Sunday, February 23, 2020

Today's walk report: 022320

You see this Cooper's hawk in the tree? Yeah, I know but it wasn't my idea that he fly right there. Click the image, you can see his eye, looking at me.

Well, this Cooper's hawk interrupted my taking a picture of this Selaphorus sasin (Allen's hummingbird). Fortunately for the hummingbird he was a lot more alert than the guy taking pictures. He was in this exact (okay, within an inch or two) spot when the above Cooper's hawk swooped down on him. I'm gonna say the hawk was about 1/2 a second away when the hummingbird did an exit, stage right. These images were taken 8 minutes after the incident. I was following the hawk for those 8 minutes.

Not much of a meal, ya think? In my estimation hummingbirds are too fast and too smart to be taken by a hawk but I could be wrong.

Last week just the male mallard was in the pond, this week he had his girl. She listened to me talk to her pretty intently and she also followed me a little. But that's just because she's used to getting food from humans. Right?

Here's her handsome beau. He walks just fine.

It was a good walk, I'm glad I got out. I had been sulking all day because yesterday a furious hail storm came in and pounded the wildflowers outside of the house. It did a ton of damage to 1,000s of mostly Dimorphotheca sinuata flowers. I dubbed the storm Hailstorm 45. Here's what
Dimorphotheca sinuata flowers look like normally. I don't have the heart to post an image of the damaged flowers.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Today's walk report: 021620

A beautiful day with walk time temps from 70-73º f. I mostly walked but here are a few photos.

Phoebis sennae, the cloudless sulphur.

'Haven't seen a duck in the pond for a long time. He was solo.

I do not remember seeing this before and it doesn't look new. If it was meant for birds it has been taken over by bees. It's about 20 ft or 6 m high.

Bah, hee-haw.

I was disappointed I wasn't able to get in front of this red-tailed hawk before it flew off. It wasn't until I got home that I realized there were two. The lower hawk must've watched me walk right under it. I was 45 m away here so, whatever.

All in all, the sun was high and it wasn't the best for taking pictures but it was really nice to get out and walk and there was almost no one else around.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Today's walk report: 021120

West Valley Nursery. Tarzana, CA.

It was only about 3.2 miles round trip but it was, nevertheless, a bit brutal. I'll skip the whiny details. However, aside from the physical side of things, on the more cerebral side, I was a bit bummed that my over the ear Koss headphones decided to go funky right above the 3.5mm jack less than 1/2 way into the walk. 

Anyway, my goal was accomplished. I didn't really want to walk home with any plants but I was prepared to if my primary motive could not be met. Way back on October 2, 2019 I ordered 70 Tithonia diversifolia seeds from Thailand via eBay. These are also described as Mexican sunflower. I got a notification within a day or two that they shipped but no method or tracking was provided. I waited and waited, two months went by and I asked for my money back. It was $4. I got that back but I wanted the seeds. I didn't want to call the nursery today and see if he had these because if he said no I might not have done this particular walk. He had them. 500mg for $2. It appears to be about 25 seeds. I'm going to start 3, indoors, in the next day or two. It's a large bush, up to 6' tall (2 meters) but I've seen images of plants that looked considerably taller. I didn't want to steal anybody's pictures but if you want to see some, here you go. Actually, just to be completely accurate here, the seeds I got are Tithonia rotundifolia, also commonly called, Mexican sunflower.

While I did take some time cruising the nursery, I didn't bother to take any photos. I wanted to keep going and here I am.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Today's walk report: 020120

Burr, winter... burr... Just kidding, it's 85º.

It was 12:20 PM when I started taking pictures and that would not be my favorite light. Be that as it may, here are some pictures.

There were several house finches in this Eucalyptus "Moon Lagoon" and it appeared to me that they were pairing off.

A California scrub jay swooped in to see what all the commotion was about.

Silly rabbit.

This ground squirrel was wary of me but its “secret lair" is just to the left.

This ground squirrel surprised me with its chatter. Had I not seen him I would have thought it was a bird somewhere. Audio is below.

Here's the sound the squirrel was making. The background chirping is the finches. My apologies for other extraneous noises.