Monday, March 15, 2021

Once Upon a Walk Report - Part Four

 Today is an anniversary of sorts. It was one year ago today, a Sunday, that I took my last walk around the local botanical garden. I miss that garden and the surrounding grounds a lot. I would go there in a heartbeat despite covid however, the garden is on a college campus and that campus has been closed to the public since March 16, 2020. I knew it was going to be closed, that's why I made a special effort to go the day before the shutdown. Today is a rainy day, one year ago today was also a rainy day. I bitched about rain or rather the lack thereof in the last post. Since that post from March 5th we have received an additional 1.25" or 3.175 cm of rain.Total seasonal rainfall is currently 5.37" or about 13.63 cm.

The continuing saga of purging photo archives... I'm up to 10/18/15. I still have about 120 photos from that day to sort through. I'm only pausing to acknowledge this anniversary because I want to take note of this day. I find it really heartbreaking that a year has gone by under the specter of this pandemic. It's tragic that something which should have taken about 8 weeks to have mitigated is still not under control over a year later. Everyday I mourn the losses. Over 534K deaths in this country alone and most of that is cracked up to a poorly managed absence of following the science and doing the right thing. A lot of it boiling down to greed and selfishness. If you're in the U.S. do you remember 15 days to slow the spread? What kind of absurdity was that? Wearing a mask became a statement about one's politics. Really? Selfishness does not equal freedom.

Okay, enough, how about some pretty pictures? Let's take a deep breath, hold it, exhale... three more... and we'll step back into 2015 when things were a lot more sane. Dates are in the captions. The format is month, day, year using double digits. Why do I keep explaining that?

 This is Kevin again, remember Kevin? He's a handsome Lithobates catesbeianus, that he is.


Not a particularly special photo but what is special is that this Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii) was on my back fence and I took this photo from my office window, right next to where I'm currently typing. I mentioned missing the botanical garden and if I had to choose what I miss most about the excursions to that campus it's birds of prey. While I might see an occasional hawk or falcon at home it's nothing like the close intimacy I'd get in and around that garden.


 See what I mean? Red tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)


 Female Anna's hummingbird (Calypte anna)


Despite a recent study by researchers at Cornell University, I don't believe bees have much interest in this plant whether the flowers are male or female, it doesn't matter. The plant is wind pollinated. It doesn't have nectar. What I think the study ignored is what was planted in the study location before it was replaced with hemp. The bees were looking for the previous crop. This bee does, however, appear a little buzzed.  


This fellow too is merely stopping by for a moment's rest. 


Ever wonder what dragonflies eat? Well, sometimes they eat other dragonflies.  Common green darner  (Anax junius). No ID on the partially consumed dragonfly.


Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on Salvia uliginosa.


Blue eyed darner (Aeshna multicolor)


Bulbine frutescens.


Female Calypte anna hummingbird on red mountain sage (Salvia darcyi)


Blue marine butterfly (Leptotes marina)


Cosmos sulphureus


Female Allen's hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin)


"It's looking kind of cloudy. Is it gonna rain?" A young male Calypte anna hummingbird contemplates the weather.


And finally just to round things off with something current, here are a few shots from the backyard taken over the last couple of days.

Two tiny Meyer lemon trees grown from seeds.


And the first bud of what I hope is many Mexican sunflowers (Tithonia rotundifolia). There are three of these plants which were started a little too early indoors, now in the ground outside and there are eight more very young seedlings inside to be planted outside in a week or two.


That's it. Please stop by and check for round five coming soon!


  1. I particularly enjoyed the bird and insect photos. I'm sorry you're still cut off from the local community college garden. As vaccinations continue, hopefully more and more will open up. I had my second shot late last week and my household will be considered fully immunized before the end of the month so I'm feeling more positive.

  2. Stunning pics ! Love them all but especially the hawks and Kevin of course :)