Thursday, July 20, 2006

Drama in the Desert

This morning I heard agitated bird sounds and I discovered almost every kind of bird, all congregated in one tree, squawking their hearts out. Then, I saw a snake (Coachwhip) descend from the tree with a small bird which I'm guessing was a fledgling. It slithered into the bushes with the bird. After awhile the birds calmed down.

Later, in the afternoon, I heard squawking again on the other side of the house and I saw a number of different bird species harassing the snake. The Gray Thrasher was actually jabbing the snake repeatedly with its sharp beak as the snake slithered into the bushes. Wow. It all happened too fast to get a photo.

Prickly Pear

All of the Opuntias are growing now. Each one of these cute little polka dots consists of a zillion little spines.

Hooded Oriole Nestling

Looks like it will be ready to fly in the next few days. The net is to keep the palapa roof from blowing apart in a hurricane.

First Day Out of the Nest for Hooded Oriole

Hooded Oriole Nestling

Quail Babies

Quail Family

I think these guys just hatched a few days ago. We see them everyday.

Zamia Strobili

Zamias are primitive plants with cone-like reproductive structures called strobuli. They are surprisingly hard and inflexible to the touch. This is the "first time" for this plant.


These are active in the daytime.


Well, it was enough to get excited about, but not enough to have much effect. I'm guessing that we got around 1/4". Better than nothing.


Carpenter Bee at Palo Brazil Flower

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Hooded Oriole Nestlings

I had to peek. This nest is on the palapa (palm thatched) roof of the garage so I climbed the ladder. There are two nestlings and you can see the beak of one in the center of the photo. I wanted a shot of both of their little heads bobbing up with open beaks, but I didn't want to disturb them too much, so this will have to do.

Aloe Hybrid

There aren't many flowers this time of year so this is a treat.

Hooded Oriole Dad Feeding Babies

We can always tell when the eggs hatch since the Oriole parents start making non-stop flights to the nests with insects to feed the hatchlings. This nest is under a Coconut Palm leaf and must be like a roller coaster when the wind blows. We hear the babies cheep cheep cheeping for more food all day long. When their noise stops, we'll know that they flew off. One time the fledglings stayed in our garden for 2 days after fledging. We could find them by their begging sounds.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Snake Attacks Cute Little Bunny in Afternoon

We heard alarm cries from the bunny and discovered that a Coachwhip snake had pinned the bunny tight to the ground. We watched for about 15 minutes and the bunny was alive, but struggling. I checked back in 30 minutes and both were gone. We haven't seen either one of them since. We'd seen the snake drinking from the birdbath the day before. Drama in the desert!

Cute Little Bunny Hops Away in Morning

Cute Little Bunny

I accidentally watered this little bunny in the morning.

Western Whiptail

They can really dig.


Queen Caterpillars

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Flower of the Day


Coral Vine

Native vine blooming with warmer weather.