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Friday, October 11, 2013

CMO goings ons

Experience has taught me that I should grow my citrus in the shade. Not only that, but the neighbors who are growing citrus have learned to keep theirs shaded. The difference from what I'm trying to do and what they're doing is that they're growing theirs for the fruit, and I'm growing mine for the butterflies. So I can select based on cold hardiness, and am not going to heat a greenhouse. But I still have dilemmas, and I don't want to get it wrong. For now, they'll stay in pots in the courtyard in the shade. It seldom freezes in the courtyard (not counting Feb of 2011) and that's the only place pots are safe from damaging wildlife, although sometimes squirrels dig up potted plants in the courtyard. I think I have the Ptelea protected from squirrels, however.


Well, Brian's larva is pupating, so the next pics of it will be as a chrysalis. He doesn't know how long that will take, maybe quite a few days. This is his first Ornythion.

I turned on the well when I got here and it didn't get the water up to the house, so that means we'll have to have the old pump pulled out and have a new one put in. Very expensive. At least the well's not dry. Could be worse.

Not many interesting birds today. Here's a Townsend's Solitaire that's been hanging around.
























There is one hummingbird that caught my attention. In the courtyard I heard what I thought was the distinctive squeak of a Costa's. There was no feeder in the courtyard, and very few flowers, so I rushed to hang a feeder. Since I just got to the oasis today after four days in town I was rushing around working, but took time out to watch for it. Didn't actually see it until late afternoon when I heard the squeak and got a look at it. The light was low and I couldn't make out the gorget color (no camera, no binoculars). I had just run outside to move the water hose. By the time I got my camera, it was gone and I didn't see it again, although I heard its wingbeat (not squeak) briefly one more time. Tomorrow I'm going to concentrate on getting a photo of it. If females don't "sing," then it's a young male. I saw some gorget feathers in the center of its throat. I won't count it without a diagnostic photo.

Other than that, here's a photo of a few Desert Checkered-Skippers.They're abundant right now.


I snapped a few photos as I sat in the courtyard waiting until dark for the potential Costa's to show up.



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