After downloading my 150 pics and deleting most, I kept this one because I hadn't realized how much better my sickliest madrone looks since I put that little terrace beside it last year. The bird I was photographing in it is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. They over-winter at the oasis every year.
On the subject of plants, the cenizo (Texas Ranger) doesn't bloom no matter how much water I give it. Then we get a mere .15" of rain and it blooms beautifully. So frustrating. It shows there's something else in fresh rain water versus the old rain water I give them that they need.
I lost track of how many Butterfly Bushes I bought that didn't survive. This one is small but so far looks healthy. It even put on a bloom. It survived last winter. I think if it survives this coming winter, it'll be good.
While wandering around looking for butterflies I spied this cactus. Since today is one of my sisters' birthday I was thinking about my sisters. I thought, "there we [we three that live here] are with our kids." (Yes. I do talk to my plants, but rarely out loud.)
But there's another sister that just winters down here. "Too bad she's not on the cactus," I thought. And lo and behold, I walked around to the side and there was a fourth "sister." How weird is that!
It has been exactly 3 months since the oasis has had any appreciable amount of rain. Sometimes I just have to focus on what is right in my life and minimize what isn't. A lot to be grateful for. This pesky Rock Squirrel isn't one of the things I appreciate, but it held this pose for so long that I finally relented and snapped a few photos of it.
Saw my first White-crowned Sparrow for this season. They over-winter here, too. This one is probably the oriantha subspecies because of its orange-ish bill. And it's a juvenile, so is harder to ID.
I get confused because different author's call them different names. There's the Taiga per Sibley, and Oriantha or Leucophrys per Jon Dunn (Birding magazine June1995), etc.
Finally, saw my first of season Hermit Thrush. Summer's come and gone, rainlessly. Tomorrow's another day. Planning to do Lajitas.
UPDATE: Kelly corrected me on the sparrow ID. Orange bill /gambelii; pink bill / oriantha. As usual, when I have a 50-50 chance of getting it right, I get it wrong.