There are definitely hints of fall, although fall's beginning is still 3 weeks away. We Arizonans are ready for it! The light is not as harsh as in high summer, and the mornings are cooler, although I still walk in shorts and a t-shirt.
The nests are empty, but we still see a lot of fledgelings. I have a special place set aside for young birds to feed in the morning, out of the way of the crowd. Here we see Finch dads feeding babies bigger than themselves, and more adventurous young ones who are peering down in the gravel trying to tell seed from gravel. The hummingbird migration is still going on, and although it has slowed down, I am feeding more than 30 hummers in the morning and evening. I only have to replenish the feeders about 3 times a day, rather than every other hour. The birds are so bold, they land on the feeder while I am hanging it up.
On our ride this morning we saw a lot of ripe prickly pear tunas (fruits), and I expect them to be harvested soon. Many animals eat them, and they are easy to store (if you can ignore the glochids - those pesky little cactus stickers you can hardly see). I know they are put up by woodrats, who conveniently make their nests in the prickly pears too.
It is time to get vigilant about keeping the wildlife at bay. Everybody would like a nice, warm place for the winter, so I have already had to evict one woodrat from the potting shed. Dave and Barbara are busy putting adobe on the outside of the strawbale house, ensuring that they are the only ones living there (with their cat, Louise, of course) this winter. We had to relocate another rattler from their place too. Got to try out the new snake hook and the homemade snake box. Both are winners.
Now if only we got a little more rain. We may be lucky later this week. Tropical storm Jimena is headed our way; of course it has to be during Labor Day weekend..., but then, we are not working folk any longer.