March Miscellany

Moon Over Desert Botanical Garden

This photo is from “Museum of the Moon,” an exhibit at Desert Botanical Garden (Phoenix) in February. This is a 23 foot diameter inflatable moon of which there are several that have traveled all over the world to museums and other installations. It was pretty cool. It had many wires and scaffolds holding it down so it couldn’t blow away. For this photo, I erased the wires that were showing and added a different sky. The mountain is part of the Garden. It was an interesting exhibit that was only here for a week and it was pretty windy most of those days. In fact, its last day was to be February 14 and there were special events that were to occur for Valentine’s Day but it was so windy that day that all were canceled. I couldn’t help but wonder if it ruined anyone’s romantic plans, maybe to pop the question…

If you look closely, you can see the seams in the moon, above. Still a pretty remarkable object. Obviously I added this sky, too.

So, once again, I have a few photos I’m trying to get off my desktop and they don’t really “go with” much else so here they are:

Buttercup Oxalis/Bermuda Buttercup
Buttercup Oxalis, welcoming spring in my neighbor’s yard
First of Season Painted Lady
The first Painted Lady of the season
Misty on Fence
Misty, another neighbor’s cat

The little bird feeder, featured in my last post, given to me by a birding friend, has attracted Northern Mockingbirds and Curve-billed Thrashers to its peanut stash so far:

Birds Welcome Mockingbird
Birds Welcome Thrasher

And I played around with adding textures to a couple of photos that were either very grainy or had unattractive backgrounds:

Anna's Hummingbird on Hummer Feather Macro Texture
Anna’s Hummingbird superimposed on a macro photo of hummingbird feathers
House Finch, male
A male House Finch

If I was smart, I would be saving up all these “extra” photos for when the summer gets so hot in Phoenix that I don’t take many photos…but I’m not. I’ll just have to take extra in the next couple of months before it becomes unbearable.

Happy Spring Equinox, everyone!

Photo Dump


It’s always a good thing to have a lot of bird photos. I’ve been especially lucky lately in my yard and elsewhere but I always leave the photos that I still need to post here (and other places, sometimes) sitting on my desktop and it’s getting cluttered so I need to make this emergency photo dump to clear it out a little.

Above is a very cute Yellow-rumped Warbler that I saw at a park in Tempe, AZ, where we went to see American Robins and Cedar Waxwings. Not common visitors to our area, this year there has been an irruption of them here and elsewhere, and they have been voraciously eating Fan Palm berries all over town. Unfortunately, I did not get any of the lovely closeups of them eating said berries like many of the local birding photographers did but here are a few, just to prove I was there.

American Robin at Sunset

American Robins and Cedar Waxwings, above. The only one I caught by the berries was this annoyed Northern Mockingbird. The mockingbirds seemed very agitated that their park was being overtaken by these outsiders.

Northern Mockingbird with Palm Fan Berries

We also spotted several Snowy Egrets. This one looked so pretty in the setting sun.

Snowy Egret

Some handsome Northern Shovelers were wintering there.

Northern Shoveler, male
And in a smalll office park close to my house, I saw these Domestic Ducks cuddling in the afternoon sun.
Two Tucked Ducks
And some American Wigeons. This is a male.
American Wigeon, male

And…last Sunday I went to 3 parks and found zippo. This is about the only photo I took but it was good to see literally hundreds of Honey Bees swarming on the sage.

Honeybee on Sage

A couple more from my yard in January before I go…a Curve-billed Thrasher and a Northern Mockingbird.

Curve-billed Thrasher
Northern Mockingbird

Thank you for looking. I’ll clean off my desktop now and see you soon!

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.


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.