Archive for Photography

Black-Throated Sparrow

Black-Throated Sparrow

I was in the backyard yesterday with my camera* and caught this photo of one of our migrant visitors to the seed feeders up on the little hill out there. I think it is a Black-Throated Sparrow. We don’t see many of these and only do see them when they are either headed south in the fall or north in the spring.

From All About Birds:

A medium-sized sparrow with a large, round head, conical seed-eating bill, and a medium length tail. Larger than a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, smaller than a Horned Lark.

Most striking feature is the face pattern: neat gray bordered by 2 strong white stripes and a black triangular throat patch. Upperparts are grayish brown and the underparts are a paler mix of cream and white. The tail is dark with white spots on the corners. Juveniles look like adults but lack the black throat patch and have faint streaks above and below.

Hops on the ground, pecking for seeds and insects, and makes short low flights between shrubs. Often perches in trees and shrubs giving quiet calls.

I might add that they also visit the seed feeders in people’s back yards.

* Camera: Canon EOS REBEL SL1

  • COPYRIGHT © BOB POOLE
  • 1/400 Sec
  • F8
  • ISO 100
  • Focal Length 135mm

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Weekend Cooking

Grilling with InsetsLike most weekends, this one featured some delicious food. Yesterday, we were treated to Chicken Jalapeño Popper Casserole and today we had Grilled Beef Tenderloin (Filet Mignon) Steaks with “Broc’n'Mock” (Mac’n'Cheese without the mac) and Bacon Collard Greens.

Image: I’m at the grill on a 70° Wickenburg day with insets showing steaks and one of the dinner plates. Click on the image to enlarge.

We generally have Keto-friendly fare with an eye on low sodium content. This weekend we might have had more cheese than necessary, but there was plenty of green and white veggies to compensate. You will seldom see us with no (or too few) vegetables or salad and that’s a good thing.

We have yet to finalize next weekend’s menu (Valentine’s weekend) but you can almost always see what we’re thinking on the Food Blog. I’m sure Verna and I will come up with something wonderful.

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June Flowers

Saguaro Flowers Red Bird of Paradise Flower
Bishop’s Cap Cactus Flowers Fishhook Cactus Flowers

June is another colorful month here in our Arizona abode in which we have many late spring flowers opening. Upper left above is the Arizona State Flower of the Saguaro Cactus. Our big saguaro had many of these since May and there are a few late comers yet to open. Upper right is the showy and colorful Red Bird of Paradise flower. This is a close up of one of many, many currently open in the courtyard. Lower Left is our reliable old Bishop’s Cap cactus with too many open flowers to count, which is a regular thing for this little barrel cactus, even in the other months of the year. Finally, at lower right is the little rescued Fish Hook Cactus in a pot out back with two open flowers. There will be several more to come as June continues. Click on any of the images to enlarge.

Even though the Fish Hook and Saguaro Cactus Flowers will disappear soon, the Red Birds will continue to adorn our courtyard throughout the entire Summer and into the Second Spring months of Fall. The Bishop’s Cap will produce flowers on and off when it feels like doing so.

Update: 16 June - Some of our Cherry Red Cactus Flowers opened today:

Cherry Red Cactus Flower

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Hassayampa River in 3D

river3d.jpg

It’s been quite a while since I posted an anaglyph photo. Verna took an image pair of the riverbed way back in November of 2015 as we crossed the bridge over the Hassayampa River. I combined the images into the 3D anaglyph above. Click on the image to enlarge.

The river is dry above ground most of the year and looks as it does in this image or in its 2D counterpart (at the link in case you don’t have red/cyan glasses). During monsoon season or at other very heavy rainfall periods, this river gets quite full and flows with vigor downstream. This view is looking toward the north and upstream.

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Fragrant Gardenia Flowers

Fragrant Gardenia

I have been babying a gardenia bush that we bought a couple of years ago at one of the garden shops locally. This year, I moved it from the courtyard where it gets a lot of abusive sun to a nook in the back patio where it gets some sun, but not too much. Pictured above is one of several (6 maybe) open flowers on the bush today.

This is the first year since we bought the bush that it has produced many flowers and buds. They might all open soon and I’m hoping that second spring will bring more on October or so. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Updated Blog Banners

House Current Appearance

The blog header image we were using here has become obsolete because the appearance of our house has changed quite a bit since eight years ago when the original header was created. I went out today and got the image above with a 17mm wide-angle lens on my Canon SL1. I added the graphic titles and cropped the image as shown in the new header at the top of the page.

The old header, shown below for reference, contained landscape items no longer seen and much less mature xeriscape items. We removed several creosote trees and added a retaining wall by the lower RV drive and in front of the house by the road.

Old Banner

I also updated the banner on our Food Blog.

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Mid-April Cactus Flowers

Star Cactus Flower Hedgehog Cactus Flower
Beavertail Cactus Flowers Two Beavertail Flowers

Spring Months in our part of Arizona is always a colorful spectacle with the various native and some imported flowers. The native flowers above are the three with pink, being Hedgehog Cactus Flower (above right) and Beavertail Cactus Flowers (both lower pictures). The non-native is an Astrophytum (Star Cactus) flower whose cactus species is native to other parts of North America including Mexico.

The Star Cactus does well here and has given us many flowers, not always confined to spring like the others shown. Given our mild winters here, the Star and its cousin the Bishop’s Cap Cactus show flowers several times during the year.

Click on any of the images to enlarge.

UPDATE: 04/22/20 - Argentine Giant Cactus Flowers

Argentine Giant Cactus Flowers

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