Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday Morning Wake Up

(Mt. Fagan)

I wipe my groggy eyes and roll over in bed. The room is dark and cozy with a soft gray light. I wonder what time it is since it feels later but the room is still so dark. It’s 7:45 a.m., long past the time when the sun should have illuminated my room like the high beams of a truck parked outside. I snuggle into the covers, enjoying this overcast morning. Breezy Boy, my cat, curls up into the hollow of my body and purrs away. I am thinking that maybe I will stay in bed and enjoy this luxury just a few moments longer but suddenly I hear scratching on the patio door. Gus had let the dog out just before he left and now Blossom wants to come in.

I trundle out of bed and open the door. Blossom prances in like she owns the world. I pop my head out to feel the day and catch a whiff of rain in the air. Dark clouds are mounting over the Santa Ritas. Mount Fagan looks dark and broody. It looks like a curtain of rain is falling on the Rincons, but still the slopes are sending smoky plumes into the sky, and mixed with the smell of wet desert I can also smell the smoke. There are 8 fires burning now in Southern Arizona and the Distillery Fire in the Rincons has grown to over 5,000 acres.

(Rincon Mountains)

The cats follow me out to the kitchen winding around my legs and begging for breakfast. I step out this patio door to see the thermometer. It is 83 degrees and comfortable with a strong breeze gusting sometimes to a full wind. Off to the west, however, the sky is blue and clear. Sunlight beaming out from beneath the edge of the cloud bank illumines the mine tailings of Green Valley into a golden table land. It cuts a sharp edge against the pale blue sky.

(Green Valley Mine Tailings)

Once I shut the door the birds return to feasting in the backyard. Once again the finch feeder is covered in Lesser Goldfinches.

(Lesser Goldfinches on thistle seed feeder)

Mourning Doves are gleaning the seeds from the ground while flickers, Gila Woodpeckers and thrashers all vie for the peanut feeder. Out the den window a lone juvenile Gambel’s Quail pecks beneath my globe shaped feeder. His bland gray color blends in with the mourning doves but his shape and the plume atop his head betrays his true species. Over on this side of the house the house finches mob the globe shaped feeder while house sparrows pick at the quail block. A Canyon Towhee joins the fray and grabs whatever seeds it can. Then a feisty Cactus Wren flies in and chases away a thrasher to grab a peanut that was dropped on the stony ground. It’s just another day for Kathie’s Birds here in Sycamore Canyon, but the Monsoon is creeping ever closer and we may get storms this afternoon.

(Canyon Towhee at seed cake)

For now, I leave you with this peaceful scene of a potted dove. She has built her nest in this pot on a neighbor’s front porch. The family can sit in their bench and she does not flinch or fly away. My neighbor says she has seen the eggs when the mother flies off to feed in the evening. The male hangs around on nearby rooftops, waiting for the hatching and his job to begin of feeding the little brood. For me, the question arises: does the mother actually trust my neighbor and her children, or is her mother’s instinct so strong that she will not abandon the nest in spite of great fear? If the latter is true, I can’t help but wonder if I could confront my own fears in the same way.

Note: All of today's photography is by Kathiesbirds with the Nikon D80 and the 70-300mm lens except for the morning dove which was photographed Saturday, June 21, with the 18-70mm lens.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

That's such a good question regarding confronting one's own fears and coincidentally it's one I've been mulling over lately too.

Kathie Brown said...

I don't know about you, Lynne, but so many times I let fear stop me from enjoying my life, or moving forward. I once heard someone say, "Move in the direction of your fears." Hard to do but powerful if accomplished.

Modesto Viegas said...

Nice bird blog! Interesting photos!

kjpweb said...

Beautiful! And such diversity. And for the dove I think it is a mixture of both. For one she has seen how the neighbors react, and seemingly does not perceive them as imminent threat. But the other part is a trait that is known of quite many animal moms. Regardless what - I will shelter my eggs/chicks/litter
Cheers, Klaus

Anonymous said...

And what an awakening that must be ... i also liked the dove photo ...

Mental P Mama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
abb said...

I'm so sorry! That above deleted comment is mine! My friend was here, signed in and checked her email. I forgot to look to see if she'd signed out, so posted under her blog name! What I said was:

Your birds! Some are similar to our here in the Northeast, and some so different! Your goldfinches aren't nearly as yellow as our, while your mourning dove looks entirely familiar.

Your photos and words are lovely!

Wed Jun 25, 04:01:00 PM 2008

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your visit to my blog Brookville Daily Photo this morning. I hope you enjoyed my post today showing the baby rabbit eating the hibiscus flower.

I am now taking a diminishing dose of steroids for my Rheumatoid Arthritis pain and it works. I am pain free. I believe the chemotherapy drug is spelled "Methotrexate" that is used to treat a lot of things from cancer to arthritis and it has side effects that are troubling. So I need to talk to my doctor about it before I take it. Just missing a dose can be a real nightmare.

Anyway, I wanted you to know I stopped-in to repay your visit and comment with mine.

I enjoyed reading your blog post for today and I thought your photography was excellent. I was especially smiling at your potted dove.

I don't know if you like to read or not but if you do this place is amazing.

I just got my first shipment of used books from Strand's bookstore in New York City, yesterday. They have 18 miles of used books. Think about that. Anyway, they got here and I am totally happy with those I chose to read. I had to start out by just choosing a category, like photography, and go from there. I don't know how in the world they can keep track of so many books.

Look up Strand bookstore or copy and paste the URL here:

Shelley said...

Having had the mourning dove nursery in my yard this spring (2 pairs of parents w/ 5 broods so far!) - I think the dove trusts your friends! Neat photo!

Valeriannah said...

Hi! I just found your blog while searching for information about the proposed Rosemont mine. Of all of the negative impacts resulting from the mining, the one that breaks my heart the most is the toxic water left behind. Just the simple altering of the waters PH balance is fatal to birds. Not to mention the entire scope of other chemicals and heavy metals that will contaminate the water.
I live in Vail, and I built a small pond in my backyard to chum up the chicks. Its become quite the hot spot for many thirsty bird visitors. I started taping the critters drinking and bathing. I posted three video's on my new blog. As a bird lover, I thought you might enjoy viewing the videos. If you want to check them out they are over here...
Anyhow I'm grateful to have stumbled upon your blog. I'll be visiting often.

Kathie Brown said...

modesto, you hve a really nice blog and I've added you to my blogroll. Wonderful nature photography. Thanks for stopping by.

kjbweb, I tend to agree with you for it is a feeling I have as a mother. Don't mess with my kids or you will regret it!

quint, it is an awakening in more ways than one. Nice to see you again.

ts annie, our mourning doves are the same but you have american goldfinches which are larger and the males are more yellow and white. Ours are Lesser Goldfinches and we can have green-backed amles as well as black-backed males. Like yours, ours all turn olive drab for winter.

abe, glad to see you again. Glad the medicine is working for you. Thanks for the info on the books. I will check it out.

shellmo, thanks. I hope I will be able to get some photos of the babes when they hatch.

valeriannah, welcome to my blog! I will come visit yours! Nice to meet a fellow Vail resident who is fighting to stop the mine. Come back any time!

John Theberge said...

I really liked the dove on the flower pot photo, it's amazing where some birds decide to build a nest.

bobbie said...

Thanks for your wonderfully vivid description of your early morning. I felt as if I was there. Your "potted dove" is priceless.

Amila Salgado said...

It's funny that you writes of a potted dove. We have one called the Spotted Dove, which will feature in my blog in a post to come.

Lea said...

Thank you so much for your words about dear Riley. I miss him so much but it's amazing the relief it brings to know he's not in pain any more.

Looking forward to your SWF tomorrow,

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

A wonderful post, Kathie. I always enjoy the wildlife activity you find around your place. The dove in the pot is so cute! I hope the fires are under control soon. They're so damaging and scary.

Pappy said...

Just catching up. I'm way behind, so I'll just ditto the kudos and catch you in a day or so. Pappy

Donna Gotlib said...

I adore your little birds!

Amy said...

Mourning Doves are excellent parents. I think that her maternal instincts are so strong that they override her fear of humans. How wonderful for your neighbors to get to watch this brood being cared for! Let's hope the monsoons take care of those wildfires!