Posts Tagged ‘birds’

While there was no big bad wolf to be seen, Lisa (Micro of the Macro) and I were surprised by feet of this American Coot. Besides the size and color, they look segmented. I’ve seen lots of coots at the Preserve and probably some old coots but as they’ve always been swimming, I’ve never seen the feet of any of them. This one was standing on a log usually occupied by ducks or turtles enabling us to see its feet.

Six Word Saturday 4.16.22

“Wild ducks in North America are divided into two broad groups: the dabblers or paddle ducks, and the divers.”
― Anonymous

Most people come to the Preserve to see the birds but at this time of year, there aren’t nearly as many and there aren’t as many kinds. There are plenty of ducks, though, either dabblers or divers. This handsome male ring-necked duck falls into the diving category although at the Preserve where in one lake you’re allowed to feed the birds, the minute you walk onto the bridge, the flotilla heads towards you at top speed expecting goodies. I’m always a disappointment to them.

I believe this to be a sort of exorcist mallard, its head turned around while resting. (I never saw the movie, but I do know her head spins around at some point. His does not.) Forward or backward, he sports such lovely, deep colors on his head. Mallards are dabblers, going after food in the iconic duck-bottom-up pose. To see a group of them doing that makes me smile every time. 🙂 See?

“In terms of habitat, ducks can be found anywhere that is wet.”
― Victoria de Rijke, Duc
k

This trip I finally saw a female ring-necked duck (although I can’t really detect a ring on either of them). Her coloring isn’t as dramatic as the male’s but she looks more soft and mother-y, don’t you think? I can see ducklings following her or pushing up under her wings while dad’s sharp eye watches for danger. This is the first time I noticed the little hook at the end of the beak, too. The better to snag something to eat, my dear.

“Be like a duck, paddling and working very hard inside the water, but what everyone sees is a smiling and calm face.”
― Manoj Arora, From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom

I think her face looks calm although I doubt she’s worried about financial freedom. But who knows? I can’t pretend to know what a duck thinks. I do think that this is the end of this post. I hope you’re having fun dabbling in this and that today or perhaps are diving into something you really enjoy (hopefully not your food.) I’m going to duck out to do some dabbling a/o diving of my own. Enjoy Wednesday!

“Who’s s/he when s/he’s at home?” is a colloquial way of saying “Hey, just who is that person?” At the Preserve, as Lisa (Micro of the Macro) and I observed, there were quite a few at home in the saguaro cacti apartments many birds call home. The saguaro cactus is an iconic foundational plant of the Southwest, providing much more than just apartments for birds but some of the cacti are so riddled with holes, it’s a wonder they’re still standing. On this day, we observed a number of the residents. This mourning dove couple obviously is into (literally) the little house craze.

Not exactly a high-end mattress but this bird seems to be quite comfy in her nest of twigs. With all the cactus spines surrounding the next, I imagine she’ll be undisturbed by any predators.

Anybody home?

Is this a flicker or a woodpecker? I’m not sure but a group of flickers is called a “menorah,” “guttering” or a “Peterson”, which is kind of fun to know, even though this isn’t a group. A group of woodpeckers is a “descent” which really isn’t as interesting as far as I’m concerned. Thus ended our lesson for today. Thanks for attending. 🙂

Although Lisa was happy and I was happy that she was happy, we didn’t see nearly as many birds as usual overall, but the saguaros didn’t disappoint. Which is just what my husband always says about Chianti. 🙂

This is my favorite poem about spring and even though the Arizona world is rarely mud-luscious or puddle-wonderful, it still evokes spring for me. And I’m going attempt to find e. e. cummings quotes or poems to go with all my photos for Marsha’s WQW challenge for this week.

in just spring

 
in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whistles          far          and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
spring
when the world is puddle-wonderful
the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
it's
spring
and
         the
                  goat-footed
balloonMan          whistles
far
and
wee

Well, I don’t know if this balloonMan is goat-footed (or whether the balloonPerson is either), but it is a balloon even though not the sort e. e. had in mind.

(all the merry little birds are
flying in the floating in the
very spirits singing in 
are winging in the blossoming)  e.e.cummings

(One of the things that drives me mad about WP is trying to get poems to format properly and the only way I know to do it puts them on the grey background. Sorry about that.)

This bird may not be flying right now, but I’m sure it’s quite merry despite the fact that its mother obviously never mentioned that standing on your food while eating it (or at any other time) is not really the thing. But spirits are singing and there’s definitely blossoming going on. 🙂

“Then it was spring; and in spring anything may happen. Absolutely anything.” ~ E. E. Cummings

Spring makes the wall finally warm enough to tempt these two to make their spring debut.

And still the mad magnificent herald Spring assembles beauty from forgetfulness with the wild trump of April:witchery of sound and odour drives the wingless thing man forth in the bright air. ~e. e. cummings

It also drove this winged bee into an ecstasy of headfirst pollen-gathering. Our girls used to sometimes say something caused an ecstasy spasm and that’s exactly what I saw here as he flitted from flower to flower. In fact, spring gives me an ecstasy spas. (Note: going headfirst into food probably qualifies as not being quite the thing either.)

when faces called flowers float out of the ground
and breathing is wishing and wishing is having—
but keeping is downward and doubting and never
—it’s april(yes, april;my darling)it’s spring! 
 ~e.e.cummings from "when faces called flowers"

These trumpet cacti don’t flower often and the flowers begin to wilt by the end of the first day but oh, the glory while they bloom!! We were blessed with three rounds of flowers our first year here. A sighting makes me grab my camera and rush outside immediately. Hurrah for spring!!

Six-Word Saturday 3.5.22

A single bird making a landing in the reflecting pool at The Barnes Museum in Philadelphia (an odd number.)

An odd reflection of that same pool.

SquareOdds 2.25.22

As we near two years of living in Arizona, the challenge of sharing photos of water is somewhat amusing a/o daunting. Our city averages 9 inches of rain per year and if we have enough that we can’t count the raindrops, we think it’s a pretty good rain. Okay, that’s a little exaggerated, but not much. The most common water I see is in the canal where I walk and although not especially picturesque, canals are the lifeblood of the area.

Water serves a number of functions other than simply hydrating us and everything on earth. Here are a few I’ve found and enjoyed:

Water as power…

Water as nature’s jewelry…

Water as mirror…

Water as home…

Water as food source…

Water as art (a sort of pointillism perhaps)…

Water as beauty…

Pelican breakfast club

Posted: February 8, 2022 in birds, Nature
Tags: , , , ,

“Feathers fall; soft as a song, light as morning dreams.”
― Eirene Evripidou

We think of feathers as soft and lovely but during WWI in England, women gave white feathers to men not in uniform in an attempt to shame them into enlisting, using white feathers to signify cowardice. Other less negative meanings have included peace, pacifism, and courage. To me, this feather was a small, beautiful sighting as I went for a walk, another chance to be amazed at the way errant feathers cling to plants.