heat exhaustion, although I was taking in plenty of liquids.  I can't imagine how the participants could do what they did. I managed to get several pictures of the action, but I hope to go again when the weather is cooler because I now have a better idea of where to position myself in relation to the arena and the riders. Two of my favorite pictures are below:

team_roping
The roper on the left attempts to rope the head of the steer and our friend Cliff on the right is the "heeler" and he attempts to rope the animal's back feet or legs. I like this because it shows the action of the beautiful horses.

team_roping
In this picture of a different animal the same team has successfully completed their task and have just set their ropes

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Last revised: November 11, 2005




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