With the kids on their way to visit, my husband and I kept our promise to quarantine. The days at home gave me new appreciation for life in our backyard. (I wrote about the need to quarantine HERE.)
“Hey, it’s not that bad!” were my famous words I’d tell my swim coach after a hard set. We emblazoned the saying on t-shirts after the coach joked that he should advertise his Masters with my expression. (I wrote about not giving up — whether it’s swimming, fishing or writing HERE — complete with t-shirt pics.)
I discovered staying home “is not that bad” — and I that I love and appreciate my backyard.
The following are views that make me enjoy living where I do:
I watched three Harris Hawks land in a tree across the wall. They love to hang out there. Then one by one, they flew into our yard. I lost sight as they flew over our roof.
Here’s a video of one flying I captured in slow motion:
I can’t wait to see my son, daughter-in-law, her brother and my daughter!
What are your favorite things or views from your home?
Olive in Palm Springs, hanging out by our pool, enjoying indoor/outdoor life.
Life is full of change. Look at Olive, our 11-year-old cat, who was able to roam free in Palm Springs since kittenhood and now is captive inside our house.
I was worried about how she would adjust. But with only two escapes outside in two-and-a-half years and frantic rushes back inside the house, I’d say she likes it inside. My daughter said that maybe she was always meant to be an indoor cat.
Olive’s baby picture when we first brought her home from the animal shelter.
I think Olive sensed danger when she escaped to our wild nature-filled yard.
This past weekend, I was taking out recycling. We have an enclosure for our trash and recycling bins with walls and a gate. When I opened the gate, I came eyeball to eyeball within inches of another cat who was standing on the wall.
I didn’t have my phone with me so no picture, but it was a teenage bobcat with blackish spots on a dark blonde coat. I turned and ran and glanced back to see the bobcat hightailing in the opposite direction. I looked at our video from the night before and found a few seconds of a bobcat walking by. But I’m afraid I’ve scared off the cat for the near future.
This is a photo taken by my SIL of our regular bobcat visitor. I think the one I saw a few days ago might be one of her kits.
“Change is the only constant in life.
Ones ability to adapt to those changes
will determine your success in life.”
Here’s a video of Olive’s new indoor life. She seems to enjoy it!
What are your thoughts about change and life? What major changes are you going through now or have in the past?
Good news! The solar panel roof of my AI bird feeder with a camera arrived. I ordered it in January after a covey of quail leaped onto the bird feeder and it fell off the fence into the wash behind our house.
The tiny metal piece that plugged into the camera from the cord to the solar panel broke. It seemed like it would be an easy fix, but the Bird Buddy folks said my only option was to order a new solar panel roof and they’d give me a discount. I waited until June for it to arrive! In the meantime, I charged the camera every few days in the house.
I’ve been disappointed with my birds because two species are bullies and take over. White winged doves and mourning doves. They literally sit at the feeder and eat until it’s empty. So all my photos and videos for the past few weeks have been of big gray birds. I would get the occasional house sparrow which was a welcome treat.
Sunday morning I was shocked and thrilled to see a Cardinal! YAY! Here’s a video:
I’m also enjoying a few families of quail, even though our nest of eggs never hatched.
Here’s a video of quail mom, dad and babies visiting our yard:
Here’s a House Sparrow getting a turn at our Bird Buddy
What do you have planned this week to enjoy the world around you?
Unfortunately our nest of quail eggs did not hatch. It makes me sad, because I was looking forward to our own hatchlings. We do have a couple families of quail visit our backyard. I also was thrilled to see deer yesterday morning.
I’m not sure what to do with the nest of eggs. I’m leaving it alone for the time being, but think I should throw them away?
I never get tired of the wildlife in our neighborhood. Across the street we have the McDowell Nature Preserve with more than 130 miles of hiking trails. That’s probably why we get deer, coyotes, javelina and bobcats waltzing through our backyards and streets. There’s so much building going on in Arizona, it’s reassuring to know the 30,580 acres of Sonoran Desert across the street will not be developed.
Another deer in a neighbor’s yard.
What is your favorite thing about your neighborhood?
Here’s a quail selfie from my Bird Buddy AI bird feeder.
Twice this week I spotted baby quail. Once was on our morning walk and a mom and dad were followed by the teeniest quail babies I’ve ever seen. They must have hatched that day.
Yesterday afternoon, a family of quail marched into our backyard from the wash. They were a little older and didn’t stay long enough for me to get a video or picture.
I immediately ran to the front of our house to see if our quail eggs had hatched.
Our nest of eggs in a planter of Elephant Feed.
No, the eggs are still there and it’s been a month since I’ve seen a momma or papa quail in the nest.
Unfortunately, the quail chose a planter next to our garage. At first, I’d see quail fly away when I’d pull into the garage or back the car out. Raising the garage door was enough noise to make the parents take flight.
I’m afraid the quail were scared away and they abandoned their nest. Or something could have happened to them. It’s a wild world out there. I’ve read what to do with eggs to get them to hatch. The most sensible advice is to wait and see. I also realize that I’m not opening the garage door very often. Maybe the quail parents are there, but not when I’m there.
Does anyone have advice while I wait for our eggs to hatch? Do you think the nest has been abandoned?
This year is fascinating with all the blooming cacti and plants. This is my third spring in Arizona and it’s truly amazing. I’m sure it was the rainy winter we had that is encouraging all the plant life to come alive with flowers. Right now the saguaros are blooming, something I didn’t see much of the past two years.
We have a nature’s preserve across the street and it’s gorgeous to see saguaros topped with white flower crowns. They remind me of the floral crowns we swim moms ordered for my senior day for my daughter’s college swim team.
Saguaros topped with white crowns of flowers at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
A saguaro in bloom at a neighbor’s house.
In our back yard.
What unusual plants, flowers or wildlife have you seen this spring? Did you have more rain or snow than in the past few years?
After waiting patiently from January until now for a new solar panel for my Bird Buddy AI bird feeder with a camera, I made the executive decision to take it out of storage, charge it up and use it without the solar panel roof.
I emailed the company and they said I should receive it this month. Until then, I’m enjoying Bird Buddy and have to charge the camera every four or five days.
I’ve written about Bird Buddy before. You can read those posts HERE and HERE if you missed them.
My son works for a crowdfunding company that helped raise money and marketed Bird Buddy. I think it was one of their more successful campaigns.
In one of my prior stories I wrote about my trouble setting up Bird Buddy. There was an awkward small space to plug in the charger or solar panel. I found it frustrating and I had to get my husband to help me. However, when I set up my 91-year-old dad’s Bird Buddy, he cleverly showed me you can plug in the camera before you put it inside the feeder! Duh!
This is a House Finch who can eat a lot of sunflower seeds!
Bird Buddy takes “postcards” (these two photos are examples.) There was an update to the software and now there are videos, too. It works with an app on your smartphone, identifies birds, gives details and you can play their songs and calls.
Here’s a video of a House Sparrow and Cardinal competing for the bird feeder:
What birds do you have in your neck of the woods? Which are your favorites?