patinagle16: (headshot)
This decal helps keep birds from crashing into the window.  Getting a little faded after a few years of service.

2013-01-13
patinagle16: (headshot)
Bluebirds and a robin sharing the bird bath this morning.  The bath is heated, so on a cold day like today it's the only water around.


2013-01-11
patinagle16: (headshot)
This is the view from our deck.  The San Pedro Mountains.

2013-01-04
patinagle16: (aurora)
Mishka had a small seizure this morning.  Not too bad.  It's been about two weeks since the last one so not unexpected.

Yesterday a Willamson's Sapsucker visited our bird bath.  I'd never seen one before.  Very, very cool!  At first I thought this was a flicker, but the belly was yellow and the black bib went all the way down the chest, so not.  We get flickers a lot, but with orange bellies, not the yellow. 

It's a La Niña year, which is bad news for us.  It means a dry winter, which means a bad fire season next year.  We've had one snowfall in early November, and that's it.  Kind of hard to get into the holiday spirit because of that, but yesterday I went out and made my Yule wreath.  This involves lopping some lower limbs off of trees that can use it, cutting up the greens, and putting them into the wreath frame.  Add a bow and hang it up.

Swarmed!

Sep. 14th, 2010 10:24 am
patinagle16: (Default)
Since the visit from the bear I haven't been putting out seed for the birds.  After the summer rains, though, we've had fewer bear reports, so I went ahead and put some out today.

Ye gods!  Has no one been feeding these birds?  I'm swarmed with scrub jays and doves.  The jays are bickering over the seed - very excited.  They don't act this way when there's food out regularly for them.  I expect they'll settle down if I start keeping seed out for them.

It's definitely fall.  It was chilly this morning, and two of my three biggest aspens have turned.  I'll try to snap a pic to post.
patinagle16: (Default)
Saw a hummingbird today. They're still coming through, but I've only been seeing one at a time at the feeder, instead of swarms. No fights.

Last night I put the heater in the bird bath. This morning, a dusting of snow. Wednesday we are supposed to get whomped.

We were out running errands today and a roadrunner crossed the road in front of us. Not very fast; we had to swerve to avoid hitting him.

The coolest birds we've seen lately were a flock of about 8 wild turkeys on the road to our neighborhood, Saturday morning. First time we've seen them in the area!
patinagle16: (aurora)
Saw the first junco of the season today. Still a few hummingbirds, but not throngs. Flickers invaded a couple of weeks ago.

In Between

Feb. 10th, 2009 12:39 pm
patinagle16: (aurora)
Snow today. Looks very wintery, but there are the pansies. Also some seedlings I planted indoors a week ago are already poking up their tiny heads.

Spring here is often windy, which is no fun. It can also snow as late as early May. So regardless of the weather, it's still spring for me.

Lots of bluebirds and robins in the bird bath. Pine siskins gobbling thistle. A couple of days ago we're pretty sure we saw some cedar waxwings, a first for us in this location. I'd heard they were in the area, and had been wanting to see them.

Now the sun is coming out, though it's still snowing. Sun flurries.
patinagle16: (Default)
I was out of town last week, and in the meantime it snowed, killing my tomato plants. The kits did quite well with their new cat-sitter (very professional, costs more but worth it). DH and I and four other friends crammed in all kinds of fun adventures in New Orleans, from a graveyard tour to Oak Alley plantation. Ate a lot of wonderful food, too, and heard some good music.

Our first morning home we were awakened by a flicker pounding on the outside wall, another sign of cooler weather. Today we put away the swamp cooler. Have not yet lit a fire in the wood stove, but did have it swept out before we left. We have a good supply of firewood.

The mountains seem to be holding their breath, waiting for the colder season. Aspens have mostly finished their golden glory. Here's a picture I took a couple of weeks ago.

In writing-related news, I've turned in revisions on book 2 of the fantasy series. I also recently posted about an interesting cover art coincidence on the Novelists, Inc. blog. And earlier this month I celebrated my fifth anniversary of writing two new pages every day.
patinagle16: (comonplace)
Hummingbirds are gone this week. Instead, the flickers are starting to come around.

Time to get the chimney swept.

Autumn

Sep. 22nd, 2008 10:14 pm
patinagle16: (Default)


It's the equinox. Time to pause and look at where we are in the season.

To me, this is not the first day of Autumn, but the middle of Autumn. Weather is decidedly cooler; we haven't used the air conditioner for a couple of weeks. Days are just about perfect, nights beginning to be cool. The hummingbirds are still around and there are lots of robins in the bird bath. Pansies, nasturtiums, petunias, bachelor's buttons are blooming happily. Tomatoes are ripening in the garden. It's time to harvest herbs.

And the piñons! We have a good crop going this year, as evidenced by the dozens of cars alongside the road. Families come to pick piñon (pine nuts) wherever the trees grow--which around here is pretty much everywhere. We have quite a few on our land, and I went out and gathered a couple of handfuls of nuts already. Must get serious about it and bring in a good harvest, but I've been busy with revisions.

My fantasy novel, The Betrayal, launches in six months, on the Spring Equinox. In honor of that, I've posted a free read to my website: "Kind Hunter," the story that sparked the novel.
patinagle16: (Default)
Was just out potting three more pines and had a visit from a hummingbird! First one I've seen this year. Sugar water is on the stove. Now to dig out the feeders.
patinagle16: (Default)

A couple of notable occurrances in the garden this week - the Russian sages started waking up and putting out leaves, and the hummingbirds are back. I was going to wait to put out the hummingbird feeders until May Day, but when I saw a hummer poking its nose at the thistle tube, I decided I'd better get the food out now.

Hummingbirds are so amazing. They are fearless, and have incredible amounts of energy. They are so small and so wonderfully beautiful. I was filling a seed tube the other day and one came to the feeder a few feet away from me, its throat flashing fuchsia in the sunlight. I always stop and stare when one comes near.

A friend pointed out this series of pictures of baby hummingbirds. Just incredible. Be sure to click "Next" at the bottom of each page.

2 pages today (weekend)
44 points in The Race
patinagle16: (Default)



Steller's jays are back in force this year. I only saw a couple all last winter, but so far this season I've seen five out in the yard. Beautiful bird. More info about it here on Cornell's Ornithology Lab website.

By the way, Cornell's lab sponsors Project Feederwatch, a great program through which bird-watchers collect and contribute data about what birds are in their area. The data is used for studies of migration and so on. And, it's also fun.

Follow-up on the ladderback - he recovered and was released. Nice to think it might be him out there hammering on the wall of the house.

Eight pages today.
patinagle16: (Default)


Today we took our ladderback woodpecker to the director of the local Wildlife Rescue, who told us she handles rehab for unusual birds--insectivores and others with special needs. All during the 45 minute drive, he was pecking and scrabbling at his cardboard box, informing us in no uncertain terms that he wanted out, thank you.

Good news: he is apparently uninjured. Might have flown into a window and stunned himself (though we found him a good twenty feet from any windows.) She'll keep him for a few days, then if all looks well he'll come back to be released up here in the mountains where we found him.

This is a picture of him on the edge of the hated box just before we took him to the rescuer. If you think he looks cranky here you should have seen him after the drive.

Beloved spouse informs me we're putting stickers on all the windows to keep birds from flying into them. This from the man who hates to put a nail in a wall. (I knew all along he was a softie.)

Two pages today, and started planning for a new book.

Autumn

Oct. 1st, 2005 08:59 pm
patinagle16: (Default)


In the past week the weather has changed noticeably. Even though it's only a few days past the equinox, it's colder at night. We're keeping windows closed more, wearing warmer clothes. Built the first fire of the season in our fireplace. The tea kettle is getting busier.

Outside, there are fewer goldfinches at the thistle feeder, fewer hummingbirds. I saw the first curve-billed thrasher since spring in the last week. And today, my beloved spouse found an injured ladder-back woodpecker in the yard. It's in a box now, staying warm and quiet until we can get it to Wildlife Rescue.

A reminder of how fragile life is. Appropriate to the season. This is the time for quiet reflection, for remembering what's now past and gone. A time to be grateful for what remains.

A year ago I began a small challenge with myself, to write at least two pages every single day. I'm glad I did, because this has kept me sane when the world seemed chaotic, given me something to do instead of stare at bad news on the television, and helped me build to other steady goals.

So, thank you to the writer who gave me the idea, Julie Hyzy. She's been at the two pages a day thing a lot longer than I have, something like four years, if I recall correctly. I'm just glad to be celebrating one year, and looking forward to celebrating two.

Two pages today (of course).
patinagle16: (Default)

Writers must spend a certain amount of time staring out the window. It's just part of the job. Having a great view is highly desirable, and I'm fortunate in that regard. Most days the Bird Show in my back yard is pretty good. Today it was a bust on account of snow, so I went back through some photos I took earlier. Thought I'd share this one of a Western Scrub Jay.

Six more pages, and the tea mug lid is functioning as a good substitute. Maybe I won't turn that teapot into a flower pot after all.

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