A Better Year

It was such a bad year that a fork wasn’t enough, I stuck a knife in it. I hope 2022 is better for all of us.

Here in Phoenix, 2022 started out cloudy, rainy, and cold. A few of the outdoor kitties were smart and stayed where it was nice and dry in the catport, formerly the carport.

Tabby, Callie, Kit, and Misty

Meanwhile the indoor cats were very cozy: Ferguson, Torti, and Bouche:

Bouche is hard to keep inside, unfortunately, he still hears the call of the wild…

Ferguson presented me with a rose…

The Curve-billed Thrasher agreed that cats rule.

Finally, the Arizona sun began to shine again…and the hummingbirds started to chase each other.

And the bees began to buzz and pollinate…I think lavender honey would be delicious.

Happy 2022!

Nothing Happening Here

Mexican Yellow Butterfly

That was a new butterfly for me, in our yard. I have a new camera, a Nikon D500, but I’m still not getting out into the world much to shoot anything. Covid precautions, family issues, minor injuries, lack of motivation. I did an online course on the camera so I understand the basics but there is a lot more to learn. So…blogging is also more difficult because I don’t have any photos I’m very enthused about…no new birds, for instance. In a slump, I guess, sort of a long one…and now it’s the holidays, which I also can’t seem to get into.

We have many kitties but Ferguson does get featured more than the others. He’s a pretty cooperative model. He did not at all enjoy posing in this winter sweater but he tolerated it…

Since he can’t speak English, he has to find other ways to show his displeasure:

This is the first photo I took of him with the new camera:

So just for fun, I massacred a pomegranate. It had been laying on the ground for a few days so I didn’t think eating it would be a good idea plus ours just don’t taste good. The birds ate most of the seeds so it was not a pointless crime.

And here are a very few birds that have stopped by lately…

Curve-billed Thrashers, Abert’s Towhee, Rosy-faced Lovebirds

So not into the holiday season but hoping to snap out of it some. I hope yours is far more fun. Let’s hope 2022 is better than the last couple have been.

An Assortment

The yard is autumnal now…well, for Phoenix. Anna’s Hummingbirds above.

Abert’s Towhee

Curve-billed Thrashers

And they are even getting ready to start posing in my little tableaus.

Pirate Thrasher

A few butterflies have stopped by:

Fiery Skippers, Sleepy Orange, Dainty Sulphur

Those are very tiny Western Pygmy Blues in pink muhly grass. They are very small, 1/4 to 1/2 inch.

American Snout

Verdin

I’m sad to say that the little Orange-crowned Warbler who has wintered in our yard for the last 5-6 years did not return this year. I suppose they can’t live forever…but she won’t be forgotten and we will go through a lot less grape jelly without her. This is her last March and early April right before she left. Bye, “Tink.”

Returned!

Hello. I have returned from my unpleasant trip to Indiana to clean my mother’s house out and list it on the market as she is now in a group home with severe dementia. The cleaning out is done, my private buyer fell through the day before closing, and I feel like I really didn’t do justice to her treasured possessions. But I live 2,000 miles away and am an only child, doing it on my own, so I did the best I could. There were many unpleasant tasks and events while I was there but I’m back in Arizona now and can do the sale of the house from here, fortunately.

My only outing was with a friend to St. Joseph, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan. It was a great day with choppy waters. St. Joe is my favorite place to go while back there.

I did get one lifer there, amazingly, a Sanderling. There were several around.

And many Ring-billed Gulls:

I did go to a park where I’ve had good birding luck before but not this time. It was a little late in the day and I didn’t have my long lens with me so no shots. Other than that, I only saw a few animals in my mother’s neighborhood.

That is an Eastern Cottontail, a Groundhog, a Fox Squirrel, and an Eastern Chipmunk. Now I’m ready to sit in the backyard and reacquaint myself with my local birds and hope a few migratory ones drop in, too.

This is the St. Joseph River as seen from St. Patrick’s County Park.

Oh, and an American Crow. They are everywhere back there.

Thinking of Afghanistan

Afghan Tribal Bracelet, c. 1900

Apparently I’m on an unintended hiatus from my blog. I have some family issues I’m dealing with and have to go to Indiana soon so I haven’t been out birding or doing any sort of photography much…it’s also been miserably hot here in Arizona.

But I know that my problems pale in comparison to those of the people in Afghanistan. The above bracelet is my only connection to Afghanistan. I bought it in about 1972 in West Lafayette, Indiana.

I wrote about it a few years ago here.

I hope to be back to blogging soon.