Abundant Sunshine

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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.

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abundant-sunshine

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…

cb-thrasherCurve-billed Thrasher

grackle-girlGreat-tailed Grackle, female

incaInca Dove

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annas-2-9-23-16

hum-molt-10-3-16Anna’s Hummingbirds, males, molting

verdin-and-hummerVerdin and Anna’s Hummingbird

You can see that Verdins are only a tiny bit larger than hummingbirds.

cloudless-sulphurCloudless Sulphur

bee-9-24-16Honey Bee (with full pollen baskets)

kestrel-boyAmerican Kestrel, male

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The female Kestrel flew in a few seconds later and all the rest of the birds took off. They soon left, empty-taloned.

flesh-flyFlesh Fly

eufala-skipperEufala Skipper

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.

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fiery-skipperFiery Skipper

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.

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The Long Hot Summer

24 and Cback Park

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.

Mesquite Tangle

It’s got some mature mesquite trees and I like their twisty limbs.

Mesquite Tangle 4

Mesquite Tangle 5

Mesquite Tangle 3

Mesquite Tangle 2

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.

Ferny

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.

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Anna's 2 6.30.16

Hum 2 7.6.16Anna’s Hummingbird, males

Hum 2 Tail

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:

ECDove PerchEurasian Collared-Dove

Grackle GirlGreat-tailed Grackle, female

Grackle Boy 2Great-tailed Grackle, male

Mr and Mrs Grackle

Towhee JuviAbert’s Towhee, juvenile

Thrasher HotCurve-billed Thrasher, juvenile

The poor birds walk around with their bills open all the time because of the unrelenting heat.

Mock PoolNorthern Mockingbird

But that’s not the only reason it’s a long hot summer…

Killing Flag with blood splatter

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Where Birds Go By…

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Northern Mockingbird

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Great-Tailed Grackle, female

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Sparrow 4.17.15

House Sparrow, male

Verdin 4.17.15

Verdin

Grackle

Great-Tailed Grackle, male

Starling

European Starling

Orchid Tree

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Finch 1_edited-1

House Finch, male

Lovebird 2

Rosy-Faced Lovebird

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Curve-Billed Thrasher

1
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.

2
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.

Xeriscaping

Painted Lady

Painted Lady Butterfly

Painted Lady Side

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!

Monarch 2

Monarch Butterfly

Lovebird with lights

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!).

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Grackle

Female Grackle

Flowers

Finch

Female Finch

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Let It Snow

Female Costa’s Hummingbird

Random Shots

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Northern Mockingbird, saying his morning prayers, my yard today.

H-Bird 9.27.14

Male Anna’s Hummingbird, my yard.

Skip Raindrops 9.28.14

Fiery Skipper, after the heavy rains last weekend, my yard, and some more after the water evaporated.

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Skip 9.28.14

2 Flying

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.

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Harris’s Hawk, flyover, my house.

Phillip's Purple Bush

My neighbor’s bush, possibly a Butterfly Bush, but I’m not sure…

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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.