Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September Summary

Blue Passion Flower by Kathiesbirds

The summer ended quickly with so much going on. For me the days have flown like autumn leaves on the wind. My blue passion flower blossomed, then the blooms faded on the vine. Now the vine itself is whithering and fading like the year. Autumn is upon us, and with it cooler nights. Yet still the days are sunny and hot with dry winds that burnish the grasses brown and the seed heads flaxen. I see them blowing in this autumn wind outside my window, tossing like the mane of a golden palomino galloping at full speed. Autumn in Arizona is a wild thing!

Can it be only a month ago that Xavier came to play in the water in my backyard?

Can it be only a month ago that this gopher snake showed up on the same day and scared me for his safety until I was sure it wasn't a rattlesnake? I went to turn off the hose and found this creature coming out of the drainage pipe. I grabbed my grandson and quickly put him safely inside the house, then came back out to see if I needed to call the Fire Department to come relocate the snake. The slender head and mild temperment let me know I and the child were safe. The bulge in the snake's belly led me to believe it had crawled up the pipe and eaten some rodent who had taken refuge in the cool dark tunnel. Alas, not such a good idea for the rodent, but for me, this jeweled beauty did me a favor!

In this month of September a lark sparrow bashed into my picture window. It sat stunned on my patio table, but eventually flew off. I can only hope it lived.

On International Turkey Vulture Day this bird flew down to devour the carcass of a snake killed the night before by a vehicle as it crossed the road...

...and then, as if to drive home the point that I live in a truly wild place, this tarantula walked across the brick patio on evening, as casual as can be.

It has been a busy month here in Sycamore Canyon. The bird populations are changing. I have not seen a purple martin or a white-winged dove in awhile. I have spent all month monitoring the Lesserlong-nosed bats but I believe they have finally migrated south for the winter. The hummingbirds are still here, but most of the black-chins are gone. A few rufous hummingbirds still linger, while the population of Costa's is increasing.

Earlier this month Blossom got the all clear from the vet. Shortly before her last appointment the scabs fell off her rump and once they were gone her "happy tail" came back. She can now curl it completely over her back again. We are so glad to see it wagging once again.

I just returned today from spending 3 days and nights in Maricopa where I did birding presentations for six 7th grade classes. This was my first time doing this, and I ran out of time before I ran out of things to say! Of course, I went birding in my spare time and took lots of photos which I will post as soon as I unpack, clean house, rest, and upload them. I found quite a few new places to bird. I know it has been a long time since I have been around to see everybody. I hope to get to some of that this week. Until then,

Happy Autumn Everyone!

Now, lets bring on October and all the winter birds!

And that's...


SandyCarlson said...

Your world has me breathless.

Kathie Brown said...

Thanks Sandy!

Bernie said...

Welcome back, you were missed. Your grandson is beautiful and I too would of hurried him into the safety of the house.
You are much braver than I am Kathie, those snakes and spiders would have me awake nights for sure.
Looking forward to your bird photo's and what a wonderful things you did for those school children......:-) Hugs

bobbie said...

Hello, Busy Lady. Your Xavier is so adorable! I like your other creatures too. Wonderful pictures!

Anonymous said...

You've had a busy month, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the photos (you tease!)

I bet the kids loved you. I think you'd be a great teacher.

and Xavier is too cute for words.

Jackie said...

I love that image of the turkey vulture with the snake carcass. This is the season when the migrate south!

Deborah Godin said...

Wonderful description of autumn - wild thing! And at this distance I'm far enough removed from the tarantula to appreciate it...mostly *shivers*

Margaret Cloud said...

I like you post, it was very interesting. I am afraid of snakes, no matter how small. It is rainy, cold and the temps are in the 50's.

Dawn Fine said...

oh oh..first of all I am so happy that your pup got the curly tail back!
You sure have been a busy gal!
I know what u mean about visiting everyone..I was without internet for over two weeks...went to internet cafes etc to post blog..but couldnt catch up with my fav blogs..
finally doing some catch up..but way behind.
Still hoping we can do a BwBTC bird outing in AZ feb or march..

Celeste said...

What a fabulous September you have had Kathie. Your snake and tarantula pictures are so beautiful.
I am so happy that Blossom has made a full recovery and even better, got her happy tail back.

Kathie I am going to be paying a flying visit to Tuscon in November, I was wondering if you would recommend a good birding destination for me. I am always so captivated by your descriptions of your birding trips, you seemed like the obvious person to ask.