Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

Strictly for the birds

April 29, 2022

The hummers and quail are lightening the mood around here.

The hummingbirds are back. And this looks just like an Audubon photo of one, the same way I look just like Jason Statham if you see me backlit at sunset, from the other side of a four-lane street with a sizable median. It’s possible that you left your specs in the pub after a half-dozen boilermakers, a vicious beating, and perhaps a stroke.

The grasses in Elena Gallegos Open Space are an ominous shade of tan.

It’s been a quiet week around El Rancho Pendejo. Herself just got her second Plague-B-Gon booster and is recovering nicely after enduring a sore arm and some drowsiness.

As for Your Humble Narrator, despite relentless seasonal allergies exacerbated by smoke-laden afternoon breezes I found the weather stellar for cycling. Actual tan lines are in evidence. I managed 105 miles last week and would be on track to repeat that this week if I hadn’t veered off road three times, twice on the bike and once on foot.

When riding trail I strive mightily to avoid nicking any trailside rocks with a pedal. One good spark in these dry, windy conditions and we’ll be grabbing the go-bags and cat carrier and hightailing it for … for … for where? Is there anyplace that isn’t on fire and/or out of water?

Nesting

April 6, 2021

Through my office window I’ve seen this dove refurbing an old nest.
Now she’s in residence.

I knew I heard a hummingbird. We saw the little buzzbomb yesterday having a long drink at the feeder out back as we sat down to dinner.

Well, sir. Now it’s spring.

Out front, a dove has refurbished a wind-battered nest atop the wisteria. Same dove as last year? Beats me. I asked, she didn’t answer.

The rest of the world’s ills notwithstanding, I am very much enjoying getting up, making coffee, and checking the news to find out that nobody I know has bothered to collect and distribute the wit and wisdom of the previous occupant of the Oval Office.

That’s one bird whose song we can do without. Until the judge says, “Will the defendant please rise?”

Shrinkage

December 2, 2020

“Hey, whatchoo staring at my junco for?”

That little pecker out there? He’d be a giant condor if it were a tad warmer. Just sayin’.

One more for the road

September 10, 2020

Anybody up for a cold one?

I hope the hummingbirds like their sugar water on the rocks.

The last couple days must’ve been an unpleasant surprise for the little buzzbombs.

“Goddamn it, Rufous, I told you we should’ve split for Acapulco last week! I’m freezing my tailfeathers off!”

Could be worse. Could be in Bibleburg, where Thursday’s low tied a 122-year-old record. Up there the hummers are wearing merino-wool longjohns and watch caps.

Bird feeders

May 8, 2020

The food chain in operation.

It seems our bird feeders are doing double duty. Not only do they feed seed to birds, they feed birds to birds.

This may be a peregrine falcon* camped out in a backyard pine, stripping the feathers and flesh from an unfortunate dove, no doubt a visitor to the feeders hanging from a maple tree by the picture window. Hal thinks so, anyway, and he’s more knowledgeable about these matters than I am.

“Whaddaya taking pictures for? You with the police?”

We’ve seen a Cooper’s hawk working the neighborhood, but this is our first glimpse of a peregrine on the job. I wanted to get closer for a better shot with the Sony RX100 III, but I didn’t want to interrupt his/her dinner. Maybe it’s time to get another DSLR, start putting this wobbly economy back on its uncertain feet.

Funny thing is, the neighbor kids had just been visiting (at a safe and sane socialist distance) and we were talking about the wildlife we’d seen recently, from bugs to bobcats to bullsnakes. We didn’t notice the feathers falling from the pine until mom had come to collect them for their own dinner.

* Or a sharp-shinned hawk. Or a Cooper’s hawk. Or a very small Hawkman looking for his own DC movie, which would puzzle me mightily, because DC movies mostly suck with malice aforethought, even more so than Marvel movies, which is a very high bar indeed where suckitude is concerned, and no self-respecting raptor would have anything to do with either of them.

Rain, rain, go away …

November 6, 2019

The Cannondale Topstone 105.

… little Paddy wants to play.

We have a new review bike at El Rancho Pendejo, a Cannondale Topstone 105, but the weather is proving uncooperative as regards its maiden cruise.

The birds were pissed that their feeders were empty, so I had to trot out in the rain to resupply the chirpy little commies. From each according to his abilities, etc.

What a good thing that I whipped up a vast tureen of posole before this wee November squall rumbled through town.

As the cool drizzle quietly flogs the last of the leaves off the backyard maple under leaden skies, it’s looking like your basic one-pot day, meal-wise.

Cook the oatmeal, have breakfast, wash the pot.

Hm. Still raining.

Reheat the posole, have lunch, wash the pot.

JFC. Still raining.

And dinner? I may outsource that one, if only because I’m out of posole, and who wants oatmeal for dinner?

Anyway, even a one-quart saucepan needs a break now and then.

Eagle-eyed

May 13, 2019

“We just saw an eagle go by. It was carrying a baby.” (h/t E.B. White)

Superb Owl Sunday

February 3, 2019

The druid Malachy, played by Ciaron Davies, interacts with “Cracker,” a European eagle owl, as the re-enactment of Saint Patrick’s first landing in Ireland takes place at Inch Abbey on March 11, 2018, in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. Photo: Charles McQuillan | Getty Images)

For more Superb Owls, see The Atlantic.