Monday, November 29, 2010

New Focus

I haven’t been posting here often because so many of my nature observations are now made at Tohono Chul Park, where I’m a docent. I have decided to change the focus of my blog, and include what I see and hear at TCP.
Beautiful Male Quail 6-25-2010 7-52-46 AM 923x1104 (This beautiful male Gambel’s quail was photographed at the Park.)
Quick quail update: we regularly have more quail than I can count roosting in the front yard now.  Literally dozens. They fill the dorm tree, the pyracantha bush, and the bougainvillea, though since we’re having a hard freeze tonight the bougainvillea may no longer be a suitable place to bunk.
Snakey 8-27-2010 11-13-49 AM 3616x2712 
Today in the Park it was very cold, but I got to see a snake anyway (a day without snakes is like a day without sunshine). One of the volunteers couldn’t access his water valve box because a juvenile rattlesnake was brumating in it. This may have been one of the rattlers that hatched underneath our organpipe cactus in July (see above). Our herpetologist, Ed, asked that the young diamondback be left alone till Wednesday, when the night temps will be considerably warmer.
Last week one of the grounds crew caught a juvenile black-headed grosbeak with a broken wing. She was going to take it to wildlife rehab, but someone let it go. I heard today that it had been seen in a particular part of the Park, eating chiles and caterpillars (yum!). Then, before I left this morning, I saw it, in what looked like very good, safe habitat, hopping around. I hope it finds a warm place to sleep.