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!

A Cold January

Model in the Mesquite
Orange-crowned Warbler Framed
Orange-crowned Warbler
As the Sun Set...
Eating Cara Cara Oranges

It’s been a cold January in Phoenix…not as cold as the midwestern or eastern parts of the U.S. but consistently colder than usual, day after day. I was excited to see this Orange-crowned Warbler in our yard and thought maybe it was the one that wintered with me for several years, excluding last winter, but now I’m not so sure. She seems to have moved on after a couple weeks of eating jelly and oranges. I’m hoping she returns…such a cute little thing. Maybe she was too cold and headed south.

I make sure the food is out everyday so they can keep fueled. Here are a few more January visitors: a White-crowned Sparrow digging up some dirt, Verdin, Anna’s Hummingbirds, a Rosy-faced Lovebird, Northern Mockingbird looking for peanuts, and A Curve-billed Thrasher showing off. I also have 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers in the yard but they are very skittish and my photos are not good…hoping to get them soon.

Diggin' Up Some Dirt
Anna's Fly
Anna's Female Flying
High Key Hummer
Anna's Hummingbird
Rosy-faced Lovebird, immature
Goin' for the Nuts
Curve-billed Thrasher in the Pines

I actually went to a couple places looking for birds but I don’t want to bore you with too many shots so I may make a catch-up post in a few days and show you some of those.

For now, here is a shot of the moon last night, January 30. I’m hoping to see the green comet in the next few days but I don’t have the sort of equipment to get a good photo of it. Somewhere around the Little Dipper…

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

Giving It a Whirl

Winter Wonderland

In my last post for November, I lamented that I was running out of media space on my blog after 14 years of photo-heavy posts and wondered if I would have to end my blog, start a new one, or pay to continue. My long-time blogging buddy, Montucky, told me how you can link Flickr images to your blog and not use any media space. And, coincidentally, WordPress just made that even easier. I have had a Flickr account for a long time so I guess I can keep my little blog going for awhile. Thank you, Montucky. This is his blog.

So here are a few Christmas shots of the cats: Ferguson, Bouche, and Torti…

"I'm not fat, the stupid Christmas shirt is crooked!"
Pre-Christmas Torture
2 Heads are Better

Easy peasy, I think. This is our outdoor Christmas tree. It’s plywood and, last year, my neighbor had it outside his house with a “FREE” sign on it. I grabbed it to use as a photo prop but that has never really happened. We decided to paint it and put some lights (and a couple cardinals and a hummingbird) on it for the season. We love it now and have gotten several comments on it. The neighbor’s wife also told me that he originally pulled it out of the Bed, Bath, and Beyond dumpster, haha. You can see that the outdoor cats like it, too. That is Tabby and Callie.

The Plywood Christmas Tree
Plywood Christmas Tree Lit

And now, for a few December yard birds…Rosy-faced Lovebirds enjoying a seed bell, a juvenile one finishing the bell off, a Verdin dining on an orange, Inca Doves on my neighbor’s garage waiting for me to put sunflower seed out, and a posing Anna’s Hummingbird, male. The bird in my leading photo is a Curve-billed Thrasher in a Winter Wonderland.

Rosy-faced Lovebirds
Rosy-faced Lovebird Juvenile
Verdin Dining
Inca Doves on Garage
Anna's Hummingbird

So it seems to work this way. You don’t even need a Flickr account…if you have photos posted on any other sites, you can just embed them by using the url…at least I think so. The only thing I can’t do now is make galleries or stacked photos…unless there is a way that I haven’t figured out yet. I also can’t control the placement of vertical photos but that’s no biggie. At any rate, it’s a great solution!!!!! I can keep blogging. It was really easy to do, too, so if you have this WordPress issue of limited space remaining, there is an easy workaround.

I hope we all have a Happy 2023!!!!!

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!!!!