Sunday, July 29, 2007

Well, we got another storm shortly after I posted yesterday. It lasted about 45 minutes, and looking out into the yard you could see a virtual wall of water falling. I figured maybe another .70 or so, but when I went out to check the rain gauge I could hardly believe my eyes: 1.80. With another .15 falling overnight, we got 2.65 inches of rain in less than one day. This in an area that averages 10 - 12 inches in a year.

This morning when I went out very early to get the paper, the air was filled with swarms of small insects. I think they were looking for sex partners; sort of a singles swarm. The birds all seem happy and very active this morning, and the cacti and trees all look great. the ocotillo are leafing out, and it's just gorgeous.

Bird notes: we have a bumper crop of young cardinals and pyrrhuloxias. They have all mostly learned how to use the seed feeder, and they or their parents are at it throughout the day. I'm going through a huge amount of striped sunflower seed. Also, the other day I saw a big bird eating the blossoms of my golden jubilee vine. On closer inspection I saw it was an oriole, but I'm not sure what kind: either hooded or Northern, probably. A beautiful bird, very like an overgrown goldfinch.

Finally, my yellow bells were in full, glorious bloom (see them and the golden jubilee in the picture above) until three nights ago when something ate all the blossoms and a lot of the stems. I suspect a pack rat, because the dregs were left in my planter on the porch.

The other picture here is my mutant golden barrel cactus in the back yard. It is a gorgeous plant, and very unusual. There is another in the front yard.

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