June 18, 2013

Lizardtail (Gaura mollis), a common but distinctive tall wildflower of irrigated pastures hereabouts, is coming into bloom with delicate small pink flowers. In Spanish its name is much the more poetic, less grating in both sound and meaning than in English: Linda Tarde.

Five Mule Deer of the herd of seven come to eat, in the pasture where they bed down in the Sweetclover. They’re a bit bigger than they were a few weeks ago, and more shy though they do continue grazing with me nearby. What has happened to the two missing ones? Some have fine sets of antlers, others with antlers only beginning to show.

Today The Stockpond is ringed not with yellow birds (chats) but by a great number of blue ones (grosbeaks). Hummers galore zip down to the water surface, even more of them than I’d seen doing this beforeĀ if that be possible. For the next two weeks–or until the sweeping in of the first couple of monsoon storms–The Stockpond will be The Place for birds. A couple of pairs of eyes pop up from below the pond’s surface, jut above and out into the air, and they seem to be taking a knowing look at the world. They are of frogs or toads coming up for air, and their monstrous size says that this must be the first appearance of the Sonoran Toad. Once the toads start splashing around in ponds and puddles, garden fountains and jacuzzis, it means the temporales are on their way and that, we hope, nothing will stop. As with the first showing of Gila Monsters, local people celebrate this moment of The Arrival of the ToadsĀ but also worry about it if they have pets that will worry this very toxic toad and mouth it.