Curve-billed Thrasher (being a Grinch)
Everywhere I go, the birds seem to be really getting into the holiday spirit this year…that’s a good thing.
Costa’s Hummingbird, female
We, on the other hand, have yet to decorate our tree, although it’s up. Most presents are bought and sent, most Christmas cards are out…still a few things to do but it always gets done in the end.
Hope your holiday season is going well so far…
One morning last week I volunteered at the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG) and walked the garden afterwards. It was a gloomy day and a little cooler so I thought the birds would be out in full force. Wrong. I didn’t take one photo. Fortunately, I had been there the week before, though, and did get a few pictures…on another gloomy day.
And it was beginning to look autumnal…
These particular butterflies were all over the place. And so were the Lesser Goldfinches in all sorts of acrobatic positions:
Anna’s Hummingbirds, female and male
Creosote Gall (with midges inside!)
Great-Tailed Grackle, female
House Sparrow, male
Great-Tailed Grackle, male
House Finch, male
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.
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.
Everyone and everything was abuzz and abloom the other morning at the Desert Botanical Garden. It seemed to be The Happiest Place on Earth. Click on photos for more detail.
Isn’t this guy the epitome of happiness?
It was a flying finch frenzy.
House Finch, male and female
Desert Spiny Lizard
House Sparrow, male
Cactus Wren, the Arizona State Bird
Gambel’s Quail, male
And I got 2 lifers!!!! This little posing bird:
Black-Tailed Gnatcatcher, male
And another lifer, that I’ve been searching for:
The desert is glorious in spring and the best is yet to come…
American Kestrel, male
Ladder-Backed Woodpecker, male
Northern Flicker, Red-Shafted, male
Gilded Flicker or Northern Flicker, Red-Shafted, male
Gilded Flicker, female
Rosy-Faced Lovebird, juvenile
Anna’s Hummingbird, female
House Finches, female and male
*Note to birds: When posing for photos, please make sure there are no branches, leaves, cactus needles, string, or other obtrusive objects between you and the camera. Thank you.