A Cold January

Model in the Mesquite
Orange-crowned Warbler Framed
Orange-crowned Warbler
As the Sun Set...
Eating Cara Cara Oranges

It’s been a cold January in Phoenix…not as cold as the midwestern or eastern parts of the U.S. but consistently colder than usual, day after day. I was excited to see this Orange-crowned Warbler in our yard and thought maybe it was the one that wintered with me for several years, excluding last winter, but now I’m not so sure. She seems to have moved on after a couple weeks of eating jelly and oranges. I’m hoping she returns…such a cute little thing. Maybe she was too cold and headed south.

I make sure the food is out everyday so they can keep fueled. Here are a few more January visitors: a White-crowned Sparrow digging up some dirt, Verdin, Anna’s Hummingbirds, a Rosy-faced Lovebird, Northern Mockingbird looking for peanuts, and A Curve-billed Thrasher showing off. I also have 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers in the yard but they are very skittish and my photos are not good…hoping to get them soon.

Diggin' Up Some Dirt
Verdin
Anna's Fly
Anna's Female Flying
High Key Hummer
Anna's Hummingbird
Rosy-faced Lovebird, immature
Goin' for the Nuts
Curve-billed Thrasher in the Pines

I actually went to a couple places looking for birds but I don’t want to bore you with too many shots so I may make a catch-up post in a few days and show you some of those.

For now, here is a shot of the moon last night, January 30. I’m hoping to see the green comet in the next few days but I don’t have the sort of equipment to get a good photo of it. Somewhere around the Little Dipper…

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

Giving It a Whirl

Winter Wonderland

In my last post for November, I lamented that I was running out of media space on my blog after 14 years of photo-heavy posts and wondered if I would have to end my blog, start a new one, or pay to continue. My long-time blogging buddy, Montucky, told me how you can link Flickr images to your blog and not use any media space. And, coincidentally, WordPress just made that even easier. I have had a Flickr account for a long time so I guess I can keep my little blog going for awhile. Thank you, Montucky. This is his blog.

So here are a few Christmas shots of the cats: Ferguson, Bouche, and Torti…

"I'm not fat, the stupid Christmas shirt is crooked!"
Pre-Christmas Torture
2 Heads are Better

Easy peasy, I think. This is our outdoor Christmas tree. It’s plywood and, last year, my neighbor had it outside his house with a “FREE” sign on it. I grabbed it to use as a photo prop but that has never really happened. We decided to paint it and put some lights (and a couple cardinals and a hummingbird) on it for the season. We love it now and have gotten several comments on it. The neighbor’s wife also told me that he originally pulled it out of the Bed, Bath, and Beyond dumpster, haha. You can see that the outdoor cats like it, too. That is Tabby and Callie.

The Plywood Christmas Tree
Plywood Christmas Tree Lit

And now, for a few December yard birds…Rosy-faced Lovebirds enjoying a seed bell, a juvenile one finishing the bell off, a Verdin dining on an orange, Inca Doves on my neighbor’s garage waiting for me to put sunflower seed out, and a posing Anna’s Hummingbird, male. The bird in my leading photo is a Curve-billed Thrasher in a Winter Wonderland.

Rosy-faced Lovebirds
Rosy-faced Lovebird Juvenile
Verdin Dining
Inca Doves on Garage
Anna's Hummingbird

So it seems to work this way. You don’t even need a Flickr account…if you have photos posted on any other sites, you can just embed them by using the url…at least I think so. The only thing I can’t do now is make galleries or stacked photos…unless there is a way that I haven’t figured out yet. I also can’t control the placement of vertical photos but that’s no biggie. At any rate, it’s a great solution!!!!! I can keep blogging. It was really easy to do, too, so if you have this WordPress issue of limited space remaining, there is an easy workaround.

I hope we all have a Happy 2023!!!!!

November in the Nick of Time

This juvenile Cooper’s Hawk was sitting on our birdbath the other morning when I went out. I ran back in the house, grabbed my camera and was able to get off one quick, over-exposed shot before it took off. Pretty cool. Second time I’ve seen one in our yard.

We’ve had to have a major demo on our house as it is 70 years old and had disintegrating cast iron pipes under the house so the patio and bathroom had to be destroyed and we will have a new bathroom. We only have one bathroom and this is Day 16 so it’s been very challenging, dirty, whatever. We still have at least 2 weeks to go. We’re miserable. Every morning we have to round up the indoor cats and corral them in a back bedroom so they don’t escape while workers are going in and out.

All this to say, I don’t have many shots or anything much to say other than to complain and whine. So here are a few:

My new photo blind..haven’t used it yet but it’s portable to take places someday or I can use it in the yard.

Misty, the neighbor’s cat, who prefers to eat at our house. And hang out.

The indoor cats: Ferguson (gray), Bouche (black), and Torti (tortoiseshell) going about their days.

Torti as “The Watcher” on Netflix:

A few more backyard shots: a Curve-billed Thrasher in autumn, a Fiery Skipper on lantana, a Rosy-faced Lovebird with a Thanksgiving treat, a happy sunflower.

And that’s about it for this month. We might be skipping Christmas because of all the hectic turmoil here. My free WordPress account has used 95.2% of the media I’m allowed so I am either going to have to pay to keep my blog going, delete a bunch of photos from years ago (time-consuming), start a new blog, or end it all. I like having a blog but they just don’t get read much anymore so not sure what I will be doing. It’s not really worth paying for…

Happy Holidays!!!!

Almost Halloween…

…And I have no Halloween photos this year. This Anna’s Hummingbird posed in the late afternoon sunlight for me a couple days ago as did the Curve-billed Thrasher below.

I went to my old standby Granada Park, that I used to frequent a few years ago. The birds were very sparse, it seemed altogether different…and boring. All I saw was this cute Desert Cottontail with an Abert’s Towhee. I don’t think I’ll go back for quite awhile.

And a Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillar on Senna:

But I still haven’t seen many butterflies in our yard and I think the season for that is coming close to an end. All of these are skippers: Violet-clouded Skipper, Fiery Skipper, and Eufala Skipper.

Pollinators coming in for a landing: a Leafcutter Bee and a Fiery Skipper. If we didn’t have lantana, we wouldn’t have any butterflies at all, I guess.

I was mostly excited to see that the Gila Woodpeckers have returned. They are not migratory but I seldom see them in the summer. Now they are back with their raucous calls. I think they’re such fun birds and very attractive.

Fall seems to have officially arrived in Phoenix. Our days are cool and pleasant now and birds are active.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

The Last Day of September

It’s still hot in Phoenix but it’s definitely starting to seem more like fall. The parade of butterflies has begun on our lantana…so far only little ones but I do see a big one fly by now and then…if they would only light. Above we have a Western Pygmy-Blue, a very small butterfly with a 1/2 inch wingspan, a Checkered-White, a White Checkered-Skipper, and an Eufala Skipper. Also loving the lantana is a Honey Bee:

Not much bird action but it’s still been too hot to spend any time sitting in the yard. I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of the Rock Pigeon, though, because it looked so autumnal, having a drink.

Our 3 indoor cats (Ferguson, Torti, and Bouche) are pictured below. We also have 8 outdoor cats, I have a colony of 15 cats a block away, and I am cat sitting 4 other cats at their house for the next 2 weeks. Cat-centricity.

Ferguson was pleased when this month’s National Geographic arrived. “Finally an article I can wrap my paws around.”

Hope you are not in harm’s way from the hurricane. I know people in Fort Myers as well as Myrtle Beach. Climate change is real. Stay safe.