April 7, 2014

Roadie's nest

While at the computer the other day, I watched Roadie (we consider her "ours" because she lives here year around and roosts in the horse barn) in a very submissive posture leading another road runner towards the place where she nested last year. The other road runner had a twig in his beak. Was she going to use the nest again?

Road runners are apparently rather secretive about their nest, but this one chose a volunteer butterfly bush, flanked on either side by honey suckle, that hides our propane tank. It is a tangle alright, but not so private. Last year we warned the guy filling the tank that there was a nest two feet from the fill hole, he was fine with that "as long as it isn't snakes", and Roadie stayed on the nest during the fill time.

I also water the honeysuckle weekly, that is when I saw that she was on the nest, perfectly camouflaged with her streaked plumage in that mess of branches.

This morning she was on the garden fence next to the nest so I asked Dan, who is a bit taller than I am, to peek into the nest. Voila! Three eggs again!

Meanwhile she was doing her mournful coo-coo-coo while sunning herself, perhaps to admonish her mate (lifelong, I read) to bring more nesting material. Dan saw her, or the mate, stealing some nesting material from a cactus wren nest a bit later. The cactus wren decided that the nest box on the porch was the place to raise her family. Also she is sitting on eggs. It is Spring, I say.

April 6, 2014

Another idea of mine

"Wouldn't it be nice to have a large, blue pot there by the entry?" It always starts so innocently, and I admit that I don't always have the logistics worked out at the inception. But Dan, being the nice guy that he is, agreed that a big blue pot with seasonal flowers or plants would look good by the front door.

Off we went to purchase above item and I did not really start worrying about implementation until the pot was loaded into the back of Subie with some effort by two very burly young men. The pot pretty much filled up the space.

Rather than dealing with the item as soon as we got home, we decided to wait to unload until the next day. It gave me time to spend a good part of the night tossing and trying to work out how to get it out of the car and into place without either one of us, or both, wrecking our back. I figured it out and slept soundly for the remainder.

Next morning we hauled an alfalfa bale from the barn, installed it behind Subie and we were able to ease the pot down without a mishap. We were able to carry it to the front door without problem; I guess the pot was not as heavy as I had thought. Or perhaps we are just strong. And smart. Hah!

April 1, 2014

Some color

It is April, and typical April weather: sunny and windy. Too windy for a bike ride we decided, so we took a short walk out the back gate. The desert is showing color.

Lots of Fairy Duster (Calliandra) this year. It is a favorite of the hummingbirds, I still have to figure out how they get their tongues into these threadlike petals.

One of the many Daleas, perhaps Dalea Formosa, Indigo bush.

Sand Verbena, which grows wild as well as all through our yard.

Longleaf Ephedra, also known as Mormon Tea. It was used by native tribes as a medicinal plant.

Cacti are setting bud, agaves are sending up stalks, but I will show them some other time.