Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Quail Mayhem!

Mom   9 screened 6-23-2009 12-18-40 PM 1060x359

I have noticed that adult males will attack straggling chicks. Today I saw something even scarier, though it was preceded by a very cute incident.

There have been a lot of baby quails lately. This morning a family of ten hatchlings showed up. This afternoon, a family of nine hatchlings plus a single mom appeared. I don’t know if it was the same family as this morning. Anyway, the mama started to lead her babies to the quail block, but saw another family there—both parents and three somewhat older chicks. So she led her little band onto my porch, where I was able to take these pictures through the screen.

I didn’t snap it, but when the babies first got to the porch all of them—who must have fed at the quail block previously-- pecked at the brick wall, obviously expecting it to yield yummy seeds.

The mama quail must have been pretty hungry, because she eventually mom   9 close 6-23-2009 12-18-56 PM 756x507 tried to feed by herself, but the papa quail attacked her fiercely, jumping on her and pecking the heck out of her.

The last I saw of her, she was heading off away from the quail block with her tiny chicks following her.

mom   clump 6-23-2009 12-19-03 PM 947x738

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Hum bath 2 CU I water our young mesquite tree with a hose running slowly over a flat rock, to avoid digging a hole in the tree well. The other morning as I did other things around the garden I noticed a female hummer (maybe a Costa?) bathing on the mesquite rock. She laid herself out flat and wriggled around, making sure to get all parts wet. It was adorable. I managed to get a picture of it and another of her in the tree, doing contortions as she groomed herself.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

rabbit and male quail 5-25-2009 6-30-51 AM 2304x1728
The hawk is still around, though not nearly as frequently as before we put the shelter up. The other afternoon it appeared twice. Once, all the doves and quail exploded out from under the shelter about ten seconds before the hawk appeared. The second time, same thing but not everyone got the message. A couple of quail and one rabbit were caught under the pomegranate tree. All three remained absolutely motionless. The hawk looked closely everywhere he could see, but apparently the birds and the rabbit were invisible to him. He flew off and the quail skedaddled, but the rabbit remained there for quite a while.
Above are a male quail and a rabbit that allowed me to photograph them a couple of mornings ago, and below is one of a number of babies that showed up with the daddy quail and his mate. This is the first time quail have actually appeared while I was out on the porch.
baby quail cu 5-25-2009 6-30-44 AM 540x538

Thursday, June 04, 2009

More from Tohono Chul

Dorothy 5-30-2009 4-48-24 PM 2304x1728

The cereus are all over the park, but most of them are along a circular trail (maybe 3/4 of a mile long) that winds through desert hills and washes. The path was illuminated by luminarias, paper bags holding candles.

Many of the cereus have nameplates. The one above is named “Dorothy,” after a former girlfriend of the curator. He said it was not nepotism, as they are named after the person who finds them.

Before the buds fully open, they look like eggs or cotton bolls:


Younger buds look like bumps. I think there may be an immature bud on the end of one of the branches above.

More night blooms:

night-blooms 5-30-2009 5-02-07 PM 2304x1728