Still Staying Home

Gila Woodpeckers, male and Female

Abert’s Towhee
Lesser Goldfinch, male
Curve-billed Thrasher
House Finch, female

Yes, we’re still staying home and staying safe. Being retired, we can do that now. Not the funnest thing in the world but what are you gonna do? It’s also been really hot here but we have a day or 2 of reprieve right now so I was able to hang out with my backyard birds more than I usually do (and take a couple of neighborhood walks).

Okay, so now on to my 2 most cooperative Anna’s Hummingbirds, Comet, and Ole, an immature one. He is named “Ole” because he hangs out in the oleanders, far from Comet, who guards the backyard feeders. Ole uses the feeder in the front yard usually.

This is Comet:

This is Ole:

There are girls and a couple other males around but they are all skittish and not posers like Comet and Ole. Here’s a girl:

The Mesquite Tree

I wrote this as a PDF file not really intending to make a post of it but since it’s all written and I need a new post pretty soon, just click on the link to read about my backyard bird feeding. You don’t have to download it, you can just click on the title to read it.

Meanwhile, here’s an abandoned Verdin nest that went down in the wind last night. They have several nests in our pine tree. No birds were injured or became homeless.

Sequestered

Thanks to my cousin, Deborah, for describing these times as “sequestered,” so I could use it for this title.

Anna’s Hummingbird, male, and yes, nature called in the last photo.

Abert’s Towhee

This is the stalk from an agave that my neighbors gave me as I wanted it for a photo perch. So…this is the only bird I have seen use it briefly! Still hoping for a little more action.

Verdin, immature

The above photo is of a Gray Hairstreak, not a particularly good shot, but you can see how the markings on the hindwing mimic antennae and eyes so that a potential predator may attack there rather than the head.

I had one more socially distanced visit with my friend, Maggie, in a park the other day. It has now become so hot in Phoenix that it is doubtful we can do that for a couple more months. Saw a couple birds:

Black Phoebe
Northern Mockingbird
American Kestrel
Almost full moon on July 2

Here is something else I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time on lately. It’s something of a “Vision Board” or “Dream Board,” hoping that it will manifest if I wish it so. It’s a composite photo with several layers of symbolic/representative elements added:

This was the original photo that I used, taken on the Apache Trail:

Some of the elements added were taken from the internet (most of them) and a couple were from photos I’ve taken, including the tiny hummingbird in the upper left.

I’ve also spent many hours collecting some 19th century photos and writing fact-based, fictional stories about the subjects and further hoping to include them in my road trip. In fact, on the road trip photo above, the box of photos is pictured on the lower right hand side. So I want to do a Road Show within a Road Trip. Yes, I know I sound nutty: sequestering can do that to you.

if you would like to see the vintage photos and read their stories, I have linked it here on my blog as a PDF. You can download it or just read it here: Fanciful Facts.

Stay-at-Home

Our governor extended our stay-at-home order until May 15, at least, which is fine with me. I’m of the mind that we need to keep doing this to prevent more illness and deaths. However, I know others disagree and want to get back into the world, even though it’s not going to be the same. So I’m not really communicating with those types…

Someone lost their little nest. It looks too clean to have been used. I’m thinking it might have belonged to a Lesser Goldfinch. It’s one of the prettiest nests I’ve ever found. Poor birdies…all that work.

Boring as things are, for the most part, I’m glad to have my yard to take some photos in but it’s at least 100º everyday so the amount of time I spend out there is dwindling.

Excited that a few Black-chinned Hummingbirds have returned to the yard for the summer and will occasionally let me photograph their purple collars:

And, of course, there are several Anna’s Hummingbirds around:

Verdins can tough the heat out very well as they are birds of the desert:

And here are a few more residents:

Abert’s Towhee with a mouthful for nestlings

Northern Mockingbirds, top one has a mulberry

Rosy-faced Lovebird
Baby House Finch

Stay home, stay safe…like Ferguson and Svengali.

Social Distancing

My outdoor office

So here we all are, self-isolating, quarantining, social distancing. Here are a few of my backyard friends keeping me company.

Queen, Giant Swallowtail, Painted Lady, Fiery Skipper, Bee

Ferguson
Northern Mockingbird, displaying
Yellow House Finch, unusual coloring
Verdin
Abert’s Towhee
Orange-crowned Warbler
Curve-billed Thrasher
Gila Woodpecker

Anna’s Hummingbird, female

Baby House Finch
Rosy-faced Lovebird

And that’s about all I do. I also watch a lot of news and Tony and I have been watching “Parks and Recreation,” which we missed the first time around…about the only laughs we get now. I had a virtual Happy Hour with 2 of my friends the other night so that was fun. What are you up to? I hope you are all listening to Dr. Fauci and other experts and keeping safe.