Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Miscellaneous bird notes

QUAIL. Last night I sat on the porch and counted quails into the dorm tree. I counted eight, but at least two sneaked in from the side. These days the birds I see, including these, are mostly paired up. So I guess they haven’t started their broods yet. I’m assuming they would sleep on the nest.


ROADRUNNER.  We see roadrunners pretty often on our walks around the neighborhood. The other morning, while walking alone, I encountered a very young roadrunner at the intersection of two small streets. It was comparatively small, but otherwise looked like the one in this picture, a stock photo from I don’t think it had encountered a human before. It started running down the street ahead of me, frequently looking over its shoulder. Whenever it seemed to think I was gaining, it speeded up. We went about a block that way. Finally it figured out that it could peel off into a driveway.

BEAUTIFUL MOCKINGBIRD! I had one in my garden this morning. It was repeatedly shaking its feathers, and it took me a moment to realize that it was a juvenile, calling to be fed (I couldn’t hear it through the closed glass door). Mockingbirds are my favorite birds (along with hummers), and I keep hoping that one or two will set up housekeeping in our yard. Maybe this guy will when he grows up. This mockingbird is from my old yard:

mocker head-on

ORIOLES. This morning I also had a pair of orioles in my garden using the pond. I don’t know what kind they were. I believe one was a juvenile, and my best guess is Bullock’s Oriole, or possibly Scott’s Oriole. The other, which I only glimpsed for a second, was a female, maybe the mother.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hawk shield and Buddha

We put a hawk shield up a few days ago. It consists of a small frame with a roof of shadecloth. The quail block is underneath it. We were worried that the birds would no longer use the quail block, but they apparently love the shade.

I haven’t seen the hawk since we put the shield up, but that may be a coincidence. When startled, the birds all explode out from underneath the shelter. I am holding my breath to see what happens when the baby quail start arriving.

In the corner of the shelter, by the porch, I have placed a garden Buddha. Below are the view from my desk and a closeup of the Buddha.


Buddha 4-18-2009 8-49-51 AM 913x1574 Buddha from office 4-9-2009 8-24-34 AM 1640x1651

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Got lemons?

After giving away literally dozens of lemons from our two lemon trees (one, the dorm tree, is a Meyer lemon tree), and after removing untold more dozens of lemons that had fallen on the ground, and after having used a few dozen ourselves, we turned the trees (and a small orange tree) over to a harvester from The Community Food Bank. It took him about five hours, but he told us he took away nearly 350 pounds of fruit!

Got lemons 4-15-2009 10-33-34 AM 2200x1689

The tiny orange fruit remaining on the tree are NOT kumquats. I think they are ornamental oranges. They are too bitter to eat. They are actually on a second tree that is intertwined with the Meyer Lemon tree.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sabino 2

Sabino has changed a lot since I moved back here twenty years ago. So many big old trees are gone, but this is how nature designs it.

The damage from the floods has been pretty much repaired, but if you look closely you can see where the huge rockslides occurred, rock slide 1-29-2009 8-32-50 AM 2304x1728

and there are a number of places where the rock face has been bolted down, like this (next to the water):bolted rock and water 1-29-2009 8-40-50 AM 2304x1728

Still, of course, a glorious and beautiful place.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

What’s blooming

These are some of the flowers that are blooming around our house these days:



Brittle bush

Brittle bush

Yellow bells

Yellow bells





A bunch of other things are also blooming, including the citrus trees, the pomegranate tree, aloes, ocotillo, and several things that I don’t know the names of. The best are the citrus trees because they smell so beautiful.