Backyard Biology

Great Kiskadee, Alamo TX-

Great Kiskadee, Alamo, Texas.

The day after Christmas we went to the wild bird feed store and picked up a sack of our favorite mix.  Charlie, the cardinal, looked brilliant but lonely and hungry out by the fence in back, in the single digit temperatures, the frost and the snow.  I did some catching up on my favorite nature blog, Backyard Biology, by my friend Sue (whose photo of an American Redstart I was privileged to use on my first book cover three years ago).  She has shared her favorite non-Minnesota bird shots from the past year, also giving permission for me to share them with you.

 

Red-winged Blackbirds-Alamo, TX

Male Red-wing Blackbirds in Alamo, Texas.

Phainopepla-Tucson, AZ

Phainpepla, Tuscon, Arizona.

Gila Woodpeckers at their nest, Tucson, AZ

Gila Woodpeckers, Tucson, Arizona.

Magnificent Hummingbird-Santa Rita Lodge, AZ

Magnificent Hummingbird, Santa Ridge Lodge, Arizona.

Cactus wren-Tucson, AZ

Cactus Wren, Tucson, Arizona.

Tri-colored Heron, Padre Island, TX

Tri-colored Heron, Padre Island, Texas.

Painted Redstart (or Whitestart), Portal AZ

And my Painted Redstart, Portal, Arizona.

 

Happy New Year 2018 to feathered and non-feathered friends alike.  Let’s hear it for protected habitats in the year to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cache of Cannas

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The sun cooperated with the plans of two photographers on a late summer morning in Foster Park.  It stayed behind some clouds, reducing the chance that petals would blur under its gaze.  Magnificent canna lilies were center stage with only a few elephant ears competing for attention, while the rest of the foliage, content with climbing fenceposts or grazing the ground, remained in the background for the benefit of their taller brothers and sisters.  But these will only last a little while, and soon bulbs will be dug up to rest during the winter.  I will let the camera write the captions this time: it deserves most of the credit.