Wings and Things

The Fiery Skippers are back, a sign of Fall but it’s still miserably hot here so not many other butterflies have shown up…just this Painted Lady missing part of its hind wings, still pretty, though:

The neighbor’s Desert Tortoise escaped last weekend and wandered into our yard.

The Phoenix sky looked like this on August 31:

And Anna’s Hummingbirds have been flying around:

Ferguson is looking upward, hoping for better times…

Still Staying Home

Gila Woodpeckers, male and Female

Abert’s Towhee
Lesser Goldfinch, male
Curve-billed Thrasher
House Finch, female

Yes, we’re still staying home and staying safe. Being retired, we can do that now. Not the funnest thing in the world but what are you gonna do? It’s also been really hot here but we have a day or 2 of reprieve right now so I was able to hang out with my backyard birds more than I usually do (and take a couple of neighborhood walks).

Okay, so now on to my 2 most cooperative Anna’s Hummingbirds, Comet, and Ole, an immature one. He is named “Ole” because he hangs out in the oleanders, far from Comet, who guards the backyard feeders. Ole uses the feeder in the front yard usually.

This is Comet:

This is Ole:

There are girls and a couple other males around but they are all skittish and not posers like Comet and Ole. Here’s a girl:

Fine Feathered Friends

Gila Woodpecker Feathers
Steller’s Jay Feather
Red-tailed Hawk Feather

A collection of Anna’s hummingbird photos over the last few days. I think most of them are the hummer I call “Comet” who definitely dominates the backyard feeders. But the last 3 are a younger male Anna’s, just beginning to grow his gorget feathers. He mostly stays by the feeder in the front yard. Probably smart. There are others around, too, but they just are too skittish most of the time.

And this is yet another Verdin nest that blew down during a recent wind. It was already an abandoned nest, though. We’re waiting for our monsoon season that has not quite happened yet and cooler temps that have not quite happened yet. Climate change, you know.

The Mesquite Tree

I wrote this as a PDF file not really intending to make a post of it but since it’s all written and I need a new post pretty soon, just click on the link to read about my backyard bird feeding. You don’t have to download it, you can just click on the title to read it.

Meanwhile, here’s an abandoned Verdin nest that went down in the wind last night. They have several nests in our pine tree. No birds were injured or became homeless.

Sequestered

Thanks to my cousin, Deborah, for describing these times as “sequestered,” so I could use it for this title.

Anna’s Hummingbird, male, and yes, nature called in the last photo.

Abert’s Towhee

This is the stalk from an agave that my neighbors gave me as I wanted it for a photo perch. So…this is the only bird I have seen use it briefly! Still hoping for a little more action.

Verdin, immature

The above photo is of a Gray Hairstreak, not a particularly good shot, but you can see how the markings on the hindwing mimic antennae and eyes so that a potential predator may attack there rather than the head.

I had one more socially distanced visit with my friend, Maggie, in a park the other day. It has now become so hot in Phoenix that it is doubtful we can do that for a couple more months. Saw a couple birds:

Black Phoebe
Northern Mockingbird
American Kestrel
Almost full moon on July 2

Here is something else I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time on lately. It’s something of a “Vision Board” or “Dream Board,” hoping that it will manifest if I wish it so. It’s a composite photo with several layers of symbolic/representative elements added:

This was the original photo that I used, taken on the Apache Trail:

Some of the elements added were taken from the internet (most of them) and a couple were from photos I’ve taken, including the tiny hummingbird in the upper left.

I’ve also spent many hours collecting some 19th century photos and writing fact-based, fictional stories about the subjects and further hoping to include them in my road trip. In fact, on the road trip photo above, the box of photos is pictured on the lower right hand side. So I want to do a Road Show within a Road Trip. Yes, I know I sound nutty: sequestering can do that to you.

if you would like to see the vintage photos and read their stories, I have linked it here on my blog as a PDF. You can download it or just read it here: Fanciful Facts.