Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bird on the Wire

wirebird I finally found the nest. The male Western Kingbird has been sitting on this wire directly over our driveway for a couple of weeks. Yesterday, en route to the mailbox, I paid a bit more attention, and discovered the female brooding in the crotch of the Russian-olive. Of course, she moved off before I could return with the camera.

watchful ‘Tis the season! We call it summer… and with all the rain we’ve had, everything is displaying glorious fecundity. We’ve already raised at least two broods of Magpies, so the Kingbirds have good reason to be watchful.

nestYesterday, about the time of my discovery, the Magpies took great interest in the driveway area. The male Kingbird was vigilant, but I (par for the course) was concerned. I filled the suet feeder in hopes of distracting them. The male, sometimes accompanied by his mate, was more direct, and never tired of chasing off the Magpie parents. Baby Magpies, almost indistinguishable now from their parents, hung out near the suet bar, but couldn’t quite figure out how to make it deliver the goods.

One sortie by the nest defender led to a substantial chase; another time both parents got involved in a close situation involving body contact inside their tree haven. All seems well, but it’s difficult to tell just yet. The nest seems empty much of the time, but I did see the female leave it once today. I think she’s sitting as low as possible to remain hidden. The male is finding new spots on different wires from which to observe.

We, meanwhile, are enjoying the Leonard Cohen Live in London DVD, having opted to purchase that rather than concert tickets for his appearance at Red Rocks June 4th (rained out June 2nd). Once I was past the shock of seeing him, so aged after more than 30 years (aren’t we all!), I found I loved his later music and adapted readily to its infectious quality. Like a bird on the wire.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rhymes with June


Not tune, or spoon… not even swoon or moon…


Sure feels like it anyway. I had in mind back-dating this post a week or two, as it's been somewhat clear these last few days, but the wetter side of Mother Nature is clearly not done with us yet, despite a few days break for Solstice Sun.

An impromptu field trip was rained out late Tuesday, but we went anyway yesterday and rain held off just long enough. Today we had a 50 minute downpour, complete with turn-off-the-computermd062509 celestial rumblings and cracklings, at 1 p.m. during which this picture was taken. Another deluge at 4:40 p.m., only lasted a few minutes, but now I see it’s back in business. I thought we’d changed from gentle rains of spring to our convectional afternoon thunderstorms, but today is beyond even the usual in that department. 


060109This all started, according to my notes, about May 22 in the evening. On the 26th, I wrote my boss something about 3 [days] down, 37 to go. Today I understand an ark floated by the office window. (Here’s a look at June 1st.) Water-cooler conversation focuses on “how green it is!” And it is, indeed, unusually late for it to be so green. Wishful gardener that I am, I keep wishing I’d planted seeds. My few tomato plants are waiting for a little sun and warmth.


June 2nd… same old, same wonderful old wet. I’m not complaining…

downpourBut I did quit trying to take pictures of it all, until today. All four corners of the house were pouring with runoff… all the rain barrels had already overflowed, but still it came. The small town in the valley below us has experienced repeated historic floods; I keep wondering if we’re in for it again.

coneflower But the plants aren’t complaining either. Here, prairie coneflower (Ratibida columnifera) like I’ve never seen it before. Covered with raindrops.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Don't Forget-- BGR #18 deadline

Submissions are due Sunday June 28th —at midnight Mountain Time—for the next edition of the Berry-Go-Round blog carnival, to be posted next week here at Foothills Fancies.

I've only received a few valid submissions (and a bit of clutter), so please send something, and you'll get a prime feature spot for your blog on the next edition! I'd prefer you NOT use the submission form, as that seems to be where the junk is coming from. See previous post for full instructions on submitting to this round.

Assuming we don't want to read about condo lodging, health care, or spyware removal in our plant carnival, please please forward links to your favorite plant posts—yours or someone else's— to help us out here! Drop a link in comments below, if you like!