I walked into my bedroom and there was a bobcat sitting right next to the sliding glass door, looking in. My camera, of course, was upstairs in my office (where I had just taken a photo of the palo verde in bloom, shown here).
By the time I returned it was no longer posing. What was it doing out in the middle of the day? They’re supposed to be
crepuscular, out and about from three hours before sunset until about midnight, and then again from before dawn until three hours after sunrise.
A new bird (for me) – Cassin’s kingbird? Classic bird shape, good-sized, and a nondescript gray except for a yellow belly that doesn’t come up to its neck. I love sitting outside in the later afternoon when there’s no longer sun in the yard.
Darn! My cat just caught a female black-chinned hummingbird. I rescued her and she appeared traumatized but not hurt. I put her in a live oak; I hope that she recovers. (Photo.)
The desert is as loud as the jungle, without the raucous cries of the macaws. Tweet tweet tweet tweet, whatcheer whatcheer, peep peep peep, ratatattat, cheep cheep cheep, goo goo g’joob (that’s the dove, not the walrus), twitter twitter twitter.
A tarantula wasp glides by. They are so beautiful – black with burnt orange, but I like tarantulas and dislike what they do to them. This from Wikipedia:
The female tarantula hawk … captures, stings, and paralyzes the spider, then either drags the spider back into her own burrow or transports her prey to a specially prepared nest where a single egg is laid on the spider’s body, and the entrance is covered. When the wasp larva hatches, it rips a small hole in the spider’s abdomen, then plunges into the spider’s belly and feeds voraciously, avoiding vital organs for as long as possible to keep it fresh. After several weeks, the larva pupates. Finally, the wasp becomes an adult, and tears open the spider’s belly to get out.
Turns out one of the crashes into my kitchen windows was a bird fleeing a hawk. I found the circle of feathers that the hawk pulls out of its catch before it eats it.
Was sitting in my chaise longue two feet away from my bird bath when a flicker, ignoring me, stopped for a long drink.
My snail mail now is 90% ads, mostly for nature organizations, since I belong to the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy, which I joined in SC and which keeps me updated on reef recovery. The Natural Resources Defense Council wants me to help stop the war on wolves, the National Wildlife Federation, the World Wildlife Fund and others send me address labels and note cards and ask me to join. As if people send notes and letters anymore. I blog and email and even have my bills paid online automatically. The only non-computer person to whom I send letters is my mother’s best friend who is now 91, and that’s mostly paper copies of my blog.
My change from paper to computer seemed to have happened so fast that I still have stationery and a few note cards left over from BC (Before Computer). Last year I even sent my Xmas letter, w/ my own photos, by computer. I noted that friends are doing the same. I have another 91-year-old friend, in Virginia (my old Peace Corps director), who is adverse to computer use, but his wife does the family emailing. And a good friend’s mother-in-law, at 97, loves my blogs and sends me emails. I’m not twittering yet, but I have friends who do. And to think that my grandparents were born in a time before cars!
Kids and Monkeys
Had my grandchildren visiting for a few days. Was astounded at how smart 1 ½-year-olds are. I only told my grandson once what not to touch (my light sculpture, see
https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/a-bunny-for-easter/), and he detoured around it!
Also read The Moral Life of Babies in the NYTimes:
Note: never wear white when playing with monkeys or grandkids. I’m so used to having a relatively clean cat (she does love to roll in the dirt and usually cleans only her “private parts” and feet), so I was surprised how dirty monkeys are. Even though they spend time picking bugs off each other, there is no licking. I’m still trying to get spots out of a white blouse from Rebecca. (See https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/just-another-day-in-the-jungle/ for a photo of Rebecca.)