Returned!

Hello. I have returned from my unpleasant trip to Indiana to clean my mother’s house out and list it on the market as she is now in a group home with severe dementia. The cleaning out is done, my private buyer fell through the day before closing, and I feel like I really didn’t do justice to her treasured possessions. But I live 2,000 miles away and am an only child, doing it on my own, so I did the best I could. There were many unpleasant tasks and events while I was there but I’m back in Arizona now and can do the sale of the house from here, fortunately.

My only outing was with a friend to St. Joseph, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan. It was a great day with choppy waters. St. Joe is my favorite place to go while back there.

I did get one lifer there, amazingly, a Sanderling. There were several around.

And many Ring-billed Gulls:

I did go to a park where I’ve had good birding luck before but not this time. It was a little late in the day and I didn’t have my long lens with me so no shots. Other than that, I only saw a few animals in my mother’s neighborhood.

That is an Eastern Cottontail, a Groundhog, a Fox Squirrel, and an Eastern Chipmunk. Now I’m ready to sit in the backyard and reacquaint myself with my local birds and hope a few migratory ones drop in, too.

This is the St. Joseph River as seen from St. Patrick’s County Park.

Oh, and an American Crow. They are everywhere back there.

Hello, October!

Desert CottontailDesert Cottontail

Dragonfly SXGMexican Amberwing, female

Vermiflion FC 3 SXG_edited-1

Vermilion FC 2 SXGVermilion Flycatcher, female

October is a good month for Phoenix since the mornings and nights get cooler, although the days can still get hot. Right now, we have the remnants of Hurricane Rosa bringing us rain and clouds so it’s cooler than normal, high 70s-80s. Feels great after a long, hot summer.

The above photos were taken at Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden one day last week. I love the light there. I often see warblers there during migration but not this time.

The next few photos were taken yesterday at Desert Botanical Garden on a gloomy day. I mistakenly thought the birds would be out in full force but I was wrong again. There were a ton of Queens, though.

Queen 1

Queen 3Queen Butterfly

Cactus Wren Lomo

Cactus Wren 2Cactus Wrens

QuailGambel’s Quail, male

Bee and Sunflower

SulphurSulphur with tattered wings

Verdin 2Verdin, mid-snack

I just don’t know where all the migrating birds are!!! I keep looking. The following photos were taken in our yard last week. The skippers are out in full force.

Skipper 9.23Fiery Skipper in Lantana

Svengi as ElvisSvengali does Elvis

It’s definitely beginning to look and feel like Fall here. Happy October!

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