It’s too hot to fight over space and water, so the hummers male and female only drink. The red algae has about taken over The Stockpond, and the hummingbirds have to force their bills down through the surface of thick scum. A couple of White-throated Swifts come in with a terrible whistle and whine, curve to the pond but scream off at the other without drinking, at least at first. Finally a few of them open a bill and plow through the thick covering, and get enough drops to keep them going. They are magnificently graceful, and so bullet-fast that there is no way to lay the binoculars on them in time before they’re gone and back to the slot canyons and cliffs rising on the other side of The River.
Though the Cascabel Weather Station registers something cooler, my thermometer says 110 degrees. It’s fortunate that Phat Phreddie has disappeared, for the work of clearing the last of the bolting, flowering Bull Thistle in that heat stuns me beyond caring whether the rattlesnake is there or not. Those goldfinches are all around me still working happily on the Malta star thistle seeds, oh bless them! The sky is not blue–it is incandescent. There are thunderheads in the East!