Saturday, June 10, 2006

June 10

Lots of nature news the past couple of weeks. We had a mini-monsoon event, which cooled things off, though the humidity was unpleasant. Lots of wind, which one night blew away one of the dovelets on the pillar of our carport. The remaining dove was still there as of this morning, but it has grown big enough to probably fly away on its own. (The picture above is of last year's dovelets.)

Baby quail are starting to appear. I haven't seen any really little ones or any large flocks, but have seen four or five at a time (somewhere between adorable fluffy thimbles and ungainly adolescents with pimples), trailing behind their parents.

New bird in yard: about the size of a cardinal, appearance like a very large sparrow, but long black beak like a woodpecker and red eyes. Also a small ruff on its head. From my bird book, it is some sort of fly catcher, probably a brown-crested.

I have discovered why the seeds are disappearing so quickly from my cardinal feeder: some of the finches have learned that if they double up on the perch they weigh enough to open the door. Then they shovel seeds out onto the ground, where they can try to crack them at their leisure. I am very impressed with their intelligence, but wish they were not so profligate.

Final nature note, the one I most wish I had a picture of: today while we were on the River Walk, we saw a very well-built male cyclist who was stark naked. Nice body, nice package. Very, very startling.

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