Monday, May 30, 2022


Corona de Tucson

May 30, 2022 

Today is Memorial Day.  It is the day set aside by our country to honor our fallen soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our nation and our freedom.      

I figured it would happen...Joe has also tested positive for Covid.  But unlike me, he has had NO fever, headache, achy joints or stuffy head.  His only symptom to date is a lack of energy.  We are still home bound and patiently waiting.  This too shall pass!  Being home means more patio time.  If we had been out and about, we would have missed a lot of activity in our backyard.   

Patio time this week has been a true delight.  Four of the regulars that visit the feeders had little ones tagging along.

Gila Woodpecker males are arrogant and domineering.  This dad, with juvenile in toe, flew right to the oranges as if they were there just for them.

Cuteness overload ! 

Curved-bill Thrashers are great surveyors of their territory.  Dad and juvenile flew to the bush just on the other side of the fence.  I didn't realize it was a juvenile until the dad took a butter bite and flew back to the bush.  I saw the little one's mouth open wide and dad fed him. I missed the focus on that picture.  This was right after and just before the little one was lured into the yard.

Soon after, he (she) was exploring.

House Finches are found in noisy groups in almost all areas of the U.S. and our backyard is no exception.  I prefer to say they are busy, have a nice song and always seem happy.  They come in waves to enjoy a few tasty morsels until the other birds swoop in and take over.   

Cardinals are one of few species of birds in which both the male and female sing.  The male Cardinal is responsible for feeding the young of the first brood while the female builds a second nest.  This dad took his job very seriously.

This lucky boy got several pieces of orange and quite a few butter bites.

When male cardinals become adults they are about 12 months old and are thoroughly red.  The black beaks of both genders slowly turn to the orange-red color as they age. 

I can only assume this is a juvenile female because there are no red patches or it could be a younger male than the one in the above photo.   Maybe I missed something, but during this photo session this baby was on its own.

I have never noticed the detail on their feet...and what long talons they have !

Did you know today is also National Water a Flower day?  May 30th is a yearly reminder to show flowers how much we appreciate them.  Just imagine how drab and boring our world would be without beautiful flowers.  For me, everyday is a water a flower day. 

According to instructions from the nursery, the cacti are watered once a week when temps are 90+ degrees and fertilized once a month during spring and summer.  

Hopefully, we will be out and about soon with other things to post about besides the birds in our backyard. Summer has unofficially begun so dive in...  and

What a face !


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

It's Been Almost Three Weeks...

Corona de Tucson

May 25, 2022 

An e-mail this morning from our brother-in-law who lives on the east coast asking if we were all right sparked some motivation for a blog post.  It doesn't seem like almost three weeks have gone by since I last blogged.  Time has a sneaky way of slipping by even when we are not adventurous or especially busy.  Joe always says, "The difference between a rut and a grave is the depth of the hole."  I don't think we are in a rut and we certainly have not dug a grave.  Home just seems like a really good fit for us right is peaceful and quiet, safe, and cozy and comfortable. There really isn't any where else we want to be and no where we want to go right now.  I also have to say that I have been a bit under the weather...a case of Covid interrupted our everyday routine for me.  Yes, I have been vaccinated and boosted.  I assume my symptoms were on the lighter side, but they put me in the bed for a few days with a fever, horrific headache, aches, and a very stuffy nose...much like the symptoms I had with the second vaccination and booster.  Life goes on.  

I love mornings and so does Jack.  We have changed his nickname from Mr. Excitement to Mr. Morning as HIS alarm clock is pretty consistent between 4:55-5:05.  I always enjoy getting up with the pups and going to the back yard...especially when pastel skies greet us at the door.

It has been windy and we haven't had very many days with clouds.  Clouds are beautiful and important.  I miss them when they are not there and enjoy them when they are.

May 11...late afternoon

May 22...early morning

BC (Before Covid), Joe and I knocked out a couple of small projects that were on "the list".  First, Joe built a shelf cabinet for the closet in the third bedroom that we don't use for a bedroom.  Much needed storage for me. With the help of the bestest supervisor ever, I painted the shelves.

Dover is never far away...

Second project was a facade to hide the AC unit.  We built and stained three fence like panels in the garage.  We assembled them outside.

I like the view a lot better !

We still enjoy our early morning walks .

Mornings are spent in the backyard and on the patio.  The birds get fresh oranges, butter bites, and clean water everyday.  We all have our jobs.

Some mornings it is a race between Jack and me as to who can get in the rocker first.  Mostly, Jack wins !

Some visitors come and go...

...others stay awhile...

Two Cactus Wrens

...some seem to get along nicely...

A Cactus Wren and Curved-bill Thrasher

...while others try new things...

Gambles Quail

...some are quite messy...

female Gila Woodpecker

...and others are very neat.

female Cardinal

I posted a photo of a female Gilded Flicker at the end of April and hoped she would send her handsome beau to the Taylor's.

He made his appearance this morning.  And he made my day !   

I'll close for now.  Yes, Chuck, we are all well and life is good at the oasis.  And thank you for caring !  Until next time,


Friday, May 6, 2022

Madera Canyon

Corona de Tucson

May 6, 2022 

This beautiful piece of southwest Arizona is Madera Canyon.  Madera is a Spanish word meaning lumber or wood and over a century ago, this canyon served as a major source of timber for the city of Tucson...thus its name.   Today it is a haven for diverse wildlife (especially birds), a home for a wide variety of plants and trees, and a relief from the scorching heat for many of us in the summer.  The canyon lies on the northwest face of the Santa Rita Mountains in the Coronado National Forest.  We have hiked here many times in our visits to Tucson...once to Josephine Saddle via the Old Baldy Trail and Super Trail  loop back in 2016. 

My toe is better.  And you know what that means.  Tuesday, we headed to Madera Canyon with Randy to do a "new to us" section of the Proctor Trail.  We parked at the Amphitheater parking area to begin the climb to Mt Wrightson Picnic and Trailheads area.  From the get go, it was mesmerizing...a shady welcome, scents of pine and dirt, birds singing, golden grasses, and mountains and views.     

A few wildflowers added pops of color along the way.  

My dear mother-in-law always said every room needs a splash of red.  I agree !

This section of Proctor Trail meanders up and down with lots of twists and turns as the narrow trail hugs the mountain side.  

We made a wrong left turn so didn't actually make it all the way to the Mt Wrightson picnic area which is at the end of the scenic drive through Madera Canyon.  Next time, we will know to go right.  We walked Madera Canyon Road back to the Amphitheater parking lot.  We saw a group of turkeys (I counted at least nine) by Madera Creek.  

Did you know a group of turkeys is called a rafter?  That is because they like to roost in the rafters of barns and old structures.  

If there are no rafters, they choose to do their roosting in trees.

I just happened to look up as we walked past a rock wall and something red caught my eye.  It was several claret cup cacti just growing out of the rock.  So amazing and pretty...a true rock garden ! 

Back at the oasis, nothing much is going on.  The dahlias are popping up.

We had a new backyard visitor...a Brown-crested Flycatcher.

They are seen in the southwest during breeding season.  Old woodpecker I know they are called saguaro are critical for their nesting habitat.  

In addition to the hike, we have had a couple of early morning walks.  

And Thursday morning, we went to Lowes.  

We never come home empty handed.  

I have been practicing with the focus on my camera.  The globe mallow and hummingbird are on the other side of the wrought iron fence.

And the cone flowers are behind the chair.

So until next week,