July 30, 2016

Looks like it will be a year of Lark Bunting irruption again: a large flock passes overhead at Mason Pastures. We never hear their sweet song hereabouts, that is a pleasure known to their High Plains breeding grasslands but their funny rubber-ducky call notes tickle as they rain down on these their wintering grounds. The birds are still in incredibly dapper black summering grounds plumage, with gleaming white wing patches. Here is another bird come to teach there are only the briefest of weeks that are purely Summer, as there are only the briefest of weeks that are purely Autumn, or Winter, or Spring.

The naturalizing Bull Frogs have got themselves somehow up the sheer sides of the “new” metal stocktank that was rehabilitated to help the Stockpond keep from getting sullied by the cattle herd–one huge frog sits balanced facing outwards, perched on the rim, contemplating the scenery and probably feeling pretty easy about no herons ever going there to clean out frogs. Several Summers have passed now since there was a large turnout of chortling, mating Sonoran Desert Toads in the “real” pond and I miss their spectacle and their lascivious inflating and deflating gurgles. It may be coincidence, but their numbers have declined with us in proportion to the increasing balance the Stockpond has found as its water slowly became clear and even healthy enough that aquatic plants have colonized it. Or are there no more of the huge, water-dancing desert toads because the Bull Frogs have out competed them?