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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Winter is over.....again.

Started out at 32° this morning. I was down sprinkling what trees I could, just it case, but everything is fine. There was a light frost at our place in Alpine. My husband thinks a few of the tomato plants may have been damaged even though he covered them. Oh well, I planted extra.

By this afternoon I was sweating in the tank, and didn't finish it. Will have to finish it tomorrow before summer gets any hotter. Here it is after I swept out all the silt I could yesterday, which was 30 gallons.

Today I scraped off as much of the flaking 20 year old coating on the floor (another 10 gallons to haul up the ladder and down the other ladder on the other side) as I could. I became too exhausted to coat the whole tank bottom but will surely finish it tomorrow. Pics then. That's an acacia branch hanging over the edge of the tank. I would have cut it off had I noticed it.

Around 4 PM I collapsed into a chair under the mulberry trees to see what birds were around. Just the same ones from yesterday. I heard an Elf Owl calling for a really long time so went to investigate. It was the female from the second oasis nest. I guess maybe she didn't get fed much last night because of the cold and is impatient for dusk so her food deliveries will resume.

I worked really hard years ago to put up that nest box without help. It was a killer; a very heavy log to hoist way up in the air. Actually, it's the log this nest box is wired to that was the killer. I figured a Ladder-backed Woodpecker might peck a hole in the big log. Otherwise it would shade this one from the hot afternoon sun.

Two years ago a Western Screech-Owl used it for a month or so. See post of March 29, 2013 of the screech-owl in the same hole for size comparisons. So erecting the log has been well worth the effort. I personally think this nest is better insulated than the agave stalk the other pair are using, but what do I know? The female is the one that chooses the nest site. I try to make sure she has plenty of choices. I hope the hole isn't too big on this one that the nest could get predated. Ash-throated Flycatchers have nested in it a time or two. The "pole" is a pipe so nothing can climb it. I built it with a screech-owl in mind. I never thought anything else would use it. Of course, flickers roost in it in the winter time. 

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