I have no clue what this insect is but I’m trying to find out. He has some loooong antennae, though. He was soaking up the sunshine nibbling the lantana.
Today’s weather sounded more like a fortune than a forecast. I intended to go birding somewhere but made the often repeated mistake of sitting in the backyard watching the birds “for just a couple minutes,” and then it was too late to head out. Tomorrow…
Great-tailed Grackle, female
Anna’s Hummingbirds, males, molting
Verdin and Anna’s Hummingbird
You can see that Verdins are only a tiny bit larger than hummingbirds.
Honey Bee (with full pollen baskets)
American Kestrel, male
The female Kestrel flew in a few seconds later and all the rest of the birds took off. They soon left, empty-taloned.
Notice how the skippers, above and below, seem to have tiny little horns coming out of their heads? I never noticed that until today, after years of photographing them.
The lantana is the popular place to be if you’re a little flying critter. I’ve seen some other butterflies there in the last few days but haven’t been able to get any shots.
That’s my backyard..okay, not really. It’s a little greenbelt area not too far from where I live; I think it really belongs to some office complexes but it’s like a little park…that no one goes to.
It’s got some mature mesquite trees and I like their twisty limbs.
I’ve written about this place before, years ago (1 and 2). A lot of the trees have been cut way back since then but they’re still hanging in there.
Meanwhile, back at the old ranch (home) a couple miles away, the birds are still loving our mesquite tree, not nearly as big as the ones above.
Anna’s Hummingbird, males
See the 2 little tail feathers on this one? I don’t know if they’re growing in or if he lost part of his tail feathers somehow.
And here is a Dove of Peace, what we need right now:
Great-tailed Grackle, female
Great-tailed Grackle, male
Abert’s Towhee, juvenile
Curve-billed Thrasher, juvenile
The poor birds walk around with their bills open all the time because of the unrelenting heat.
But that’s not the only reason it’s a long hot summer…
Great-Tailed Grackle, female
House Sparrow, male
Great-Tailed Grackle, male
House Finch, male
Sometimes in the open you look up
where birds go by, or just nothing,
and wait. A dim feeling comes
you were like this once, there was air,
and quiet; it was by a lake, or
maybe a river you were alert
as an otter and were suddenly born
like the evening star into wide
still worlds like this one you have found
again, for a moment, in the open.
Something is being told in the woods: aisles of
shadow lead away; a branch waves;
a pencil of sunlight slowly travels its
path. A withheld presence almost
speaks, but then retreats, rustles
a patch of brush. You can feel
the centuries ripple generations
of wandering, discovering, being lost
and found, eating, dying, being born.
A walk through the forest strokes your fur,
the fur you no longer have. And your gaze
down a forest aisle is a strange, long
plunge, dark eyes looking for home.
For delicious minutes you can feel your whiskers
wider than your mind, away out over everything.
Atavism, William Stafford
My current favorite poem.
Painted Lady Butterfly
The Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden at Chaparral Park is part of a 12-mile greenbelt through Scottsdale and in the floodplain of Indian Bend Wash. “Its purpose is to provide an educational resource where growing regionally appropriate plants also grows public awareness to reduce outdoor water use, fosters development of sustainable landscaping, and enlists community participation to conserve water resources for our future.” And it attracts a lot of indigenous wildlife!
In my attempt to make our desert~full of birds, flowers, and butterflies~look traditionally festive during the holiday season, at least one photo of every December post I make will feature some seasonal decoration (to go with the WordPress snow). This Rosy-Faced Lovebird was the most Christmas-y looking of the bunch (credit for the lights is Obsidian Dawn, they’re free!).
Female Costa’s Hummingbird
Northern Mockingbird, saying his morning prayers, my yard today.
Male Anna’s Hummingbird, my yard.
Fiery Skipper, after the heavy rains last weekend, my yard, and some more after the water evaporated.
Juvenile and adult Black-Crowned Night Herons, Scottsdale. I was at another little marshy lake there but this was really the only shot I liked much.
Harris’s Hawk, flyover, my house.
My neighbor’s bush, possibly a Butterfly Bush, but I’m not sure…
I guess this is a Grackle but it does not look at all like those in my yard so possibly it’s a Great-Tailed Grackle. He was seen in Glendale.