Saturday, August 6, 2022

Feathers and Fronds

Corona de Tucson

August 6, 2022 

August 1...first sunrise for the month

Living in the desert and writing we had some really good storms with lots of rain is always a good thing...unless you have an appointment and have to be heading to the city during one of those monsoon storms.  Flash flood warning signs along the roads should not be taken lightly.    

Lots of rushing water, mud and debris


I-10 headed west towards Tucson...

We have also had some beautiful blue skies with big puffy white clouds this week and some really decent temps for this time of mornings with highs in the low 90s. Jack has taken advantage of the weather to enjoy some early morning ball play outside.


On one of those blue sky kind of days, we headed to REI in search for Joe a pair of shoes.  These palm trees are so tall and so neatly manicured outside their store.  We have a palm tree just on the other side of the fence.  We can only assume it was planted when the area was a fairway in years gone by.  You can see in the first photo of the is tall, but not manicured like these.  At first, I thought the dead fronds (yes, I had to look that up) were quite ugly and should be removed.  But the tree is too tall and since it's not in our yard, we have no plans to pay to have it done.  And then, I realized the birds love those dead fronds. 


I have had a change of heart during the past year or so and can honestly say I am not so bothered by the fronds anymore.  I do enjoy watching the birds go in and out and in-between them.  The Cactus Wrens are particularly fond of the old palm tree with its fronds.  Maybe it is because all kinds of insects and spiders make their home in there.  

I was excited to find Vidalia onions at the grocery store this week.  As far as onions go, they are crunchy and sweet and a yummy reminder of my home state. 

We are counting down the days...three more til Joe's stitches are removed.  Lots of time has been spent enjoying the patio and I am happy to report the Cardinal is all dried out and back to his handsome self.

He has visited often this week and has even brought along one of his own...a younger Northern Cardinal.

The mornings and early evenings are usually the busiest times of the day for bird visitors.  This week it has been all about the Gamble's Quails.  Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins have all joined in the party at the oasis this week.  I may have even seen a few grandmas and grandpas too. 

It is a treat to see splashes of yellow from time to time.

female Lesser Goldfinch

female Oriole

The White-winged Dove spend most of their time pecking at the ground for seeds and tiny grains of rocks (which help with digestion).  I was surprised to see them on the feeder enjoying the goodies.

The Gamble's Quail and White-winged Dove are the two largest birds that visit the yard...both are ground feeders, but have decided they like the butter bites too.


I think the White-winged Dove is quite a distinguished looking bird.

While I spend time clicking away, Jack spends time napping... 

Dover spends time napping...

but not Sally.  She is always on guard.

Joe asked me yesterday morning if I was tired of our yard yet. I answered with a great big no and the puppies followed with a great big amen !  
July 31 @ 7:15 pm

August 1 @ 6:10 am...the puppies waiting not so patiently for their breakfast picnic on the patio

August 2 mid morning

August 3...mid morning...a gathering of Gila Woodpeckers (do you see the two that are hiding in the fronds?)

August 4...early morning

August 5...afternoon...not sure what this Cactus Wren was doing, but he was doing it for quite a few minutes

And today, August 6 @ 6:00 am


It has been a nice week...hoping you had a nice week as well. Looking forward to next week...hoping you are as well !  

Until next time...


Aren't these young Gamble's Quails just the cutest birds ever? 

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Monsoon Skies

Corona de Tucson

July 30, 2022

Sunset July 21

We had a nice early morning walk on the 22nd.  

We enjoyed a rainbow...

the morning glow...

and were delighted to spot this little guy.  

Regal Horned Toad Lizards live in the Sonoran Desert, but can also be found in other hot and dry regions like forests, grasslands, and rocky areas. They are solitary reptiles that prefer company only during breeding season (April - July).  They have sticky tongues and can gobble up 25+ ants, which is their favorite thing to eat, at one sitting.  

And if camouflaging themselves doesn't work against a predator, they can squirt blood as far as 3.9 ft from their eyes.       

Monday and Tuesday Joe had three MOHs of them on his shin so walking will be "on hold" for a couple of weeks untill the stitches come out.  That means we can enjoy extra coffee and time on the patio.  We have seen coyotes three mornings this week.  I took the photos below one of those morning. 

On another morning, Joe and I laughed out loud as three pups (about 3 months old) and a mom or dad (not sure which as they both share in raising, protecting and teaching the pups) was trying really hard to teach some life lessons...mainly hunting.  The pups were having way too much fun running, hopping over bushes and chasing each other to pay much attention until the parent finally caught a bunny.  It was interesting to watch as the adult laid breakfast on the ground which immediately caught the attention of all three pups.  One of the pups grabbed up the bunny and with the other two in toe headed for cover and a hearty breakfast. 

Another morning we saw four javelina in a perfectly straight line one behind the other strolling thru the brush.  It was a first time sighting from the patio to see them.  

I could only capture one as I was trying to focus thru the fence...and for family back east, javelina are not in the "pig" family, have long snouts, a great sense of smell, and eat prickly pear cacti and agave. 


And the sun was just right to catch a bunny thru the fence this week too.

I am a bit disappointed we haven't had as much rain here as predicted at the onset of monsoon season.  Tucson has reported more inches than Vail.  Still, we have enjoyed a few storms...some with heavy rains, and others with nice steady rains.  

I saw this hummingbird in the yard Wednesday afternoon.  He is different from the regular hummingbird visitors this time of year.  My best guess is an immature male Costa's as they have variable amounts of gorget feathers coming in on the neck with green washing on the sides.

If it is a Costa's, it is the first one to visit our yard. I would greatly appreciate any help with an ID.

And this flicker made a quick stop on Thursday.

Friday we were off to Green Valley to pick up meds for Sally and have fried fish tacos at Manuel's with Randy.  

Since Joe, Jena, Felix and Edith left, I keep finding these teeny, tiny babies all over the house.  

So far, there has been one in the drawer in our bathroom, one under the sink cabinet in the hall bath, one in a plant tray on the patio, but the funniest was the one in the pantry snuggled up to the Jiffy peanut butter jar. 


That's a wrap for the week.  So until next time,

July 26th

July 28th



I took these road photos heading home this week...I love the clouds in both pictures.