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.

Pandemic Pandemonium

Black-chinned Hummingbirds, male and female

Anna’s Hummingbird, male

Cicada Exoskeleton

Lesser Goldfinches, female and male

Verdin, immature

Curve-billed Thrasher
Rosy-faced Lovebird
House Finch, female

Yes, it’s boring and hot here during the quarantine. Tonight we’re going out to try to get some shots of Comet NEOWISE. I already made the above attempt. Pretty impressive, huh? Next to come will be the monsoons.

Hope you are staying safe and finding a little excitement in your lives.

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.

Social Distancing

My outdoor office

So here we all are, self-isolating, quarantining, social distancing. Here are a few of my backyard friends keeping me company.

Queen, Giant Swallowtail, Painted Lady, Fiery Skipper, Bee

Ferguson
Northern Mockingbird, displaying
Yellow House Finch, unusual coloring
Verdin
Abert’s Towhee
Orange-crowned Warbler
Curve-billed Thrasher
Gila Woodpecker

Anna’s Hummingbird, female

Baby House Finch
Rosy-faced Lovebird

And that’s about all I do. I also watch a lot of news and Tony and I have been watching “Parks and Recreation,” which we missed the first time around…about the only laughs we get now. I had a virtual Happy Hour with 2 of my friends the other night so that was fun. What are you up to? I hope you are all listening to Dr. Fauci and other experts and keeping safe.

Moon Before Yule

Moon Over Camelback Mountain

This was the moon on December 10th, early evening, at 97.9%. I haven’t been out photographing much with holiday shopping, get-togethers, home repair issues, and quite a bit of rain for Phoenix.

Orange-crowned Warbler

My Orange-crowned Warbler, Tink, has decided to spend her 4th winter here in our yard. I’m always so happy when she returns and make sure there is plenty of grape jelly for her enjoyment.

This tiny snail appeared after one of our rains. I put it into one of our outdoor plant pots and haven’t seen it since.

Here are a few more of our winter birds:

Curve-billed Thrasher
Verdin
Gila Woodpecker
Anna’s Hummingbirds, male and female
Inca Dove
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Audubon’s
Ferguson

Tony used Christmas lights to make the peace symbol but we will probably keep it in our front window year-round because why not?

Happy Holidays!