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.

What a Month!

It’s been a heck of a month…globally, nationally, personally…so I’m just going to post some cats and birds and hope things get better all around.

Ferguson:

Bouche:

Bouche and Callie:

Torti:

Tortoise. Shell. Tortoiseshell.

Birds…

Adult and Juvenile Verdins

Anna’s Hummingbirds, female and male

Harris’s Hawk

Rosy-faced Lovebird

“Cats are such gossips!” Curve-billed Thrasher

And a bonus Leafcutter Bee, only the males have green eyes.

Earth Day 2022

It’s my April blog post! These 2 photos were not taken today on Earth Day but earlier this week at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. We had visiting relatives and took them there…sadly, it was HOT!!!!! But we still had a nice time…this is a Gila Woodpecker and a Desert Spiny Lizard. Chihuly in the Desert was also installed amid all the lovely flora at the garden. These are just a couple pieces:

You can see that the desert is in full bloom, too.

It was extremely windy here in Phoenix today and the birds were having a hard time navigating. This Inca Dove was being buffeted about so much that she had to use her wings to stabilize herself while scrounging for food.

And here are a few more photos from my yard a few days ago…

A Bee-fly, Rosy-faced Lovebirds, and a Verdin sunny side up.

Ferguson and Torti are now sporting new peace sign collars:

And Ferguson, of course, is always busy, always challenging himself…with geometry problems and learning to play the piano, ragtime, of course…

…While Bouche and Callie romped in the dirt and flowers on this sunny, windy Earth Day.

March for Peace

Cat of Peace

No, I wasn’t in a March for Peace. I’m not aware of any around lately but I have been thinking about Peace, as I know a lot of us are. Our house got a facelift and this peace sign is now on the front. A guy named Mitch, who did the rest of the work on our house, made it. It’s about 3 feet in diameter.

This is a brushed aluminum sculpture my mom had in her house and now I have it. It was made by John Mishler. It was actually the model for a larger one that my mom commissioned him to make for my parents’ church after my father died in 1997. Technically, it’s the Descending Holy Spirit but now it’s the Dove of Peace.

And even this Curve-billed Thrasher got into it, he’s the Peace Enforcer:

Ferguson is not only the Cat of Peace, he also made a half-hearted attempt to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Some Honey Bees and wasps have been pollinating around now that spring has arrived in Phoenix.

And the Anna’s Hummingbirds have been busy, chasing and eating:

Plus many others including this Curve-billed Thrasher and Gila Woodpecker:

And, lastly, this is entitled: “You’re right, I found my grill.” Starring Ferguson, of course.

So that is my March for Peace…