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!

I Missed July!

I didn’t post all of July and now that I’m basically only doing once-a-month posts, I should have no excuse. But it was such a HOT July and, on top of that, I got Covid after 2.5 years of being extra careful. I didn’t get really sick but it lingered on and on. Here’s my cat, Ferguson, not wanting his temp taken…and also reminding me that’s not how cats do it.

So I didn’t take many outdoor photos…not much action in my yard anyway when it’s over 110 day after day. So here are the 3 indoor kitties…Ferguson, again, having now developed the habit of hissing at anyone that comes in the house, quite the guard cat; Torti showing her wild side; and Bouche looking pensive.

A thirsty Rosy-faced Lovebird hung out for a couple days (it got water)…and even used the swing!

And I humored my lion obsession (not just because I’m a Leo). The paperweight is from the Art Institute of Chicago, where my father was from, and a city we visited often in my childhood. Two bronze lions, created by Edward Keymes in 1894, greet visitors at the entrance to the museum. This represents the south lion.

Plus a still life from our baking front yard entitled, Forgotten and Forlorn.

That was my July, forlorn and soon-to-be forgotten, I hope.

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…