Posts Tagged ‘doves’

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.

The Ice Melted on the Santa Cruz

May 29, 2010

The Scorpion

As I was reading last night I noticed a three-inch golden scorpion making its way across the bed towards me.  My first thought was how do I get it out of the house?  And I realized that most people would simply smash it with the book.  Not me.  I would normally cover an insect with a glass, slip a paper underneath it, and take it out.  But my glass still had an inch of fruit juice in it so I scooted the scorpion onto a newspaper and balanced it out the door.

Deer Sighting

Why is seeing a predator more exciting than seeing an ungulate?  No bobcat today.  A deer eating next to my fence, a rabbit bounding across the road away from me when I got my mail, my friend the roadrunner on his daily rounds, and the usual assortment of birds.

The Ice Melted on the Santa Cruz

The high on Friday (May 28) was 100° at 3pm, so the ice melted on the Santa Cruz.  I tried to find out the history of that expression, and only found this comment on the Web:

Today the ice melted in the Santa Cruz River! Yup, today was the day! BREAKUP! You ask yourself what in the world is she talking about???? Well, here in this fine city, the first day of the year the temperature officially reaches 100 degrees is the day the ice melts in the Santa Cruz River. HUH??? EXPLAIN! Well, first of all, the Santa Cruz river is usually a dry river bed …  unless it is monsoon season, when the dry river bed turns into a vicious, treacherous, swift moving river! But only for a while! Then it goes back to its former self…dry. The local media (ahem) has dubbed the first day of 100 degrees as the day the ice melts in the river!

A Pleasant Evening

The sound of the wind in the trees and the call of the doves which a friend said sounds like Who Cooks for You?  Who Cooks for You?  (But I think it’s co-co-kaju, co-co-kaju.)  One of my windbells clanging.  And the birds cheep cheep, tweet tweet.  The flap of wings and the sound from I10 whooshing in the background.  (That instead of the Amazon’s insect whine.)  It doesn’t often carry this far.  Maybe there’s moisture in the air?  But no clouds.

The moon tiny and white in the sky.  A jet from the airport almost intersects it, but is gone quickly. 

I’ll sit and see if that small sailing cloud  
Will hit or miss the moon.  
It hit the moon.  
Then there were three there, making a dim row,  
The moon, the little silver cloud, and she.

The Death of the Hired Man, Robert Frost


My cat, cautious as she is, sits next to me on the chaise lounge.  The evening is pleasant, especially with grapefruit juice and gin.