Wild kingdom

Say hello to my pal Sluggo, who took the scenic route (down the stucco wall) to the yard the other day.

We’ve had a pleasant few days around the ol’ rancheroo, lounging on the back patio with a beverage of an evening, airing the cats, and watching the wildlife (which, unlike cable or even streaming video, is free).

The deer have been sniffing around again, drawn by the neighbors’ apples (they’ve already wiped out our crop). And our hummingbird feeder is attracting quite the crowd —  rufous, broad-tailed, black-chinned and maybe even a calliope. The aerial combat over the sugar water looks like the Battle of Britain. Even the bees are getting involved.

Bigger birds have been on display, too. One great big hawk, either a redtail or ferruginous, sat perched atop a neighbor’s tree for the better part of quite some time the other evening, putting a damper on all the other avian activity. A hawk thinks a bird feeder is a hawk feeder.

Later, what looked like a prairie falcon came out of nowhere and swooped low overhead, perhaps mistaking the Turk for a great big bunny. Nope. “That’s no ordinary rabbit,” as Tim the Enchanter has taught us.

Perhaps the most striking creature we’ve seen all summer was a two-tailed swallowtail butterfly, which found one of our shrubs mesmerizing. I should’ve taken a pic, but I didn’t want to interrupt its snacking.

And then there was Sluggo. Less attractive, perhaps, but he gave me an excuse to try the macro function on the Sony RX100 III.

Besides, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, que no? I ain’t exactly George Clooney myself, as Herself periodically reminds me.

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13 Responses to “Wild kingdom”

  1. Carl Duellman Says:

    Do you remember Jeremy the Sinistral Snail?

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Fun stuff.

  3. mooremediaone Says:

    Hmmm I think we have the same camera. Backyard wildlife can sometimes be a wonderful thing. Sometimes. Raccoons and skunks not withstanding.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The skunks in Bibleburg were like street gangs in some mean metro area. Ran in packs. You wanted to have both eyes wide open when you walked the dog of an evening.

      Mister Boo was the only one in the ’hood didn’t get gassed. I think they provided him professional courtesy since he was black and white and kinda smelly too.

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Sluggo is looking good. How close were you with the Sony?

    Could that prairie falcon have been a Cooper’s hawk? We have them around here, along with sharp shinned hawks, that hunt that way, low and fast around houses. They look like the prairie falcon but they are a little smaller.

    Our hummingbirds have called a truce on dogfighting due to heat. Probably can’t get enough lift from their wings; you know, like airplanes at Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Not that close, Pat. Maybe arm’s length.

      The purported falcon could’ve been a Cooper’s hawk. They hang around here too. I didn’t get a real good look at him. He dropped out of the sky and swept over the patio roof, giving us a look at his undercarriage, which was a speckled white.

      I wish we could’ve gotten a closer look at that big bird perched in the tree. He slipped away when we took the cats in and we haven’t seen him since.

  5. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Pretty quiet there if you’re watching snail races I guess? Of course there is something to be said for the “dolce far niente” at times, especially when watching the TV news just makes one want to puke. Barely a week before I have to return to the land of the Big Gulp and Baconator 😦

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      It’s quiet, a’ight. Kinda nice. BRAIN is back to once a month; I’m not going to Interbike, so I don’t need to plan any travel; and I just filed the Bianchi Orso review with Adventure Cyclist. Downtime, men.

  6. Dale Says:

    Snails are OK until you inadvertantly step upon one. Slugs are quite another matter. Not only do they eat your garden; but they force you to put shallow plates of beer among your plants in order to dispatch them. This scourge forced me to buy Bud Light, an undrinkable beverage for all but slugs.

    Come to think of it, snails are not much better. I suppose that slugs are only homeless snails.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      For some reason Bud Light sells really well down here on the border. I guess it’s better than drinking Corona. When I used to go to Mexico, just over the border in Sonora, no one was drinking Corona except Americans. The preferred mega brew there at that time was Tecate, Pacifico, or Negra Modelo. I haven’t been in Mexico now for over 20 years. Just too much hassle these days, and not the friendly, easy day it used to be.

    • larryatcycleitalia Says:

      You can always cook and eat ’em. Dunno know how they’re prepared for butchery and cooking, but I guess there’s a way to make sure any garden poisons are no longer present? Can’t say I’ve ordered any in a long time, but now and then they show up as part of a tasting menu and I’ll eat ’em. I see ’em in the supermarket here in Italy now and then as well.

  7. Steve O Says:

    Your moment of zen:


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