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Friday, August 16, 2019

Life in quicksand

Sotol crop
Trying to keep my head above the quicksand. So much going on. I rushed to the oasis this morning to do my feeders and water, then come back to town in time for my Austin son's visit. When I got to the oasis, with bags of seed for the seed feeder, it was ripped down. Not bears, but a squirrel had chewed through the rope.

 So I put up a temporary cable until I can get a chain. I'm sure that big squirrel can eat through these strands of cable wires one by one.

While I was watering the courtyard I saw this interesting damselfly. Got it ID'd as a female Lavender Dancer. I had that species at the oasis before but it was a male and I didn't get a good photo, so am glad to have a better photo of that species from the oasis.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Lucifer Hummingbird photography

A gifted photographer, Lee Hoy, posted this wonderful photo of a juvenile male Lucifer Hummingbird.

In 2013 I accidentally shot a photo in a similar style with my Canon. No idea how. Mine, of course, isn't nearly as aesthetically pleasing as Lee's for many reasons.

These days I only use my little Lumix on "auto," so not likely I'll ever learn the technique, but it's my idea of perfection. Reminds me somewhat of David Sibley's fantastically successful illustrations that he used in his bird guide, but better. Sure wish a bird guide would come out using Lee's type of photography.

Sibley illustration

Bambi ran

A week or so ago a birder visiting our Alpine habitat reported seeing a fawn near the ponds. I hadn't been able to relocate it until today when I accidentally flushed it. Trying to maneuver for an unobstructed photo of it caused it to flee. Last I saw it, it was running down the street. I don't know if it has a mother that comes back to it, or if it's on its own, but I never see an adult around. Hmmm....

I needed an ode fix so dropped by Alpine Creek (adjacent to Kokernot Park) today. Here's a Plateau Dragonlet. (I have them at our ponds in Alpine too.)

I saw a female Blue-eyed Darner dead in the creek and fished it out for a photo. Yuck!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

No country for man or beast

It was 108° today when I headed to town. Now I have plenty of water to keep things happy and not the energy to endure the heat in order to apply the water every day, which is what it would take in this heat. But most things are looking decent. Surely it'll rain any day!

Some odes are so lovely that even though they're common, I just can't resist photographing them. Perfect example is this Neon Skimmer. He looks all painted up to do the town, including red lipstick. 💋

And got a better photo of a Great Pondhawk. I don't know why I love that species so much.

Red and green. Christmas colors at the Christmas Mountains Oasis every day.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Unnotable day

After doing basically nothing yesterday I had to get some work done today, whether I wanted to or not. Not. But my knee is getting better. So I watered a bunch today. Will be easy to finish tomorrow morning. Then I took a long healing nap, then swept the courtyard, and did a little pruning in it. As usual, forgot to take photos. The festival will be bringing groups here in a little over a week and I don't want to wait until the last minute to do what cleaning I feel is necessary. And my standards are low, believe me.

Not really any interesting things to photograph today. Here are a few that I consider poor quality shots from today. That's it.

The first one is a juvenile male Lucifer. The feeders are swarming with hummers. I fill about 8 feeders a day, as they get empty, when I'm here. There are a couple dozen hanging at any given time. Before I head back to town I'm going to have to add more feeders.

Next is a damselfly that I guess is a Double-striped Bluet, although it looks a little different to me. I just don't know what else it can be. Bad light or something, because it's a terrible photo. Sometimes I think the "Intelligent Auto" on my camera doesn't engage. Other features are iffy too, but I can't complain. I really have abused the camera and sometimes it takes surprisingly good photos.

Great Pondhawk
This Painted Lady looked so fresh and perfect flitting around, but when I downloaded my photo I see wear and tear. That happens to me a lot.

Just another day. Of course, every day is a gift at my age.😃

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Another scorcher

I came to the oasis a day early so I could just enjoy the place without having to triage tasks. But I felt real guilty not working. Was hoping for some good dragonflies, but not to be. It got up to 104° this afternoon. Once it started cooling down I sat on a chair by the big tank for awhile looking at odes. A deer wanted to drink but wouldn't come in until I left.

My knee is much better but I can tell I dare not push my luck. Probably for as long as I shall live. 

I saw this spider. I guess it's a Black Widow, although the red spots don't really look like an hourglass. Maybe a West Texas variation.

Coming in on Terlingua Ranch Road this morning, I stopped and snapped a photo of our mountain in relations to the area to the NW of it where Eastwood Mesa is located on old maps, erroneously, I believe. The distance makes it look bigger in comparison than it is, but that little ramp-shaped peak on the right of this photo is in the area of the map of Eastwood Mesa, but our mountain dwarfs it in size. So why would that puny hill have a name and ours not? Gotta be a mistake. (See post of Aug 1st for map, etc.) Lots of mistakes were made when mapping Terlingua Ranch in the old days. It's a surveyor's nightmare.

Our mountain far left