A Hummingbird tongue: “…the tongue works as an elastic micropump. “Fluid at the tip is driven into the tongue’s grooves by forces resulting from re-expansion of a collapsed section” of the tongue closer to the mouth.” Live Science Hummingbird Tongue
Anna’s Hummingbird during a rain storm – sitting on an Agave spine.
The Feather Files Name: Anna’s Hummingbird Species:Calypte anna Native to and Migration: These hummingbirds live exclusively in the Western United States, North Western Mexico and coastal South Western Canada. They either don’t migrate or else migrate a very short distance to better feeding grounds. Date Seen: February 20, 2019 Location: North of Fountain Hills, Arizona
Notes: These hummingbirds were feeding on the nectar of the red flowers of the Valentine bush (Eremophila Maculata Valentine or Emu Bush). When not feeding or diving, they would sit on the branches of our Pepper Tree or an Agave.
The Lighter Side of Arts, Crafts and Leisure Activities
I’m a ‘jack of all trades’ in the crafts department. I’ve never stuck with anything long enough to get really good at it… except for collecting quotes.
On the Crafts front, I’ve been collecting red Tim’s Iced Capp straws (so I can keep them out of where ever discarded straws go in my prairie province.) I wasn’t sure what to make out of them until I saw this sculpture by the artist David Moreno who makes these out of steel rods. I think I could use my red straws for a project like this – I have just about enough straws for the house on the far left…
We have a grapefruit tree at the Arizona house. Sometimes the fruit is oddly shaped, but it is delicious. I am more than optimistic that there will be enough fruit to last me until we go home, in addition to the fruit we will take to the post office every few days. No, we don’t mail it. Our post office simply has a box on a bench near the door where people share their fruit harvest.
Our post office also has an ‘alpha box’. This is a series of ‘pigeon holes’, each with a letter of the alphabet on it. You can ‘mail’ letters to anyone in our community (without buying postage) by putting them in the appropriate alpha box.
A Great Horned Owl on the Fence
It is impossible to not be optimistic about life when a Great Horned Owl sits on your fence.
He respects Owl, because you can’t help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn’t spell it right.
– A. A. Milne –
How to Know When a Politician is Out of Touch
Catherine McKenna is Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change. She was lamenting about the cold. She had apparently not noticed how cold Canada gets every winter.
What examples have you heard where politicians in your community appear to have lost touch with common sense?
One Thing Leads to Another – Telemarketers
We are kind of like this dog when it comes to our home phone. Even though we know that 99% of the time a ringing home phone is a telemarketer, we still go over to the phone to check the call display!
Apparently, the best way to get a telemarketer to stop calling you is to say: “Please put me on your do not call list.” Don’t give them any other information. Don’t engage with them. Don’t get upset.
One of my daughters used to respond to telemarketers by immediately putting her Small Child on the phone. Small Child was always full of questions and observations. Telemarketers with heavy foreign accents were easy prey for a boy without much of a filter between his young brain and his mouth.
The Feather Files Name: Pied-billed Grebe Species: Podilymbus podiceps Native to and Migration: Breeds from northern Canada through the West Indies and Central America to southern South America. It is seldom seen in flight, in part because it migrates by night, landing on the nearest body of water before or at dawn. Date Seen: February 17, 2019 Location: Fountain Hills, Arizona
Notes:The nest of this species is a floating platform. It lives in freshwater marshes, lakes, and sluggish rivers, and, in winter, brackish estuaries.
The Feather Files Name: Bronzed Cowbird Species: Molothrus aeneus Native to and Migration: A Central American bird that makes its way to the United States in the border states and Louisiana. Date Seen: April 30, 2018 Location: North of Fountain Hills, Arizona
Notes: Like other cowbirds, the female does not make a nest, but instead lays her eggs in the nests of other bird species. (Brood parasites.)
Yesterday (Friday, February 22, 2019): Our Arizona back yard (north of Fountain Hills). Heavy wet snow caused quite a bit of damage to trees in our area.
Today (Saturday, February 23): View from our roof top patio – The Foothills just north of us.
I’m not going to complain about the cold weather and snow we’ve had here this month. It is vastly warmer than our northern home in Alberta. We are, however, flying back to Alberta for a few weeks to attend a few family events. It is still pretty cold there, but the upside is Alberta home heating systems are vastly superior! I won’t need to be sitting in my chair with a couple blankets and a heating pad, waiting for the furnace to take the chill off the room!
A simple photo of a Canadian Flag lapel pin and the bobbins from my sewing machine. Why? Good question that has no answer. I bought an old sewing machine at an estate sale in Arizona. The owner had recently died, so I couldn’t ask her why she had a Canadian flag lapel pin in the box of sewing supplies and bobbins!
My Place in the World is in the Garden with my camera!
The best part about living part time in Arizona is that I get to experience spring twice! In April, when Alberta might still be experiencing snow storms, our Arizona home is at the height of spring blooming!
We have a large old Ironwood tree on our property. It is estimated that these trees can live for hundreds and hundreds of years. It sheds its leaves annually just before it blooms. The flowers are pea like (because it is a member of that family) and the entire tree becomes a dusky pink colour during full bloom.
The Ironwood often serves as a backdrop to the giant Saguaro cactus. The Saguaro can live for 150 to 200 years and it can grow 40 to 60 ft tall (12 to 18 meters). It is very slow growing and can be decades old before it sprouts arms or blooms.
The Prickly Pear cactus is the ‘rat’ of the neighbourhood for the simple reason that the resident rodents live in holes under the prickly shelter of this plant. We have a large specimen that isn’t actually on our property, but it thinks it should be. We have to carefully ‘prune’ it off our property every few years.
My favourite cactus is the Argentine Giant. It is a common enough looking cactus with multiple stems up to 24 inches (60 cm) tall. The wow factor is when it blooms. The white flowers can be 6 to 8 inches across (15 to 20 cm). The flowers come out at night, and only last about 24 hours.
A week after my Argentine Giant bloomed, I was back in Alberta where an extremely long and cold winter had finally ended. The last of the snow had just melted, and the earth quickly exploded with greenery.
The first flower to bloom was the Striped Squill, a starry pale blue and white flower that is only about 4 inches (10 cm) tall.
Another squill, the Siberian Squill, mingles with the Striped ones. Neither Squill seem anxious to expand their territory much, but they might simply be unable to compete with the other residents in that location – the prolific Grape hyacinths (Muscari).
The only other flower blooming right now is a bush – the Forsythia Northern Gold. I’m expecting great things from this fast growing bush. In addition to spectacular early blooms, it should help a lot with the task of masking the silvery wall of The Car Guy’s new quonset metal garage.
We have a roof top patio in Arizona – a perfect place for watching sunrises, sunsets, and star gazing.
The science behind contrails is fascinating. Contrails should never be a cause for alarm; after all, folks don’t flip out on chilly days when their breath forms a cloud. If it’s cold enough and the air is still, you might even notice a cloud hanging behind you for several meters.
– What really comes out of an airplane? Contrails, not chemtrails, The Washington Post –
Are you on a flight path? Are the planes loud and noisy, or so high you don’t even notice them?
This week’s WordPress.com photo Challenge is Lines.