Saturday, December 20, 2014

An Unlikely Pair?

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
December 18, 2014

Those of you that have been following our blog for awhile already know that photographing nature is just about my most favorite thing to do. Hiking has not been apart of our daily/weekly routine for sometime now because of Joe's lack of energy and strength from his chemo. Something we intend to work on after a good bill of health...a great way to start the new year! Anyhow, I have been so at peace just sitting on the patio or taking walks with the pups around the park looking at everything and "playing" with the camera. Day before yesterday, when I returned from a lengthy walk with Sally and Dover (Sally and I are on a mission to loose a few pounds!) I heard a familiar sound...the hummingbirds. I glanced at the feeder and to my surprise there were 2 birds enjoying an afternoon snack. One was an Anna's Hummingbird. With camera in hand, I snapped away with hopes of capturing a picture I could use to help me identify the other one. I recently purchased The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition as recommended by the bird lady of blogland...Judy Bell. I can easily "get lost" in that guide reading about all the birds so identifying a new bird which should have taken a few minutes, took about an hour. The bird in my photograph turned out to be a Verdin. Quite an interesting little bird.

After the identification was made, I was on the internet finding out all about this tiny grayish bird with the yellow face and reddish patch on the bend of his wings. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has a great web-site with an awesome description of many birds...including the Verdin. I learned from their info that he is not closely related to any other bird in the western hemisphere; they are second only to the hummingbirds as flower visitors, but insects are their main menu; and they build 2 for roosting and one for breeding. Judy (, who just posted about the Verdin she saw, had this to say... "They're quite acrobatic and don't sit still for long. Kind of reminded me of an Olympic athlete on a bar or a ring routine." Well, I cant top that!


Until next time, take care and...
happy I mean trails!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

No, he wasn't singing!

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
December 13, 2014

Dec. 6th full moon early in the morning...
Our Tan Clan waiting very patiently for a walk.
 We have no blog worthy news, but I do like to stay in touch. Not a lot is going on around here in Tucson. That's not to say we haven't been a little busy. Shopping is done, presents are wrapped and on their way to grandchildren. Christmas cards were addressed and actually  mailed on Dec. 8th. And the biggest thing to check off the list...drum roll that all our storage inside and out has been cleaned out and reorganized. That's right, our closet, under the bed, drawers, all cabinets, and basement are spiffy clean and neatly packed.    

A rainbow this morning...first full arch I have ever seen.

 We woke up to sunny, gray skies this morning. And it wasn't long before the rains came. A rainy day in Tucson is quite special. We have enjoyed a lazy, cuddly day on the sofa with the pups, Christmas music and the wonderful smell of chicken and dumplings cooking in the crockpot.  
 I did manage to get out for a walk with each of the pups during a break in the rain this afternoon. We have never spent December in Tucson...usually January or after. I was quite surprised to find the trees so full of fruit.

The grapefruits are huge!
 There are lemon trees too. So far all we have picked are the oranges...very juicy and sweet!

The flowers on the picnic table were happy. I am pretty sure they enjoyed a rainy day too. Did I mention that all my flowers froze before we left Moab on Nov. 1? Well, they did. I have replaced the kalanchoe ( Red is my favorite!), the geraniums and got a Christmas Cactus too. I haven't replaced my cacti garden yet.

 Those beautiful hummingbirds were zipping and squealing all around the patio today. This brings me to the title for the post today...he is a fussy little thing and very selfish when it comes to sharing his food.

No, he wasn't singing!
Ah...the simple pleasures in life!
Our day started out with a perfectly arched rainbow and ended with a beautiful Arizona sky.

 So until next time, take care and...

happy trails!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Anna's Hummingbird

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
November 30, 2014

 After just putting out the feeder the day before, imagine how excited I was to have visitors for Thanksgiving. Anna's Hummingbirds don't migrate. In fact, it is the only hummer that stays in the West for the winter. Being one of the most common hummingbirds here, they are quite spectacular and anything but common with their iridescent emerald feathers and sparkling rosy-pink throats.
According to they are no larger than a ping-pong ball and no heavier than a nickel.  
 The iridescent throat of the male is called a gorget. The Anna's gorget extends over its head making it more of a balaclava (o.k., I had to look that one up...its a fancy name for a ski mask...) than a bib.

All hummingbirds have tiny legs and can not hop or walk. They can scoot sideways when perched.

Anna's Hummingbirds
 enjoy nectar from many flowering plants. They also feast on a wide array of insects...smaller ones like whiteflies and leaf hoppers.
In the 1930s, Anna's Hummingbirds were only found in California and Baja California...but thanks to widespread feeders and introduced trees such as eucalyptus, they can be found all the way to Vancouver, Canada.

So who was Anna? She was Princess Anna de Belle Massena (1802-1887).

Joe and I have enjoyed sitting on the patio and watching these amazing and beautiful birds. Today there were 3 of them sitting in the lemon tree beside us. We can always hear them before we see them.

So until next time, take care and...

happy trails!