Flight without feathers is not easy. ~Plautus
Great Egret (May 5, 2019) Clearwater, Florida.
I’m nowhere near ready for Monday, in large part because I’m dreading tomorrow morning’s dentist appointment. But it doesn’t seem likely I can sprout wings between then and now, so I guess flight is out. Which leaves fight.
There’s my answer!
Turkey Vulture in Cave Creek Canyon. 5.15.19. Photo by Zippy.
Ever have one of those days when it feels as if vultures are circling? Yeah, me too.
I’ve been at my standing desk all afternoon and I think I’d best get moving so I’m not mistaken for carrion.
Today I’m thankful for the passion and energy of the young people in the Sunrise Movement. Last night, largely due to Sunrise’s heroic efforts, CNN held a 7-hour, in-depth conversation about the climate crisis and what needs to be done in order to avert the worst of it. Seven hours, people!
I tried to remember that today as I researched my work-for-hire bird project. Because, while I was thrilled to be eyeballs-deep in bird information, I was also disheartened over and over again to discover that many of those amazing, new-to-me birds’ existences are threatened due to human actions. Our species has made so many mistakes and we continue to make them with blatant disregard for the planet.
BUT. Last night was proof it’s possible to shift the conversation and for that, I am exceedingly grateful. All hail the Sunrise Movement!
Just one of the many dashing Black-billed Magpies that came around for the peanuts and suet we put out over the weekend. I cleaned and refilled the bath multiple times as birds splashed to keep clean and stay cool in this horrid heat wave. High-90 degree temperatures are much too high, especially for September.
Hope it was cooler in your neck of the woods!
Northern Cardinal (female). Columbus, OH. August 23, 2019
I’m so damned happy happy happy right now! I just accepted a work-for-hire assignment centered on birds. I get to research and write about birds!
It’s going to be SO MUCH FUN. Not to mention, I’ll learn a lot which can only make me a better birder.
It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?
Two juncos. One adult. One juvenile.
Two juncos. Both hungry.
Two juncos. One seed-gatherer. One seed-receiver.
Two juncos making me smile on this Tuesday morning.
When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. ~ Wendell Berry
Bockman Campground, State Forest State Park. June 12, 2019.
Nothing in the world is quite as adorably lovely as a robin when he shows off – and they are nearly always doing it.
Limpkin. Kapok Park, May 6, 2019.
Can’t trust that day.
However, it does feel good knowing what day of the week it is, even if it’s the dreaded Monday, after being disoriented for much of last week when every day felt like a weekend day.
It’s good to know where I stand. Hello, Monday. Let’s do this.
mirroring Wood Duck markings
riot of color.
I took this photo at our campsite last month and just now when I went to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology site to verify my identification (Gray Jay), learned that Gray Jays are a thing of the past. In 2018, the American Ornithological Society voted to change the name from Gray Jay to Canada Jay.
What else did I learn?
“The Canada Jay stores large quantities of food for later use. It uses sticky saliva to glue small food items to tree branches above the height of the eventual snow line.”
Now that’s thinking ahead!
The scrub jay called out
Marcel ran to the window
much to talk about.
Monday’s almost over?
Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Clearwater, FL. May 6, 2019.
I’ve been buried in a book all day, researching a new subject, and somehow it’s four o’clock. How’d that happen? Guess that’s what’s known as FOCUS.
Eye of the night heron, baby. (Or something like that . . .)
White-breasted Nuthatch. Portal, AZ.
Try to see things differently – It’s the only way to get a clearer perspective on the world and on your life. ~ Neal Shusterman
The world is full of poetry. The air is living with its spirit; and the waves dance to the music of its melodies, and sparkle in its brightness.
~ James Gates Percival
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 . . .
We had a great birding day today, in large part because we joined up with Friends of Cave Creek Canyon volunteers who know their birds. It was lots of fun and very informative. However, we didn’t need any help identifying this big bird:
Photo by Zippy
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 Chiricahua 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