Right now the view out my window is dreary. Gray skies and patches of snow on the ground next to the tree limbs that broke off under the weight of the late snow. We’re nearing the end of May and Colorado has been atypically gloomy for the past several days. Enough, already. Thank the goddesses for the cheery plumage of this Northern Cardinal I photographed in Cave Creek Canyon.
Maybe I should go find my own festive red cap . . .
Zippy and I’ve been traveling since Sunday. We camped at the Valley of Fires Recreation Area In New Mexico that night and yesterday afternoon arrived at Cave Creek Canyon in the Chiracahua Mountains of Portal, Arizona:
I had to stop and take this photo when we reached the entrance to the canyon.
We got settled in and then did a short hike. We heard some birds but didn’t see any.
Lots of interesting flora, though:
This morning we got up early for a short hike and on the drive there,
saw a Wild Turkey. This was our hiking destination:
The photo doesn’t do justice to the Cathedral Vista. It’s a truly stunning view as you emerge from wooded trail out into the open. And on the way back to where we’re
staying we located this Whiskered Screech-Owl in a sycamore tree:
Photo by Zippy.
Our hosts had told us where to find the feathered friend. Apparently,
the owl hangs out there all the time, watching the comings and goings in
And now we’re off for more adventures!
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
~ Douglas Adams
Wood Duck paddling about in the irrigation ditch.
You put your right foot out
You put your right foot in
And you shake it all about.
You do the hokey pokey
And turn yourself around
That’s what it’s all about!
It’s a Mourning Dove
not a paper cutout, yo.
Flapped its wings and flew.
Sometimes, if you aren’t sure about something, you just have to jump off the bridge and grow your wings on the way down. ~ Danielle Steel
Wrong. The correct question is “Bushtits how many?”
And the answer is 8.
the Loggerhead Shrike
impales its prey on barbed wire
I’m at the Tampa airport, headed back to Colorado. Yesterday I went to Kapok Park in late afternoon and took so many photos my camera card reached capacity and wouldn’t let me take anymore. That’s what you call satiation!
Here’s a dapper jay I enountered:
It was a typically wonderful time at Kapok Park and I’m looking forward to going through the many photos I took to see what other gems await me.
The universe as we know it is a joint product of the observer and the observed.
~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
I took this photo over two months ago and still feel such a connection to the osprey who patiently endured my presence as I snapped multiple photos and then came back to shoot some more. But the tilt of its head tells me the osprey wasn’t merely the observed, but was also an observer.
However, it’d probably be a stretch to say we formed a mutual admiration society.
It’s the first Monday after Daylight Saving Time and despite not waking up until 9:00 A.M. (!), I handled the rest of the day like this take-no-nonsense Bushtit.
Still, I hope that tomorrow I wake at a more respectable time. I’m not sure I can channel my inner bushtit two days in a row.
Most every time I see a Eurasion Collared-Dove in my feeder I think about how those doves are an invasive species that spread across the United States via the Bahamas. (And if I don’t think about that, I think about how they EAT SO MUCH and aren’t the brightest doves in the chandelier.) But mostly I think to myself “they’re not even supposed to be here.”
Well, today it hit me that I’m an invasive species, too! So I guess maybe I’m not the brightest dove, either. *urp*
The sun’s down and evening is here. How did that happen? What was I doing all day?! Oh yeah, I remember. I watched this scrub jay in the feeder for a while.
Even if I’d accomplished nothing else, I’d call that time well spent.
When you’re in the muck you can only see muck.
If you somehow manage to float above it,
you still see the muck but you see it from a different perspective.
~ David Cronenberg
Today as I work to revise my contemporary young adult novel that’s been in my life for what seems like FOREVER, I send prayers that the goddesses will grant me a different perspective on these pages and pages of muck. While an ibis thrives on muck, this writer does not. I’m ready for wings to help me float above it all and see this manuscript differently.
It’s 21 degrees right now and I’m happy to be inside where it’s warm and dry. Meanwhile, these House Finches are busy outside my window with the task of staying alive, somehow almost making it look like fun.
Party on, Garth.
It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.
I’m in Florida visiting my mother and I’ve already made two new friends: Antoinette the Lyft driver and then this gorgeous osprey who tolerated me taking lots of photos.
This trip is off to a very good start.
In this part of the world, we’re in the final hours of 2018 which has been a shit-year in so many ways for the planet and its inhabitants. I don’t have any profound insights to offer. I would, however, like to share this photo I just took from my dining room window.
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. ~ Rabindranath Tagore
It’s not a great picture, but it makes me happy. There’s much going on here (falling snow, flight, eating, turf battles, perching, etc) and I wanted to include this image because birds never, ever fail to brighten my day. I’m hoping they’ll do the same for you. Either way, it feels right to include feathered friends as I say goodbye to a difficult year.
The one other consistently bright spot for me this year has been the Sunrise Movement. No one is fighting harder and more effectively in the face of climate change than these young people with their action plan, aka the Green New Deal, that includes massive job creation. PLEASE consider pledging a monthly donation (mine is $5 per month) to this incredible organization that’s given me more hope than I thought possible.
I wish you and yours a Happy New Year! Here’s to continuing the good fight in 2019!
When I saw this photo I took yesterday, I interpreted it as a scrub jay looking ahead. But as I view it today, I’m reminded that birds don’t get caught up in regrets and what-ifs the way humans do. This wise jay is probably merely existing in the moment.
I’m trying to do the same.
The sun’s gone down and these cranberries remain on the deck rail where I placed them earlier today in hopes of luring birds. No such luck. My offering was refused. Or ignored. Possibly overlooked.
Whatever the case, I hope my feathered friends feasted elsewhere.
I wanted to express my magpie love today and went in search of a fun fact about this member of the corvid family. Guess what you call a group of magpies? A parliament.
However, my research didn’t reveal what the parliamentary procedure is for one magpie reuniting with the rest of the gang.
As I crouched next to my writing room window to photograph a Red-tailed Hawk on the wire, I was so intent on focusing the shot on the bird rather than the branches and power lines that I didn’t see what else was going on: another hawk had arrived.
It wasn’t until I’d downloaded the photos that I saw those legs in the upper right-hand corner of the image. Maybe there’s such a thing as being too intent on one’s goal.
When you rise in the morning,
give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Anything can make me stop and look and wonder, and sometimes learn.
~ Kurt Vonnegut