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Friday, April 20, 2018

Couldn't stand it anymore

Sitting in town thinking about the oasis, I had my work caught up, so didn't see why I needed to wait until morning to come down. In a few minutes I had my ice chest packed and was headed south. Had to make a quick stop halfway to photograph the sunset. So all is well with the world.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Be careful what you ask for

Mac is always hoping to see wildlife at the oasis, such as bears, mountain lions....  Well, early this AM as he was sitting quietly near the back water feature, the old collared mountain lion showed up to drink. The lion apparently never knew Mac was there. That lion is in sad shape, and I think the people that collared it should put it down. (Photo courtesy of Mac) He shot this with his cell phone since the lion was too close to him (about 7 feet) to use the big lens he had on his big camera.  The close encounter left Mac, understandably, a little shaken. You never know what a lion that's not strong enough to catch its normal prey (javelina) will do. (I posted a video clip of this lion May 4, 2017)

Here's all of it he could get with his big lens.

Yesterday my sister joined me in giving tours to the Alpine Garden Club. Here are a few of the photos taken by Lois Leofsky. Thanks for these, Lois!

Mac sitting in his mountain lion viewing spot

Ann even gave them a tour of her house

You can view all her photos from yesterday here:!Aspq8yejVO-4nl8YV07dJdDVcjNz

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Busy time of year

It's non-stop birders these days but at least the birds are showing up in good numbers. No place else to go in the drought. Didn't have time to take many pics today, and nothing real interesting to photograph.

Here's something interesting though. The pond in the courtyard has water lilies that make huge root masses that, in turn, collect dirt. Things grow in that mass. Here's a photo of two oleander bushes that sprouted in the pond. I have pink varieties growing nearby, but I've no idea where the white one came from.

American Robin visited.

And here's that Prickly Pear blooming over the septic tank leech-field.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Migration moving along

The hummers are back at the feeders. Quite a few migrants coming through. And the first Varied Bunting for the year arrived right on time. Some professional photographers visited this morning and one of their target birds was that bunting. I checked my records and told them it should arrive today. Finally, after they had their cameras packed up and were ready to leave the bunting arrived. So they didn't get a photo, although they unpacked and waited, but it was a lifer for one of them.

And Mac is back! It was 7 PM and I still hadn't taken a photo today. I just couldn't find anything to justify the effort. Not feeling well, but not sick either. Gonna try vitamins for sure. Mac spotted Aoudads way up on top of my mountain in the sun's afterglow. Here's his shot of it.

by Mac Womack

In this dry spell the trees are sparsely leafed out, but at least they're alive until better times come.

Entering the courtyard after dark I heard an Elf Owl calling near me. Managed a photo of it by using flash on my Lumix, but had no way to focus the lens in the dark. Here's the little bugger barking at me. Cameras always will be a mystery to me, I suppose.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Glad to get to CMO

I think I saw my first ever Hog-nosed Skunk this evening. I was hanging out at the oasis right at dusk. No camera, so I ran for my Canon in my pickup. Since there was such low light I should have grabbed the Lumix instead. By the time I got back to where it was, it was disappearing. And I didn't want to get close, even if I could have. So all I got are a couple of blurry shots as it ambled off. (If you want to see a better shot of it, I posted Mac's shot on September 18, 2017.)

And here's a West Texas Northern Cloudywing. (Is that an oxymoron?)

I didn't arrive at the oasis until after 5 PM due to a late dentist appointment in town, but tomorrow I'll have the whole day to water and take pictures. Feeling puny. Thinking I need to take vitamins.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Challenging weather for tomatoes

Wind raged all day yesterday, then last night it got down to 34° again.  But most days are hot. The poor tomatoes don't know if they're coming or going. I think some of the blooms were lost, but the tomatoes are OK. I know all this adverse weather slows them down.

The third of my four Buttonbush plants is putting on leaves, so I expect all four will survive. Can't wait for them to get big and bloom. 

Lots of Black-chinned Hummingbirds at my feeders here in town but haven't seen one at CMO for days. Just seeing an occasional Lucifer there.

I'm feeling pretty good these days. No ill effects from the canyon walk with my sister the other day.