Monday, September 30, 2013

Mystery solved!

Some of you may remember that this summer I was visited by a thief, a hummingbird nectar thief to be exact.  This went on all summer.  I either had to take it in every night, or just make more nectar every day--every single day or disappoint the hummers.  If I got home a bit late or had something going on and I didn't get it in--it was drained dry.  Some weeks I remembered to take it in every day for a week and I'd think that maybe if I left it out he wouldn't come, but I was always wrong.  What could it be, I wondered, bats, possums, raccoons?  After I found one feeder on the ground with it's top unscrewed I pretty much figured it had to be a raccoon.

I haven't seen a hummingbird for 5 days now so I think they have embarked on their journey to warmer climes.  Still I have put the feeder out every day just in case a lonely hummingbird passing through may stop to refuel.

Tonight I was bound and determined to catch the thief in the act if only to see exactly how he does it.  So I got a couple pillows, cracked  a space in the vertical blinds overlooking my deck and waited.  I pretty much had figured out that the culprit visited around 7:30 every night.

7:32 on the dot, he came.  Yup, raccoon alright and he was a pretty gutsy little dude too.  He reached up and tilted the feeder.  Our eyes met and I swear he gave me the stink eye, since I was  ruining his party. I opened the sliding glass door and he ran, but only after he gave me one last very dirty look.

Sorry I have no photos since my camera is not that high tech and all I got was a very blurry furry!

Mystery solved and since Hummingbird season is over, he will have to get his kool-aid somewhere else.

Anyone else have raccoon raiders?  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Goodbye little hummingbird

Goodbye, Aurevoir, Hasta la Vista, Adios, Ciao, Auf Wiedersehen, Doei, Farvel, Zenaj, Sayonara, Namaste, Yasou, Slan, Hwyl fawr, in just a few languages—all of them goodbyes.

So long to the little hummingbirds that visit my feeders every day.  I haven’t seen them for a few days and although experts say to keep the feeders up until you haven’t seen any for 2 weeks, I am thinking that they have started their long southward trek.  Soon I won’t have to bring in that nectar feeder at night to stop Rocky raccoon and he will have to get his kool aid from elsewhere.  Goodbye to the hummingbirds and happy travels.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The perks of parking

I’ve been driving my husband’s Silverado pickup truck this week.  Don’t ask.  It was a switcheroo since he gave his commuter car to my daughter while her car is in the shop.  So he took my car and I got the truck.  Don’t get me wrong; it’s a nice truck.  It’s new and it’s got all the extras, but it’s big.  No I take that back, it’s huge. 

It’s not a problem driving straight down the road.  Parking on the other hand is quite another situation.  Now I’ve never been an ace at parking.  When I got my driver’s license I was required to parallel park.  I stressed about it for weeks and was sure I wouldn’t be able to do it, but I did.  And I was only two and a half feet from the curb.  The tester just smiled and told me that a woman who couldn’t park would just learn to make adjustments…like finding a parking space where there wasn’t another vehicle in the vicinity…think different zip code from my destination.

Driving this behemoth I am finding that I haven’t changed much.  I still search for a parking space that is as far as it can get from civilization.  I have noticed that some people are aces at parking, namely the husband.  He doesn’t flinch as he backs into parking spaces or pulls into the garage with mere centimeters between his bumper and the back wall.

So it got me to thinking.  Are men or women better parkers?  Do you back into a space or are you like me looking for somewhere that is easy in and easy out?  Heck-- walking never killed anyone.  After all, I have no intention of driving for Nascar.

By the way, I’m still working on my ABC book and I’m to Q, which will appear very soon so stay tuned.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

California condor in Grand Canyon National Park

The california condor is one of the rarest birds in North America.  In 1987 they became extinct in the wild. Due to the efforts of many people and zoos a breeding program was instituted.  Now there are around 400 California condors in the world and half are in the wild.  That doesn't sound like many but it's a far cry better than the 22 that were left in 1982!

As of April 2013 there were 73 Condors in Arizona and Utah.  Many live in the Grand Canyon.
When we visited the Grand Canyon in July were were lucky enough to see three Condors there.  They were number 23, 80 and 16.  You can look them up on the condor chart below.  The charts tells you if they bred using a puppet (a condor like puppet so that they imprint on condors not the keepers) how old, when they were reintroduced in the wild and their sex.

Condor tag chart
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