Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Feeding the Hungry

Tiny birds are eating us out of hearth and home.

Female Rufous Hummingbird in Sunflower. (Click pic for closer view.)

Remember the Lesser Goldfinches I was so excited about? Well, two became three and now there are usually seven or eight little lemon yellow birds fighting for a spot on the feeder. And Niger thistle is rather expensive. The roadrunners think goldfinches are tasty, but they haven't made much of a dent on the population.

Meanwhile, swarms of hummingbirds are going through at least a feeder a day. Many are Broadtails, and even Calliopes getting a start on migration. Perhaps because the women-folk have to leave late due to child-raising duties, I haven't seen any more male Rufous hummingbirds, but there are still a few females about. Yesterday, I unwittingly used the last bit of sugar to fill a feeder. This morning, no sugar for our tea.

We had a great rainstorm yesterday. The kind that sweeps over the desert in a great gray curtain; you can hear it coming, drumming on tin roofs and on swamp coolers. I was out working with the Nikster. When the drops started to hit, the sugar baby let out a nervous nicker and ran under his porch. It came down so hard I was stuck out in the barn for a few minutes. My hero, however, came out, umbrella in hand and rescued me. Aw.

The clouds kept mean old Mr. Sun under wraps this morning, so I sat out on the banco and watched the birds' antics. Interesting dynamics between the species. The curve billed thrashers will chase mourning doves from the feeder, but get chased in turn by scaled quails. A full grown scale quail shows no qualms about taking on a roadrunner. Of course everything disappears when a Cooper's Hawk shows up. Gorgeous birds, but they seem to delight in gory, sitting on the fence and tearing into an unlucky meal.

Then the sun came out. A helicopter flew over; a very weak imitator of the hummingbirds' flight.

Happy Sunday.

Pat K.


Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005