Whoops, this one's dead. As in many places, steer skulls adorn fence posts. I wish I could have taken a picture of the fence laced with varmit carcasses, but there wasn't any place to pull over. But on to the living....
I've always thought ruched flowers were a little too frilly to represent anything in nature, but clearly I was wrong. Here's a real "ruched" flower.
I think birds and bugs may be some of the hardest subjects to photograph. They rarely seem to stay in one place for long and can land in the most inconvenient of spots. Luckily, I was able to camp out by this broken reed and get close enough to this dragonfly without having my shadow spook him. Is there some way to tell if it's a him or her? The color of the abdomen was positively electric.
I love these fuchsia and purple flowers which seem to be ubiquitous in warmer climates. Does anyone know what they are?
Hens and their broods roamed about freely. Most of the time they were fine, but sometimes.....
they fall victim to the many birds of prey in the area.
This is one of my favorite pictures from the whole trip. This wooly fellow has moss and lichen growing around his face. I guess it had been a while between shearing sessions.
This is the limb of a Monkey Puzzle tree, the national tree of Chile. The trunk and limbs are covered with these spiky scales. We were lucky that there was one such tree growing along the path between our cabins; they're considered very rare.
I got lucky with this photo, too. I kept forgetting it was the summer time there and nest building was in full swing. This fellow was flitting about and didn't mind that I watched where he was going. If I've identified him correctly as a male wren, he builds several nests and his mate decides which one she likes best. He also had been building outside the window of our cabin.
And finally, a photo of some of the noisiest creatures in the valley....
three very happy children on Chilean ranch horses. (The middle child is the daughter of our host; the other two are mine.) The horses and children were equally thrilled to run -- and I do mean run -- in the fields. They ran back and forth, racing and chasing each other. The horses were all good cutting horses, so there were a lot of quick starts and turns. And no, there aren't any riding helmets to be found in Chile.