Eat, Drink, Be Merry…and Some Other Shit

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The heat is starting to prickle here in the desert. This week promises temps between 100 and 110…. aaauuugggghhh! So, it’s not surprising that the feeders, water dishes and pond are popular hangouts for the local wildlife. Every morning and late afternoon we see it all! Birds, rabbits, squirrels, javelina, lizards, bobcat, coyote, and just the other day our ‘creature from the desert hollows’ (the toad), crawled out of his hole to find refreshment. When it’s just too hot to do anything else, just eat, drink and be merry!…

Eat…

Five finches find food at the fully filled feeder.

A quail couple chow down on the ‘Peckasso’ block seeder.

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Baby buns have fun nibbling in the cool grassy place.

A red winged black bird gets photo-bombed while stuffing his face!

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Hummingbirds flirt and hover around their honey hole hangout.

This Baltimore oriel takes a sip stop on his way-back-home Northern route.

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Drink…

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This starling likes to take a sip and a dip.

The bunny takes a drink to put the hop  in his hip!

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 The hawk  takes a water break and claims his domain.

 Mr . Toad  took a sip and a dip now just waits for the rain.

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The coyote gets a cool drink, soothing and calm.

A closer look reveals…yes it is…another photo bomb!  (Silly quail!)

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And be Merry…

 

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 The javelina , you would think, might want some water to swallow. But, they would rather tip over their drink and make a nice mud wallow!

Eat, drink and be merry, then what do we do?

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Guess the only thing left…. you just gotta poo!     (Pictured above, a lovely specimen of javelina shit 😉 )

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It’s a Wild Life!

Well, December 21st came and went. The Mayan calendar ended, the planets aligned, 2012 is coming to a close and life is going on without any major events…Except some nice stormy and wintery weather for the Holidays! For the most part, its been a good year. Todd’s projects have yielded a lot more landscaping, a beautiful revamped pond complete with fish, an outdoor potting/work bench, a chicken coop with chicken and a large garden plot ready for planting this spring! Our little desert acre is a mental sanctuary that keeps us from dwelling on the pressure and stress of ‘real life’! We have been so blessed!

Of course, one of the things we most enjoy about living here is having all of the wildlife that we can watch from our living room or the porch! This time of year, all of the reptiles, squirrels and dirt monkeys are safely tucked away in their underground homes, sleeping the winter away. We lose some of the variety of birds, as most go south, but we still have the quail, sparrows, mourning doves, and the cardinals…

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The cardinals dot the winter landscape with their brilliant color!  (I just missed getting the 3rd bird in this shot!)

The javelina are thick and having lots of babies!

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But, the baby javelina are good eatin’ for some during the winter…

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Bob has been hanging out  a lot!

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Although, we have not seen the bobcat get a baby javelina, we have seen him get rabbits! Quite gruesome!  I think the coyotes are more interested in the baby javies than the bobcats! (This next year I hope to get a photo of a coyote..the only pic that I don’t have!) We rarely see coyotes during the day, but almost always hear them at night, yipping and yelping! The other night Todd ran outside because we thought they might be trying to get into the chicken coop! Since then, Todd has put lots of reinforcements on the coop to prevent that from ever happening! I think the coyotes and bobcats have been a major contributor to the dwindling rabbit population! Now, we are lucky to see just one or two bunnies at a time!

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Awww…One bun’s just no fun!

So we decided to get a couple of our own!

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Meet C-Lo (Carrot LOver) and Odie

They are living happily inside,  and hopefully, we might train them to be good house rabbits (i.e. to use a litter box). We got a big portable  pen to put on the porch so they can go out and run around a bit. It’s a riot watching them running and hopping around! They are little hip hoppers! We can’t leave them unsupervised for a moment though.

Fresh buns  would be delightful delicacy for this guy…

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More than once, Mr. Hawkins has flown under the porch to check out our other possible menu items…

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Like Feline ala Furreir

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Or perhaps just a plain hot dog!

The only other possible pickings we had to offer was Petite Puggle…but I believe that she is no longer on Mr. Hawkin’s  menu…

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But Daisy had better watch out! Plump puggle would be a lovely dinner for Coyotes!

Super Bad!

I think that I’ve mentioned on several occasions how bad a javelina smells? Imagine, if you will,  the perfect combination of skunk and manure, with perhaps a touch of rotten meat…ok?

Last Thursday morning, around 10 am, I let the dogs out to do their business.We were greeted with that lovely stench coming from a ragtag bunch (about 12 javelinas) that had overtaken the yard! So we made a U-turn and headed back into the house! After watching them for a few moments, I realized that they were not moving on, so I thought I had better go out and investigate whatever was keeping them occupied….

   

It appeared they had breached Todd’s last remaining plant barricade, and were having one hell of a party! I tried to shoo them off, but was quickly aware that I was surrounded, so thought better of pissing them off, and left them to their javennanigans…

…Which included decapitating poor St. Francis!

Their plundering rampage kept them busy for several hours until they had full tummies and worn themselves out. But instead of moving on, they made themselves at home. Todd’s backyard was now a javelina jotel, littered with glutenous pigs! All twelve had picked out a comfy spot and crashed…

Pulllease!…Now how can you be mad at that! Awwwww!

They were still in the midst of their little siesta when Todd got home from work at 4 pm ( they had been here all day!)…I warned them that they had better be gone before Todd got home and found out what they did!!! There was gonna be hell to pay!

But would they go?….Hell no!

It just kept getting worse! Auuughhhh! F’ing Pigs!

That did it…

No…we really don’t want him dead:)

Beaugliful!

Last Sunday, the first day of the new year, I sat on the porch trying to get inspired. For some reason, I’m just not that into 2012. Not just because it’s supposed to mark the end of the world on the Aztec calendar (in fact, the big New Year’s Eve party in Tucson was called Aztec Apocalypse) which in itself, is not a very optimistic celebratory title.

I had to shake my malaise, so I grabbed the camera and headed out to explore the backyard, thinking that I could capture that New Year’s Cheer in some beautiful photos. I had missed the New Year’s Eve excitement the night before, going to bed at 9:30 pm, trying to stay awake watching Dick Clark’s New Years Bash, or whatever the hell it was. I had to give it up when they started extolling the virtues the occupy Wall street idiots….Gag! Yeah, that’s great….let’s encourage self pity and class warfare…that’ll surely bring great things this year!

So…anyway… on New Year’s day, I thought I would just occupy Todd’s Backyard and be happy! But, as I scanned the yard, looking for some lovely photo ops, I was having a hard time. The winter blahs have started to ‘brown out’ the lush greenery of Summer/Fall past. And many of the critters are hibernating or gone for the Winter….Ok, a little self pity here…

 I was however, a bit startled when focusing on said dreariness, there was something beautiful here!

I continued my photographic exploration…

I was discovering very interesting,  almost otherworldly  scenes through the lens of the camera! A kind of beautiful ugliness, if you will.

My imagination started to kick in, my spirits lifted!

The moon among the rocks?

A coyote head in the cholla bones?

A rock garden atop a weathered table!

I was on a roll…then I smelled him…

I turned around, and of course, what could be more thrilling than a javelina snuffling among the garden sculptures…

And the aroma!….Immediatly  brought me back to thoughts of the ‘occupied’ people….Aaauuurrrrrggh!

Ok, snap out of it!

Life is good!

Be Happy!….Beaugliful!

Have a Javelina?….

We do! We have a few!….PEEYEW!

The 3 Little Pigs

These 3 are as friendly as can be. They would love to just come up and hang out on the porch, but we haven’t let them….yet!

Over the past few years, the local Javelina (pronounced hav-a-leena for those who may not know), have become quite comfortable in Todd’s Backyard. They are lured by a tasty treat that’s always in abundance here…bird seed!

Now, you’re not supposed to feed these guys, but I don’t think letting them share the birdseed is a crime?

Of course they have other  favorite delectables such as: 1) Anything you may have just planted 2) Juicy cactus pads 3 )Succulent blossoms 4) Anything you would rather not have them eat!

Luckily, they haven’t cause too much ‘javoc’ here…

Some javies like to just ‘jang’-out under the bird feeders to catch a  bit-o-seed! Or root around in the roots to take a little mud bath in Todd’s  irrigation system.

He may be cool, but really…not so cool dude!

There is a group of basically 5 or six that visit on a regular basis. Our old buddy Jairy still comes around from time to time. Last week the group came to show off their newest addition to la familia…

The proud mommy tried to keep him from getting too close…

But, he seems to take after his older siblings/cousins/ friends? who have  quite the outgoing personality!

And like they say:

” In Todd’s backyard, the grass is always greena….at least it is for the Javelina 🙂 “

Jerd of Javelina….or….just a lotta pigs!

We haven’t seen much of Jairy and his javelina friends for quite a while…But we have had plenty of evidence that they’ve been through at night. They’ve been particularly fond of a couple of prickly pears that are close to the house. Every morning there’s a few more pads on the ground where they have been nibbling.

Last night about 6 pm a large group came in. We counted 12 including two tiny babies that had to be only a few days old!

Aawwwww! So cute!!

Full

I think a better word for Fall, is Full. Everything is full…. the rain gauge (almost 10″ this year so far!), the billowing, late monsoon clouds, cactus loaded with fruit, trees lush with leaves, critters feasting and getting ready to  hibernate, hearts getting ready for the holidays. It has to be the best time to live in the desert!

The white wing dove’s nest’s are still full, with the 3rd and final round of summer babies before they leave for the winter.

The prickly pears are bursting with a bounty of fruit, ready to pick now through the end of October. We’ve already been picking some of the fruit for our favorite resident…

T.L.’s favorite!…and she is certainly getting her fill before she hibernates!

Our other favorite residents, Jairy (the javelina) and his buddies, are bringing their little one’s around so they can fill up for the cooler months to come.

The birds are thick….migrating through the backyard, keeping Todd on his toes, trying to keep the feeders full.

Not to mention the hummingbird feeders, which get drained every night (this time of year), with the bats coming through to feed! Although luckily, the hummers have a few other sources in the yard for their sweet sustenance.

We are looking forward to our own sweet treats later this fall.We are going to get the mesquite beans milled into flour. We’ve collected and filled two 5 gallon pails, which will hopefully yield enough flour to make…um…..something…sweet???

We should also have a bumper crop of oranges, come February! There are literally hundreds of little oranges growing on the two orange trees in Todd’s Backyard.

We are truly thank-full to have made it through the Summer to enjoy this beauti-full and bounti-full fall!