Photography

Happy New Year — 2023

Happy 2023!

The photo in the image above is of “Hieroglyph Ridge” (a name I made up) taken from the road that runs in front of our house. The original without the graphic greeting can be seen here.

Vulture Peak

12/15/2022 — Verna and I took a drive out to the Humane Society yesterday to drop off a few pet supplies that we no longer needed. On the way back, Verna took this photo of Vulture Peak on the drive back to town for the rest of our errands. The unique profile of this particular ridge is a symbol of our town and a reminder of the adjacent Vulture Mine discovered by Town Founder Henry Wickenburg.

Prior to dropping off the pet stuff, we stopped at the barber shop to drop off some Lemons and a quart of homemade Limoncello. We also did our grocery shopping a day early since we have a doctor appointment at our usual shopping time.

It was a good day of retirement and we got a lot of stuff done.

Roadrunner Catching a Bee

We saw a roadrunner behind the RV drive this afternoon when coming home from our daily walk. I took several photos of it after going into the house and coming back out with my camera. At one point on its trek on the little hill back there, it caught a bee. I guess insects are part of their daily diet.

From Wikipedia — Greater Roadrunner (Geococcys Californianus) Food and foraging habits:

The roadrunner is an opportunistic omnivore. Its diet normally consists of insects (such as grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, and beetles), small reptiles (such as lizards and snakes, including rattlesnakes), rodents and other small mammals, spiders (including tarantulas), scorpions, centipedes, snails, small birds (and nestlings), eggs, and fruits and seeds like those from prickly pear cactuses and sumacs. The roadrunner forages on the ground and, when hunting, usually runs after prey from under cover. It may leap to catch insects, and commonly batters certain prey against the ground. Because of its quickness, the roadrunner is one of the few animals that preys upon rattlesnakes; it is also the only real predator of tarantula hawk wasps.

Image above: Catching a bee. Image below: Greater Roadrunner. Click on either image to enlarge.

A Decade of Feeding the Birds

Actually, we’ve been feeding the birds for longer than a decade. We used to have feeders in our California home for years before we moved to Arizona. It’s more like two and a half decades we’ve fed the birds.

We took these two images ten years apart to the day in our Arizona back yard. Above is a cardinal snacking on a seed bell, the image taken on 10/24/2012. Below is a cactus wren pecking at a seed block, the image was taken the afternoon of 10/24/2022.

I took he top image with my old Canon A710 IS compact camera which I still have and use regularly. I took the image of the cactus wren with my Canon EOS Rebel SL1. I took the cardinal photo early afternoon and the cactus wren late afternoon when the sun was behind the mesquite tree so the lighting is not as good. Click on either image to enlarge.

Photo Update


I thought that I posted these last April when these photos were taken, but I couldn’t find them when I looked for them earlier today. Anyhow, these were posed to send to our friend Patty who is retired and living in North Carolina. We have been friends for a very long time and now that Patty is living alone, we try to correspond with her on a regular basis. Verna sent these in a letter to her just a week or so ago.

Top photo: Verna and Tucker. Bottom photo: Bob and Cabela.

Click on either photo to enlarge.

Red Bird Season Almost Over

It’s that time of the fall when the Red Bird Of Paradise (Pride of Barbados) shrubs in the courtyard are about through with their production of gorgeous flowers (and pea pods). Within the next few days, we will be cutting them back to the ground for the winter. However, they will be back by next late May or early June for another colorful season.

The image above (click to enlarge) is of some of the last flowers on one of the shrubs. Canon EOS Rebel T6i, 1/1024 sec, F5.6, ISO 250, EF-S18-135mm lens @89mm.

More about these flowering shrubs from Wikipedia:

Caesalpinia pulcherrima is a species of flowering plant in the pea family.

It is a shrub growing to 3 m tall. In climates with few to no frosts, this plant will grow larger and is semievergreen. Grown in climates with light to moderate freezing, plant will die back to the ground depending on cold, but will rebound in mid- to late spring. This species is more sensitive to cold than others. The leaves are bipinnate, 20–40 cm long, bearing three to 10 pairs of pinnae, each with six to 10 pairs of leaflets 15–25 mm long and 10–15 mm broad. The flowers are borne in racemes up to 20 cm long, each flower with five yellow, orange, or red petals. The fruit is a pod 6–12 cm long.

UPDATE 10/07/2022: One down, two to go. There are still viable flower pods opening on the remaining two shrubs, so they will be there for another week or two.

UPDATE 10/16/2022: We took advantage of a break in the weather (we’ve been getting some rain) and removed shrub #2 and part of shrub #3 this morning. We don’t usually do chores on the Lord’s Day, but the whole operation took less than half an hour, so I guess we’re going to be OK with it.

UPDATE 10/17/2022: Verna and I finished off the removal of the last Red Bird shrub today. The courtyard now has only the bottlebrush shrubs which are winter hearty in this climate. There was one last cluster of flowers still remaining on the last red bird.

So, with this last (clickable) image, we say good-bye until spring to these beautiful flowers.