Posts Tagged ‘bougainvillea’

Dearly Departed

April 5, 2017

No, they’re not dead, just gone.  “My” baby doves got so big Mom couldn’t fit in the “nest” (a small pile of twigs) any more, but stopped by occasionally to give them some pigeon milk.  That was something I didn’t know about previously.  According to Wikipedia:

Crop milk is a secretion from the lining of the crop of parent birds that is regurgitated to young birds. It is found among all pigeons and doves where it is referred to as pigeon milk…

Then I didn’t see them in their nest, so I went out to trim some bushes outside the window of my breakfast room (which I am using for an office), and they were sitting on the windowsill, across the narrow side yard from their nest.  But I had upset them, so they flew away.  They returned in the evening twice to the wall outside the kitchen, but I think Mom had decided that they could be on their own, so they’re gone.

A week ago it was so windy that people with respiratory problems, old people, and young children were asked to stay indoors and refrain from exercise.  I heard that on the news as I was driving to the Y to exercise.  The mountains were almost obscured, but I still loved looking at them.

The soil is pretty sandy here, which is maybe why the cactus grow so large.  Here are three on my street, on the walk to the mailboxes.  The biggest yucca and century plant I have ever seen, up to the house eves!  And a plump and happy saguaro.

Spring has hit Tucson with a splash of yellow.  It started with the brittlebush and desert marigolds at the side of the roads (with  an occasional slash of red or pink penstemon), then on to the palo verdes, heavy with flowers (with intermittent stripes of gaudy magenta bougainvillea – this in my back yard, the same color as all of the bougainvilleas in my subdivision).

I stopped in a parking lot yesterday to take these photos with my phone, but the wind was blowing pretty hard, so they look “painterly”.  The blooms started in the washes, and have been climbing up to the higher elevations.  Beautiful along La Cañada and La Cholla, and River Road especially!  Oro Valley is a bit higher than Tucson, so my three palo verdes are still covered with buds.

Seen Today

A quail couple, apparently looking for a suitable place to nest, he on the fence, alert for predators, but giving his mate helpful suggestions, she checking out the purple Mexican petunia in the backyard.  (These beautiful flowers only last one day.)

A bulky guy with blond hair past his shoulders, in shorts, shirt tied about his waist, walking along the road.  (It was cool this morning, and I was wearing a sweater!)

The area behind the fenced-in part of the back yard is riddled with holes.  Saw the first round-tailed ground squirrel today, but he didn’t stick around for a photo op.

Sculptor Ira Weisenfeld’s Boat in a Tree, on Wetmore.  Must take my own photo of it.  This from the sculptor’s website,

Ubiquitous clutches of cyclists in colorful lycra.

At a light, a taxi-yellow sports car in front of one of the palo verdes overladen with yellow.  I was turning, and couldn’t stop for a photo.

A roadrunner skittering along the outside of the fence.  There are now many lizards in the yard, a few zebra-tailed lizards recently (this photo from Wikipedia), so I was surprised he didn’t want to venture in.  Maybe the 18″ of chicken wire wrapped around the base of the wrought iron fence deterred him, although he could have jumped over.

A hawk sitting on a power line, watching the traffic on La Cholla go by.  Looked like the hawk on the cover of the book I recently finished, H Is For Hawk, by Helen Macdonald.

Some Like It Hot

June 20, 2010

Birds and Blooms

My bougainvillea and agapanthus are loving the heat. The bougainvillea flowers bloom apricot and fade to pink. 

As I was downloading my photos I caught sight of a hummingbird on the agapanthus right outside the office window.    It appears to be a female black-chinned hummingbird.  This time I had my camera.

Javalina Babies

Later, when I was outside my fence trimming a tree (Brush and Bulky Collection will be done the week of July 5, and I want to get the spring trimmings hauled away for free) a troop of javelina wandered by and a few expressed interest in me. 

I did not retreat, as I did have a saw in hand if needed, but asked them not to bother me, and after a few sniffs and nearsighted stares, they only moseyed within two yards of me and decided not to travel between houses but to continue behind my neighbor’s house.

As I was hauling out a large tree limb my neighbor asked if I had seen the javelina babies.  Darn!  I hadn’t been paying enough attention.  She said that there were two little ones.


Almost 5pm.  I was having a cup of tea and reading when I noticed a young bobcat slinking onto my patio to lap from the dripping hose.  Ran all over the house to find my camera.  Took one photo from the tv room. 

From the bedroom the bobcat was facing away so I opened the door a crack and said hi.  Snapped that photo.  My cat actually stayed a couple of feet away from the door and watched.

Then our friend took off across the yard.  I was too anxious and didn’t hold the camera steady, and the other photos were fuzzy. (In this one the yard is in focus but the bobcat is a bit blurry ‘cause it’s moving.)