Archive for the ‘Wildlife’ Category

Hardest jigsaw puzzle ever

May 16, 2021

This reminds me of the visual migraines I used to get as a teenager.

So. There I was, doing a bit of yard maintenance with the old string trimmer, when I heard a pop.

The first thing that comes to mind in these parts is, “Did someone just try to bust a cap in my ass?” So I scan the yard for assailants and see bupkis, unless one of the house finches at the feeder has a 9mm Beretta concealed somewhere beneath his feathers.

Then I have a look behind me.

Oopsie.

My guess is the string trimmer found a small chunk of brick paver or a stone or whatever and pitched a Shohei Ohtani fastball at the sliding glass door. Right on the money it was, too. And I do mean money.

In other yard news, the wildife cam reports that Spike the Terrorist Deer and a pal popped round last night to eat most of the roses and sample the immature fruit on the ornamental pear tree while a raccoon inspected the grass for interesting tidbits. Just two more indicators that yards are a plot by the home and garden/psychiatry/whiskey cartels to create a perpetual-motion money machine.

Lost in the O’Zone again

April 23, 2021

The haze looped around to the north, softening the sharp lines of the Sandias.

Yesterday being Earth Day, I decided to cover a few miles of it on foot.

Walking the Candelaria Bench Loop in counterclockwise fashion I saw a couple dozen deer working it in the opposite direction. Looks like maybe they’ve been visiting the folks whose backyards abut the open space along Camino de la Sierra. Before much longer they will be paying a call on us down here in the cheap seats.

Looking southwest toward the city.

From up on the bench I noticed a haze coating the Rio. This was either courtesy of a pair of small fires down along the bosque or the ozone we seem to be having too much of lately.

We are very poor tenants indeed. No wonder the landlord is taking measures to have us evicted. Gaia being indifferent as regards race, creed, color, or religion, she dispatches plagues instead of the sheriff.

Speaking of plagues, Herself and I are due for our booster shots this weekend. If you should happen to see any posts here that look something like “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn,” with illustrations of flailing tentacles rending squealing humans into party snacks, never fear … it’s just the nanoparticles kicking in.

Elsewhere, the Elon Musk Bus Lines have resumed delivering passengers to the International Space Station. I wonder what the carbon footprint is like for that action. Probably not as bad as rush hour at the Big Eye.

No word on when the routes to Luna and Mars will be open for business. Not until the Shackleton Crater Resort & Casino is up and running, is my guess. This may take a while. The moon is remarkably short of undocumented workers to help keep the hospitality costs down.

Git along, lil’ Dog-ie

March 13, 2021

Looks a little weatherish to the north
from just below the Candelaria Bench Trail.

In mid-March last year I had a hitch in my gitalong.

All I was good for was a short stroll with crutches, or a slightly longer spin on the stationary trainer. A Darth Gimp boot gripped the broken bone like an ankle monitor. Only the mind wandered freely.

Today, with the skies darkening, the wind thundering, and the pollen scattering, I almost — almost! — decided to stay indoors.

And then I remembered last March. So out I went.

I needed a thin watch cap, mask, hoodie, henley, pants, wool socks, and thin gloves, but still. Outside! On a trail! And a rocky one, too, even worse than the one that took me down last February.

Even jogged a few bits, just ’cause I could. What a difference a year makes.

Up near where the climb to the Candelaria Bench Trail steepens, I saw seven deer peering at me from across a ravine. They’ve been thick as rush-hour traffic around our place already this year, peppering The Compound with poop.

I’m not certain what they’re after down here in the ’burbs, before spring has actually sprung. But like most Americans deer will pretty much eat whatever is convenient. Free will is an illusion, at least for certain foods.

Speaking of airline travel, which we were not, do not expect to see me boarding a flight to anywhere anytime soon until (a) The Plague is over, and (2) the drunks have a clear idea where the toilet is.

Summer

June 20, 2020

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy … for a wall-hopping deer.

Summer is only just arriving down here, but it must have come a little earlier to this deer’s neighborhood.

We’ve been noticing deer poop in the grass, and caught glimpses on the wildlife cam of the jug-eared socialists nibbling nocturnally at the undersized fruit on the pear tree.

But yesterday, in broad daylight, I saw this one stroll casually from the street side of the house right through a neighbor’s gate. From there it was an easy leap into our back yard for a bit of tasty grass and a laydown in the shade.

I got some wild, wild life

February 21, 2020

“Take a picture, here in the daylight, oh oh.
They got some wild, wild life.”

Herself had buggered off to Florida for a bit of R&R, and Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Force) was in his quarters, decoding vital transmissions from HQ (which appear on the underside of his eyelids), when his adjutant, Miss Mia Sopaipilla, bypassed the chain of command to inform me that we had a muj’ inside the wire.

Little fella — I know, I know, how binary of me — hung out for the better part of quite some time, touring the patio, napping under our bedroom window, and finally scooting up a backyard tree and into the arroyo.

Maybe his old lady was out of town too? Checkin’ in; checkin’ out, uh huh. I got a wild, wild life.

 

Wild kingdom

August 6, 2018

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.