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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Slow winter day at oasis

The weather was lovely, but not much going on. I've still only seen one butterfly species for the year, and no dragonflies. The feeders were empty so I filled them and headed back to town. No need just sitting there building a fire in the stove to keep warm. I have some projects I want to do in town. Someone gave me a perfect dead agave stalk for my Elf Owls. Just gotta figure out how to get it to the oasis.

Want to caulk my son's shed, and make a duck nest for our ducks. (I wouldn't, but my husband insists.) Still have at least one [female] Anna's Hummingbird at the oasis.

Yuccas are starting to bloom along the road to the oasis.

Gonna be an early spring.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Moving right along


The shed is done and my son is headed back to Austin.

While waiting for it to warm up enough to paint the trim I ran out to the cemetery hoping to get photos of a Harris Hawk that's been seen there but I couldn't locate it. Did see a Vermillion Flycatcher there though. Nice to see a live one after the dead one I found on our patio (See post of January 16)

I saw a different Rufous Hummingbird at our town feeder today, not the one with the broken bill. I can't help but think the Rufous hummers just roam around in the winter, for no reason other than that's what they've evolved to do. Maybe those that roam have a better chance at survival. Otherwise, I don't see why one doesn't just hang around here. I check the feeder dozens of times every day and only saw this hummer the one time.

Heading to the oasis early in the morning. Can't wait.

UPDATE: Just before dark it rained in Alpine. Great that the shed is done, except there is a little caulking I was planning to do on it before it rained. He used old used metal on the back side and it had old screw holes in it that I'm going to caulk. Shouldn't have procrastinated.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

January blues

I was surprised to learn there is such a thing as January blues and it's not just me. I feel better already.

My Austin son is in town to finish up the storage shed he's building on the lot he bought last year. Slowly transitioning to Alpine. Here are both sons working on it.

I think he plans to finish it tomorrow. Even though he left Austin at 4 AM, he only had half day to work today.

The Rufous Hummingbird with a broken bill is still visiting my feeders. I first saw it a week ago. (This photo was taken today.)

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Window pain

On January 11 I posted a photo of this female Rufous Hummingbird with a broken bill, probably caused by a collision with a window screen.

Photo taken in bad light late in day

Today I saw the bird again and it seems the bill is healing (per Kelly Bryan).

This poor Vermillion Flycatcher wasn't so lucky. I found him at the base of the patio storm door yesterday. I remember about a week or so ago I heard a thud against the door's window, but when I checked I didn't see a bird. I'm sure this is the unlucky victim. Sad! That's the first casualty I've had from that door. Hopefully, the last. (I had moved him out onto the yard before I thought to take a photo.)

Monday, January 13, 2020

Life in the slow lane

I got a late start this morning because I helped Hugh process some of the feral hog meat before I headed to the oasis. So I missed prime birding time, and didn't get a lot done today.

One of the 3 oranges from this season is visible on this photo
It was nice to arrive to a cleaner house than I normal do. That inspired me to clean the oven and broom closet. Had to service feeders and start watering too. Will finish watering in the morning. Everything is getting done slowly, bit by bit. Not to say I'll ever catch up. Stuff breaks down faster than I can keep up with. Just going as fast as I can.

Although no hummers, the weather was in the 70s with no wind, so a beautiful day. Even found some globemallow blooming. Not bad for January.

Sphaeralcea angustifolia
The courtyard isn't too depressing, thanks to the palm tree. Sure hope we have a wet and early spring though.

I rerouted the hose going to the water feature drip at the oasis. Had I done that before that big freeze I wouldn't have lost that 10,000 gallons of water. Or if it did leak, it would have been under the cottonwood tree and into the wildlife pond, which wouldn't have been such a calamity. I just have to be thankful that I have enough water to make it through to rainy season. No way am I going to entertain the thought that we might not get summer monsoons this year. All thoughts are positive.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Hog butchering (not for the squeamish)

Feral hogs are the best meat I've ever eaten, but processing the meat is a pain. We did two this morning and we're both exhausted.


I have a chance to snap photos while my husband is resting, otherwise I have to hold the carcass still while he butchers.

After I hose the meat off good we put it in the refrigerator to cut up and package another day.

And now for a nap. Oasis in the morning.