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.

Almost Missed August

Where have all the butterflies gone? In years past, there would be a variety of them visiting our yard. This year? Just Fiery Skippers and not that many. I’m hoping they’re just late but it probably portends something worse.

I made a brief sojourn to Fountain Hills…this viewpoint used to have quite a lovely view but now houses, cars, and golfers have been added…this is a 4 shot panorama.

Kitties! The indoor crew: Ferguson, Torti, Bouche.

I was playing with my crystal ball one day and not getting the effects I wanted so Ferguson decided to help out by defying gravity. Much better!

The cats are not using heir kitty cat clubhouse as much as I had hoped but every now and then:

It’s been a decent monsoon season so far so things are pretty green but it’s very muggy as well as hot. That’s Phoenix in the summertime.

See you in September!

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.