Catch and Release

Trapped

Release

One of the little antelope ground squirrels in the area has been making itself a bit of a pest by digging up Verna’s bulbs and roots in the courtyard. Earlier today, I set up the Havahart small animal trap with a piece of bread and peanut butter for bait. It wasn’t more than a half hour later that Cabela let us know the trap had been sprung.

Ever since we unwittingly caught a cactus wren in a rat trap by the trash barrels, it has been our policy to catch and release the pests. We caught this little guy in the courtyard and released it at Tractor Supply, about a mile away. That should work to keep it away from Verna’s garden for a while.

Click on either image to enlarge.

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Saguaro Flowers

Saguaro Flower

Late spring of 2018 has been quite the saguaro flower show in our Sonoran Desert. Our big cactus out front has had many and will have many more flowers opening.

From Wikipedia:

Flowers appear in April through June. They are white and open well after sunset and close in mid-afternoon. They continue to produce nectar after sunrise.[8] Flowers are self-incompatible, thus require cross-pollination. Large quantities of pollen are required for complete pollination because many ovules are present. This pollen is produced by the extremely numerous stamens which in one case totaled 3,482 in a single flower. A well-pollinated fruit contains several thousand tiny seeds. Saguaros have a redundant pollination system, i.e. full fruit set is possible even if only a fraction of the pollinating species are present.

Main pollinators are honey bees, bats, and white-winged doves. In most years, diurnal visitors are the main contributors for fruit, most of them honey bees. Other diurnal pollinators are birds such as Costa’s hummingbird, the black-chinned hummingbird, the broad-billed hummingbird, the hooded oriole, Scott’s oriole, the Gila woodpecker, the gilded flicker, the verdin, and the house finch.

We have enjoyed the “Bumper Crop” of flowers this year. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Colors in the Courtyard

Colors in the Courtyard
 
Pride of Barbados

It’s late spring and the Red Bird of Paradise colors are coming back to the courtyard. A.k.a Pride of Barbados, our Caesalpinia pulcherrima shrubs are beginning to show their summer colors of red, orange and yellow.

Flowers are currently open on the western most shrub but with others rapidly forming on the other two shrubs in the courtyard. Click on either image to enlarge.

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New Hat and New Earrings

New Hat and New Earrings

We’re in Hawthorne, Nevada tonight. Verna and I went into the gift shop at the RV park where we’re camped and walked out after purchasing a new hat and a pair of turquoise earrings for her.

Has it really been over a month since we’ve posted here? Been busy with family matters and vacation from retirement. ;)

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Low-Flying Turkey Buzzard

Turkey Buzzard

While we were outside today enjoying the warm spring weather, a turkey buzzard dropped down from its normal higher soaring altitude and buzzed the back yard. I got this shot with my Canon SL1 EOS and the 300mm telephoto lens.

We call them “buzzards,” but the nomenclature “vulture” is more official for Cathartes aura. This is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

The turkey vulture received its common name from the resemblance of the adult’s bald red head and its dark plumage to that of the male wild turkey, while the name “vulture” is derived from the Latin word vulturus, meaning “tearer”, and is a reference to its feeding habits. The word buzzard is used by North Americans to refer to this bird.

The bird didn’t stay long and swooped away on its quest for desert cadavers. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Cartoon Cowboy Mural

Cartoon Cowboy Mural

The Cartoon Caricatures mural on the building at Yavapai and Frontier near the Chamber of Commerce Train Station has some improved graphics and colors these days. I took this photo on Friday. You can compare it to the one I took in November of last year (at the link above). Click on the image to enlarge.

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Saguaro and Sun Dogs

Saguaro and Sun Dogs

Just before we departed for an errand this afternoon, we noticed some solar rainbows positioned to the left and right side of the sun. I took my camera behind the big saguaro out front and used it as a shield to capture the image above.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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