Monday, March 30, 2009

Morning Dove Momma

My how they grow up so fast. This dove has decided to raise her family in the rafters of my front porch. I also have a nest up in the back patio. I just discovered these chicks a couple of days ago, and decided to snap this shot this morning. There was a mother dove camped out here last year who raised a handful of youngins. I think she perished in the talons of the Coopers Hawk. She left behind an orphan that had just matured enough to fend for herself. I called her Annie. Annie was the only dove who did not mind my presence too awfully bad. As all of the other doves bolted off when I went outside, Annie had a hard time figuring out what all the fuss was about. I wrote about Annie last summer after she collided with one of my windows. I gave her bread and water for a couple of days while she recovered under the Honeysuckle. She used to be quite the loner, but now I believe she has found a mate. I cant help but wonder if this sweet momma is Annie.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Poor Wabbit

Yesterday was a bad day to be a baby Bunny. I saw this adorable critter lounging in the sun in my backyard. As I approached him he did not flee. Come to find out he was quite ill and had difficulty walking. I put him in a box and gave him some water, yet a few hours later he passed on over into the meadows of the afterlife. Bye bye baby bunny.

This is one of my all time favorite flowers. Around here they call it a "Yellow Bird of Paradise". I wrote about the fight I had with its fuzz in a previous post.

This is a close up of one of the buds bursting out.

Everything is turning yellow around here. I'm not sure the name of this flower. It was a weed I nurtured. Between this guy, the Desert Marigolds, and the Yellow Birds of Paradise, I now have a palette of plenty of purples and yellows. All the red and Orange blossoms will be popping out a little later this spring. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Skywatch Friday: Desperately Seeking Shade

I just discovered "Skywatch Friday". I have been following a very entertaining trail of nature and photo blogs in the early mornings before the crack of dawn. I'm a big fan of backyard naturalists, and nature lovers in general. I love sneaking in enough time to visit a few of these sites as often as possible. I used to be a pretty regular participant in "Illustration Friday", yet these days I've had a little too much on my plate to post on a regular basis. However it is really interesting finding little connections along the way. As I navigate around nature blogs, I'll find a blogger who's site I've visited many times through "Illustration Friday". The then after doing some poking around in a new site I discovered called "Skywatch "Friday", I found a bunch of posters from my list of nature blogs and favorite Illo Fri blogs. What a small world eh? I'm enjoying this, but I highly doubt I'll ever twitter. So I decided to jump on the old bandwagon and submit a few shots for "Skywatch Friday", which is a great blog showcasing hundreds of posts each week of beautiful sky's across our globe. The shot above looks like a Mackerel Sky, or a Buttermilk sky. Perhaps its just a low fat Buttermilk sky. The shot below is of a deluge From last Autumn. I'm so anxious for the Monsoon season to get underway again!

Today I discovered the value of "Shade Grown Coffee". In a article from a blog I visited this morning. I guess they have developed a new strain of coffee that is not dependent on shade to thrive. The shade trees used for growing coffee, provide a much needed habitat for many species of birds and other wild life. Now they have been destroying the delicate habitat to plow out fields for the new strains of coffee. If you would like to check out the article over at "Birding witn Kenn and Kim" its called "Kens Totally Caffeinated adventure". At the bottom of the article there is a link to a source of "bird safe coffee". Now if someone asks me how I like my coffee, I may reply by saying...
Made in the Shade,
Organic and free trade.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Harris Hawk Aloft

Today I made my maiden voyage to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. It was a breathtaking stroll through all of the plants, animals, and exhibits. They have a raptor exhibit that is quite exciting and informative. The Museum is supported mostly by a large crew of dedicated volunteers. Shortly after my buddies and I arrived, the scheduled Raptor show was getting underway. Today was Harris Hawk day. The volunteers cast the Raptors to the sky and narrate as the Hawks play out their hunting and social behaviors. One flew down so close to my head that I felt his feathers graze my ear. It was rather exhilarating!

After spending about four hours exploring the museum, I realized that I would be needing to make another trip out that way again soon. There is just too much beauty to take in in only one day.

This Hawk takes a low pass. I have a whole bunch of great shots from the Museum, and as soon as I get them processed, I'll post more.

A couple of Goldfinches stopped in for a sip the other day.

I was surprised this afternoon when I found this shot of a Cardinal coming in for a landing at the top of the waterfall.
Thanks for visiting, glad you stopped by.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Purple and Green Spring

Boy howdy! Sometimes I just can't fathom the depth of my occasional dorkitude. I've been getting all giddy because my Yellow Bird of Paradise bushes are getting ready to bloom. However a few weeks ago, noticed an unusual red growth smothering the stems and spreading out up upon the buds. I beat feet down to the local nursery and bought a rather expensive organic pest potion. I was all over the net trying to research theses little buggers. I looked up fungi, I looked up aphids, I looked up mites and I looked up scale. Much to my chagrin, I could not identify the anomoly. So I finally decided to check out close up shots of the blossoms and buds of this plant on the net, and that was when i discovered that the growth is actually part of the plant. Funny little red beard ya got there! I'm a dork.

The Verbena is always anxious to bloom early in spring.

The Texas Laurel is just about in full bloom too. This is one tree of mine that I really wished that the blossoms would linger longer.

The Ocotillo is bustin out nicely.

Here is a close up of the Occotillo Leaves.

The potato Bush really exploded almost all at once. I think it was in a blooming race with the Verbena.

The snow devistated my large Cape Honeysuckle. It was the favorite of all of the Hummingbird visitors. I decided to leave all of the old wood in tact, for the little sparrows and finches. Its just a few feet from the pond and they like to use it to bounce back and forth from between the pond.
I got some footage of a handfull of birds pirched up in it. If you want to check it out its in the "Roadrunner Morning" video.

Yee Gads! Someones built a little condo in the Verbina. I'll have to get a shot of the eight legged arachnid sometime.