The two Curve-billed Thrashers in my yard are exceedingly curious and also very fond of unsalted peanuts. I sort of accidentally realized that anytime I put something different on this little outdoor table, they will quickly jump up to check it out and keep doing so if there are some peanuts involved. So I started a little series of them checking things out. They both share the spotlight in the following photos.
Some outtakes from that shoot…
We just finished watching The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix:
Actually, it turns out that the Abert’s Towhees and Northern Mockingbirds (2 of each) are also fairly curious and I have a few shots of them joining in various festivities which I’ll post at another time.
Meanwhile, here are a few more of the little yardbirds (an Anna’s Hummingbird, House Finch, Gila Woodpecker, my wintering Orange-crowned Warbler, and Verdin) wishing you a safe, healthy, Happy Solstice, Happy Yule, and Happy Holidays!
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.
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.
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:
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.
Okay, as of right now, beautiful Mount Lemmon in Tucson is now my favorite Arizona destination. There is only an ugly 2 hour drive on I-10 from Phoenix to Tucson and then an annoying drive through Tucson between it and me.
Both Tony and I had been to Mt. Lemmon decades ago, separately, yet neither one of us really remembered it. If I had, it would not have taken so long to go back. It is awesomely beautiful and goes through several life zones before reaching the 9,000+ foot peak by an extremely nice 2 lane highway.
Neither of us even knew there was a lake up there…Rose Canyon Lake. Small yet gorgeous. Here are a few panoramas. If you want to see them larger, click here: 1, 2, 3.
I got my one and only lifer here.
We actually saw several. Normally getting only one lifer when I knew so many others had to be there would have saddened me…not up here because it was just so awesome!
Dull Firetip Skipper
Onward and upward we went through a beautiful census designated place (CDP) called Summerhaven, full of beautiful chalet-type summer homes. Yes, I want to live there now.
The ski run was closed but this was the view from Ski Valley. This is the southernmost ski resort in the U.S. The temperature up here was a refreshing 75° while it was a toasty 113° in Phoenix.