Sunday, August 1, 2010

1st of August

We made it to August and the weather is still below average for high temperature but slowly creeping up. It will be close to normal (85 degrees) for several days near the middle of the week but then it should cool again for the next weekend. The hummingbirds and orioles are still in high gear. I am still waiting for the Rufus hummers to show up.This may be the last month for the orioles here before they head back to Arizona and Mexico. Plenty of bees still, I suppose it is good that the local colonies have not crashed as is the case elsewhere. Speaking of bees and possible repellent schemes, I tried a hearsay technique which at first glance seems a total bust. Dryer sheets are supposed to keep bees away (what the heck, we had some collecting dust).
I will let you decide the effectiveness, but I see lots of bees! (They are all alive and buzzing, believe me!) Maybe the desire for grape jelly out weighs the repelling effect.

Here is a shot of a couple male blackchinned hummers at the top feeder (you'll have to take my word on it for the one with wings up) and a couple female (who knows which kind) hummers at the lower feeder.

To get a little off topic, a few weeks ago a fresh batch? of baby lizards hatched and have been running around the back yard. They are a bit hard to see since they are about an inch or 2.5 cm long. Here is a photo of a baby western fence lizard catching some morning sun on a garden hose.

As long as I am off topic - here is a photo a something I came cross while volunteering yesterday at the Wild Animal Park - I mean, Safari Park, as it is now officially called. Anyway, the visitors are warned to stay on the paths and be wary, although a sighting is rare. This was up in the native gardens (NativeScapes on your Park map and an excellent hike for those with the extra time), which is up past the Condor Ridge exhibit if you are familiar with the Park, not near the main section of the Park where most visitors explore. This guy was about 4 feet long.
He was just cruzin' along slowly and not in a bad mood as he went into some thick bushes not to be seen again. The Park security will catch and relocate these guys to the way-back acreage when they can, this one  avoided that for now. He is a red diamondback and has a  distinctive black and white ringing at the base of the tail near the rattles.

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