Tuesday, August 10, 2004

August 10, 2004

It continues to rain everywhere but here. Last night coming home from a meeting we saw puddles everywhere. This morning even more puddles—the Riverwalk was soaked. When I checked our rain gauge later, however, there wasn’t even enough water in it to shake out. Less than a trace!

Two new nature notes: the barrel cactus are blooming everywhere. We have quite a few on our property, and the blooms are lovely—a kind of deep apricot. The little pincushion cacti in the front yard seem to have disappeared, perhaps victims of the pack rat removal team.

And the most exciting news in weeks: this morning while having coffee out on the porch I thought I heard a mockingbird. Later on, from the office, I saw one perched on the back fence around the pond. A few minutes ago I saw it again, this time on the near fence. It seems to have a slight deformity on its right breast, but it flies okay. I don’t know if it was attracted by the sliced grapefruit I hung in the palo verde tree, but I’m going to put more fruit out just in case. I hope this beautiful mockingbird is the harbinger of many to come.

It’s been very hot the last few days. It’s fun to watch my “riparian paradise” through the heat of the day and see that for so many birds it really is a haven, a place to eat, bathe, take a dust-bath, or just laze in the bits of shade. Just what I wanted for it!

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