One of the things I miss most living in the house I sold in Arizona are the bird feeders. Besides this rugged wooden one that the little sparrows and bigger doves loved, there were several long cylindrical ones that only the smaller birds could perch on. For awhile I had one on the ground for the doves but then the pigeons moved in – and what a mess they made! So I had to move it to an area that was not as accessible to the pigeons. I used to love to watch and hear the little brown towhees underneath the purple sage bushes and the feathery cassia bushes.
Here are some rare visitors – a bevy of quail.
Then I had one on top of the covered hot tub especially for the doves. One year we went away for four months and the doves left evidence that they were awaiting our return right at the back door! Piles of it! (Unless they just wanted to get in because they could see the packages of bird seed setting on the table).
These are the blooms of the feathery cassia bushes that you can see above behind the doves.
Here is a critter you don’t see too often, as they usually live deep in the woods – a katydid. This is the first (and only) time I’ve ever seen a katydid. Really unusual looking!
Beside the hanging bird feeder I have one on the ground for the two mourning doves that have been hanging around my yard for at least five years. They like to lay their eggs in the palm tree right outside the front door. When we came home after five months in Florida I found a pile of bird poop right outside the back kitchen door. I couldn’t believe it! They had never come on the patio and done that before! After giving it some thought I figured it was either because they were looking for me – is she home? – is she sick? – where is she? Or, it’s because I left a block of peanut butter suet setting on the kitchen table right next to the back door! Of course, I’d like to believe they missed me 🙂
Green leaves so soft, so bright, so tender,
Emerging in the first blush of spring,
Bringing forth the newness of life,
So fragile, so frail, ever so gentle
With the first bloom of life,
Just waiting to strengthen their
Sensitive young growth into glowing
Strong armours of emerald delights,
Swaying amidst the elements of love,
Both seen and unseen, sharing with nature
The joys of being.
I decided to hang a few birdhouses in the backyard, but didn’t have the right hanger, so in the meantime set them on top of the hot tub cover and filled them with some bird seed. It turned out to be the perfect place for them – we could enjoy watching them while sitting in the kitchen. And Sunny, our cat, is amazing! She will spot a bird feeding from way in the family room, jump onto the back of the couch, leap over to the love seat, top of the love seat and down into the windowsill which is about six feet from the hot tub. She runs as fast as a roadrunner! Then she sits (sets?) there swishing her tail, making chattering sounds. I’m sure the birds can see her but guess they realize they are safe as long as Sunny is behind the glass.
So far there have been two different species feeding – a pair of mourning doves and a few small grayish-brown birds with black masks (I used to know the name but can’t remember).
While I was taking macro shots of the orange blossoms I spied this cute tiny creature – I call them jumping spiders because they take flying leaps from one place to another. It’s a fuzzy spider and is about the size of half of your little pinky nail.
Today’s photos are from Topock Bay, Arizona. My sister-in-law and I went on a photographers’ outing and had just finished visiting Oatman, Arizona. The day was still young so we decided to go about 21 miles further south and take some shots of the beautiful Topock Bay in the area of Five Mile Landing and Catfish Paradise.
I’m quite attached to this little roadrunner. He/she (haven’t learned how to tell them apart) has been coming around since a little baby. There are quite a few roadrunners in the neighborhood here in the low desert of Arizona. They are attracted to the mesquite trees in my yard. In fact, lots of birds are attracted to the shade of these large trees, and if you were to go walking under them at night a few half dozen startled birds would fly out of their roosts! Click here if you’d like to learn a few facts about them and hear what a roadrunner sounds like (they don’t actually go beep! beep! like in the cartoons).
A few years ago I took part in an ACEO (Art Cards Editions and Originals)art project on Wet Canvas.com painting or drawing on 2.5″x3.5″ cards. When I decided to draw a roadrunner I looked all over the Internet but really couldn’t find a satisfactory pix of a roadrunner. Well, now if anybody is looking to do a good rendering of a roadrunner I give permission to use my digital photograph as a model, BUT will reserve rights to photography and prints of digital photograph.
I like to use Picasa to edit and be creative. Sometimes a “happy accident” will happen – just as it does when painting! Something will happen that you didn’t intentionally execute, but – say – it doesn’t look too bad!