Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Flora and Fauna

Despite the summer drought, a few native plants and animals seem to be abundant this fall. Where there was a drastic decrease in the number of hummingbirds and dragonflies, there was a marked increase in the number of rabbits and, surprisingly, bumblebees. I missed seeing some of the rarer birds, such as the painted buntings, from seasons past, but I saw -- and heard -- far more owls.

Painted bunting photo taken last year
Rainfall appears to be on the increase now and, coupled with an extra-long Indian summer and mild October, we at last have new, tender grass popping up. We did flirt briefly with one overnight temp near freezing, but today we'll be close to 90 degrees (32C), with cooling but still mild temps forecast for the next week or so. As long as the new growth has time to establish so it's ready to come back strong in the spring, I'll be happy.

Here's a guy I rarely see in the flesh, although I often, literally, stumble across the snout holes they leave where they dig up tasty bugs. I've also found a couple of armadillo dens under the trees.

Another coyote wandering through as seen from my office window. What do YOU see from YOUR office window, hmm?

Buffalo Bur (aka Solanum rostratum) has a lovely flower but large burs and spinehairs on its stem make it particularly noxious. It didn't seem to mind the drought at all.
I think this is frostweed. Large and showy when there's a lot of it clumped together. Kind of sad-looking when there's just a few stray branches here and there.

Goldenrod. If you look at it as a weed, you won't like it because it's hard to kill out.

This is a beautiful stand of huge old oaks. Those are carports under the trees. I would love there to be more oaks on the property than there are but am happy with the few specimens that lend their grace about the place.

Can you spot the cat in the dying boxwood hedge? Poor Magic isn't usually so exposed in his hidey hole.

This is Cody popping in to say Hi!

The herd hanging around my detached garage. Note the empty hanging baskets where flowers usually grow. Oh, and that "window" is just a bit of screen surrounded by shutters and a couple of non-working lights to give that long white expanse a more homey feel.
Ricky, sporting some serious rocker bangs.
Ginger (l) and Loki (r) acting nice and happy right before launching into ...
Killer Death Match 5000.
They really do love each other.

And, as my 'dillo friend is clearly saying, I believe we're done here.


vkw said...

I see rabbits and birds eating weed seeds from my window.

An antelope will sleep against my window once or twice a winter.

Sometimes I think that's a message or sign, but I don't understand what big old antelope butt pressed against my window means.

Any ideas?

Phoenix Sullivan said...

Jealous about the antelope! No clue what antelope butt means. Deer butt, on the other hand, I'm pretty sure means no tulip or daffodil flowers in the spring.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Mom's seeing Collared Pigeons this year. Invasive species that don't migrate. Could prove interesting in years to come, especially since they hang around places where there's plenty to eat and she puts out seed regularly.

Also seeing the deer are eating the seed - which is in the front of the house far from her little stand of woods. Drought is driving all kinds of odd behvior.