Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bird Brained!

I discovered birds are not smart when it took a few weeks for them to realize the white net hanging from the dead cactus is full of birdseed!

This little redfinch finally made the discovery! Now, if he can keep that secret all to himself, he will be feasting like a king!



Monday, August 29, 2011

More Creatures!

I never know what creature is going to be found on or near the house. Last night as I drove in the driveway around 10:00 p.m., I thought I saw something on top of the roof. It was a huge owl! I was hoping he wouldn't fly in the garage, so when I got out of the car, I stepped out in the driveway to make sure it really was an owl. Yep! I'm almost hoping he comes back tonight so that I can try to get his picture.

This morning as I went out the side garage door, I found these two praying mantises. Doesn't it look like they are mountain climbing?

It especially looks that way when you check out the close up. What funny looking insects!



He was praying that I wouldn't do anything to him . . . . . . and I didn't! Do you ever see these around your home?




Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

Howdy pardner! We had a rip roarin', hootin' tootin' fun time last night at the surprise birthday party for Caroline (my friend's daughter).


There is nothin' I like more than planning a good 'ole fun party with teenagers, and these kids really got into the spirit of the western theme. Here they are waiting for the guest of honor to arrive so we can all yell, YEE HAW!



And here is Caroline arriving on the party bus! See that big smile? She is so happy to be doing something other than going to a boring dinner with her parents!




My, they shine up nice, don't they?



And here is proof that teenagers will do what they are told. I said, look up to the sky, and they did it! I'll never believe another parent when they tell me that their kids don't listen to them!




There was plenty of goofin' around!




The #1 requirement for a good party is lots of activity - we had it all goin' on - ginormous checkers . . . . .


Horseshoe pitchin' . . . . . . .




A cornhole tournament . . . . . . .




Lasso twirlin' . . . . .




Sign these kids up for the rodeo . . . . . .




And lots of good cowboy grub . . . . . .



It was an awesome night, and I really enjoyed spending the evening with a great group of young adults! Happy Birthday, Caroline!




Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Eagle on the Beagle!

According to a few of my Facebook friends, the hawk on the rock turns out to possibly be the eagle on the beagle!

They think my hawk might be a golden eagle. Here is a picture courtesy of Terry Sohl of a golden eagle.


Here is my out-of-focus-taken-too-far-away half picture of my bird! The beak is not nearly as pointed, but maybe my eagle is still young.



I'll keep on the lookout to see if he returns, and perhaps I can get a better photo the next time!





Monday, August 22, 2011

Eyes Like a Hawk!

I'm constantly looking up at Beagle Dog Rock because you never know who is going to show up! Last night I noticed this larger-than-usual bird. I quickly put the zoom lens on the camera and snapped away!

I believe it is Mr. Hawk looking for his dinner.






As you can tell from this photo, Mr. Bunny found his dinner - tasty new leaves from my bush!






Mr. Bunny better watch out or he will end up as Mr. Hawk's main course!










Sunday, August 21, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wascally Wabbit!

Hi - I'm Gleek! Quick, come to the window . . . . . .

Be vewy, vewy quiet . . . . . . and don't move a muscle!



Do you see the bunny wabbit? He was right outside my window! I only ate half my breakfast this morning because I had to get back to bunny wabbit watching . . . . . . .




It's a vewy important job!





Wednesday, August 17, 2011

They Come in Pairs!

Look who has a friend - the giant lizard has been showing up every morning. I think he makes his home in these bushes. Today, his pal was with him!



The did their morning exercises together - bobbing up and down like they are doing push ups. It is so funny to watch.


The cats are enjoying watching them from the windows - especially Inky who talks to the birdies and lizards with a cute chirping chatter noise.






Monday, August 15, 2011

Sticky Situation!

Not all cacti are created equal! I thought I'd give you a tour of the varieties we have in our yard. The first two pictures are Saguaros. These are the cactus most people associate with the west. It takes 75 years before they grow a side arm, so the ones I have are just youngsters!





The next two photos are what Saguaros look like when they die! I am so excited to have these in our yard because they add such character. The inside is comprised of ribs. Birds and animals make holes in the cacti and create nests.







This is a type of Cholla - called Walking Stick! You might have heard of the Teddy Bear Cholla which has fuzzy top sections. We don't have any teddy bears, but I might have to get one!






We have several Barrel Cactus. This one is a Tall Barrel. They bloom at the top of the cactus - it appears this one has yellow flowers!




This is called a Totem Pole cactus - very unusual! It is called this because of the various sections that resemble faces on a totem pole.




There are different types of Prickly Pear cacti - as you can see in the next three photos.



The fruit on the top of the prickly pear is edible - sometimes called cactus fruit or cactus fig. It has to be peeled carefully to remove the small spines on the outside.






This variety is called Violet Prickly Pear and is so pretty with it's purple hue!



Here are two Hedgehog Cactus - named this because they grow in clumps or mounds.








This is a Columnar Cactus. Right now, what appeared to have been flowers has turned into these hairy white knobs at the top. I'm looking forward to seeing what all these cacti do throughout the year.





This is a Golden Barrel Cactus. The spines on this sucker are lethal!



The next two pictures are not cacti - but are called Agave plants. They are really beautiful, but also have very sharp tips!









I hope you've enjoyed the tour! I have some pretty blooming bushes throughout the front and back yards, so I'll be sharing those with you later!