Posts Tagged ‘hummingbirds’

Adios, summer

September 2, 2018

The backyard maple catches a bit of late-day light.

Ordinarily we don’t expect much when flipping to the next page in the calendar, any more than we do when crossing a state line, unless we’re driving a hot car wearing the wrong plates with an old enemy bound and gagged in the trunk next to a suitcase full of cash, cocaine, and at least one unregistered firearm while the underage runaway in the passenger seat passes us a fat spliff soaked in hash oil, pulls off her tube top, and asks if she can pretty please have a pull on our fifth of Jameson.

Float like a hummingbird, sting like a bee.

But it rained a good deal of the first day of September, and we opened most of the windows at El Rancho Pendejo to let the cool breeze blow through, and that sort of felt like the end of summer to me.

I rearranged my office for no good reason, playing a selection of weather-appropriate Irish tunes on the stereo, while Herself vacuumed the house.

Today I vacuumed the lawn, which is more fun, because you can do it outside in the fresh air and there is no stopping to empty the bag, because our lawn is a cannibal and enjoys eating its own clippings.

The two-tailed swallowtail is the state butterfly of Arizona and the largest swallowtail in western North America.

After chores we poured ourselves a couple of cold beverages and sprawled on the patio for a spell, listening to some Miles Davis, enjoying some more of that cool breeze, and watching a pair of hummingbirds battle each other and the bees for a short snort from the feeder as a pacifist two-tailed swallowtail stealthily worked a bush along the back wall.

Tomorrow is Labor Day, and labor we shall not. Something in a bike ride, I think, clad in red.

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.