Sunday, May 22, 2022

Today's walk report: 052222

 Mind Ecology.

My thanks to Docken for helping make adjustments along the way for the half that's all in my head. Waging war inside my head. This is the picture, looking out... watching out.

The following was more exciting to watch than the pictures may indicate. My first moment stopping to raise the camera was when I noticed some bird squabbles off in the distance. The first was between a pair of crows being chased down by a mockingbird. The win, on points given by me, was the mockingbird. In pursuit, mockingbirds can fly really fast. Following that, close by, two crows went at it with a pair of red-tailed hawks. The exploits in the sky were pretty far away so please excuse the quality of the images... or lack thereof. The aggressors always seem to be the crows but I kinda think the hawks don't really give a rat's tail.

Both crows and the mockingbird are on this dead tree. Click the images, you'll find them. The chase in the sky was too fast to follow.


Here are the other two crows and the two red-tailed hawks.





Onto the garden...

Remember the century plant from past posts? Well, it's still working on flowers. Meanwhile this mourning dove found it to be a grand perch for a scenic view.


And it's taller now too. I had to go way back to get this shot.


I did a couple of laps around the garden, following this female Calypte anna hummingbird for much of it. Every time I raised my camera she either turned her back on me or took off.


Maybe she was looking for the male Calypte anna affectionately known as "Dusty"? I could have helped her find him.


 



This is Yerba Mansa (Anemopsis californica), it's a marsh plant. It grows near the edge of the pond. 

Southwestern fence lizards (Sceloporus cowlesi) were abundant. More so than usual. I had a few moments with this one.


That's all folks! Despite cooler climes over the past few days it was warming up quite a bit and I decided not to hang out for the perspiration. 



Sunday, May 15, 2022

Today's walk report: 051522

 In an effort to avoid total redundancy, this post will diverge from a repetitive path after the first seven images. That's right, you read right, the secret word for today is patience. Here's the deal, I've been struggling a bit trying to find new material along the familiar route during the past few walks reported here. I think it's the weather. You know, if you can't find something else to use as blame for just about anything, you can always blame the weather. 

Besides, I kind of like the evolution of the deciduous process of flowers shedding from the two palo verde trees at the entrance to the local botanical garden. So, here they are again...



When I relocated to my current location in the summer of 2011 I thought, I'd really like to have a couple of palo verde trees in front of the house. Maybe I still would but if anything might dissuade one from doing so it could be this...


Here's another redundant subject but hey! He's a good friend and I enjoy seeing he's still around. The infamous male Calypte anna hummingbird known as Dusty.


Sometimes he just sits.

This western fence lizard was just sitting too, until I decided to take one more step. Always take the first picture you can before moving in, always... always... always.

Finally, something new! I believe this is Banksia ashbyi. It's a recent addition to the garden. Definitely a bee magnet.


To make up for the lack of photos out on today's walk, here are a few recent shots from the homestead.

California poppies are almost all gone. These few were on a very narrow strip of ground along the front walkway. So they wouldn't get trampled by the mailman or other delivery services I decided to take a some inside.


 One of just a few Papaver rhoeas, aka, Shirley poppies which were mostly white. The poppy show in the backyard left a little to be desired compared to previous years.


and about a foot to the left...


This male monarch butterfly was a frequent visitor for a few days. I believe the butterfly bush is a dwarf Buddleja davidii.



Another Papaver rhoeas.


The monarch was back the following day and one of my regulars, a female Allen's hummingbird was also fluttering about.



A couple more Papaver rhoeas from today. Unfortunately there are very few yet to open and I expect my poppy population to be close to nil if not completely exhausted by the end of the week.




Even though the poppies would only last a day inside I tried to put some vases together. The smaller flowers are Elegant Clarkia, they were also a disappointing show this year.


And now for something completely different. You know how I've mentioned feral cat Stan and my little feline girl Lucy seem to have an attraction from afar? It's in this blog somewhere, I swear. Anyway if you don't know who Stan and Lucy are you can check this post. It appears Stan has another girlfriend, one outside. She's a tabby I've named Cam. Cam is short for Camouflage because she blends in so well around here. Stan seems to look for Cam with some frequency. I'm not 100% on Cam being female yet but she appears and acts female and there hasn't been any fighting. Cam is very timid and this is the best I've been able to do on the picture front so far. These were taken from inside the house two days ago. Cam was hunting a very large grasshopper.




Cam may have a home. So far, at least as best I can tell, she hasn't come onto the patio to eat any of Stan's food.

That's all! Thanks for stopping by. A special thanks to all of the "mystery people" who stop by to visit. Goodbye, stranger, it's been nice. Hope you find your paradise!


Sunday, May 8, 2022

Today's walk report: 050822

Mother's day. Whether you wanted to be one or not. With all the stories I've ever read about a dystopian future, I, quite honestly, never thought I would be part of that future.

I've nowhere, nowhere to hide
I'd give you all of my dreams
If you'd help me
Find a door
That doesn't lead me back again
Take me away*

My diversion for today, here are the pictures...

On my way to the local botanical garden, there was a small murder of crows engaged in chasing a squirrel away and they also appeared to be gathering for nest building. I captured none of that but here are a couple of the crows, just hanging, watching, very aware of the human below.




Into the garden... what is becoming an obligatory shot of the first two palo verde tress.

Seemingly there are now more flowers dispersed below than on the trees above.

Another now familiar shot of the slowly flowering Agave americana. Can ya see the little birdie?


I walked right up to this very young desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii). It didn't seem at all concerned about my proximity.


Last week I had prepared these images of Caesalpinia gilliesii flowers but forgot to include them in my post and while I took some more pictures today, I opted to include last Sunday's images here. It appears to me they have expanded their territory via some controlled reseeding. These particular plants are in the "Australian Native" section of the garden. Caesalpinia gilliesii are native to Argentina and Uruguay.



I plopped myself down on a bench and stared at this grevillea shrub willing a hummingbird to show, and one did. A female Calypte anna.




She took a short break and I moved on.

This western fence lizard seemed to be very curious about me.


Another baby on my way out of the garden, a California ground squirrel (Otospermophilus beecheyi).


*Genesis - The Chamber of 32 Doors