Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Wood Duck

For a few years the only item on my bucket list was to see a male wood duck in person. A couple of weeks ago I fulfilled my dream and saw and photographed a very calm wood duck on a pond in a nearby park. I have no idea what he was doing there, but I’m so glad to have met him! I can’t imagine a more beautiful bird, even though he is not native to the Sonoran Desert. Here are four views of my wood duck, including the rear view below that shows off his beautiful purple mullet.

Wood duck mullet

Wood Duck Head 1 7-15-2013 2-08-36 PM 4608x3456 7-15-2013 2-08-36 PM 1944x2182

Wood duck Sit 1 7-15-2013 2-06-31 PM 4608x3456 7-15-2013 2-06-31 PM 1974x1179

Wood duck whole 7-15-2013 2-09-11 PM 2575x1716

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spring Changes in the Park

The whole front of Tohono Chul Park is being re-done. I previously wrote about the new Palm Canyon habitat on the left side; here’s a look in-progress at changes on the left (south) side, where the old entrance used to be.

It is a little hard for me to picture what it will look like when it is finished, but so far, though I miss some of the desert vegetation that has been removed, the new walls and walkways seem to open things up, and somehow the front of the Park is now looking much bigger than it used to.

bucket in wall 7-27-2013 12-55-30 PM 2545x2559

Buckets with drip lines have been placed in many of the walls; presumably beautiful plants will grow in them.





Below are a new curvy wall and the old path, both west of the Overlook:

New curvy walls 7-27-2013 12-56-02 PM 4608x3456

old path 7-27-2013 12-56-19 PM 4608x3456

Other new things in the Park:

tricho in greenhouse 7-20-2013 12-51-14 PM 2362x2377

The first trichocereus of spring, in the Greenhouse






First whitewing of 2014 7-27-2013 1-45-32 PM 1333x1650

The first white-winged dove of spring; so happy to see my beloved white-wings are returning!







And finally, a sweet mama hummer in the nest she built underneath a lamp on the Bistro patio!

hummer in lamp 7-27-2013 2-48-58 PM 1698x1745

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Saguaro Globe and Those Crazy Finches

The beautiful large saguaro at the end of our driveway has sprouted a perfectly round globe on the top of one of its arms. It will be interesting to see if it becomes oblong, and if it flowers.

globe1 3-23-2014 8-28-59 AM 1057x2018

In the meantime, perhaps knowing that I am fascinated by nests, a pair of house finches has been spending the last two days trying to build a nest on the rear spoiler of my car. No matter how often I remove their nesting materials, they replace them. They are using mostly creosote and Texas ranger. Here is what it looked like this morning:

nesting material 3-23-2014 8-25-52 AM 3222x1370

This afternoon, they had amassed the pile into a much more nestlike structure:

More nestlike 3-23-2014 2-20-49 PM 2642x2189

I will of course remove this as well, and I do need the car to go to Tohono Chul Park tomorrow. I wonder when they will give up? Or will I have to give up driving?