June 20, 2016

Oh Dolly, Dolly–how can you sing out from the radio, “Together you and I can stop the rain/and make the sun shine!” I hope she and Porter don’t come here, at least not now, the temperature yesterday having gone past the brink of 114 degrees and today, 109. Or is Dolly’s big hair of such continental massiveness that it can make its own weather, and would bring us rain no matter the words of her song? On second thought, maybe I should see if they’ll play it again.

The Ash-throated Flycatcher pair are on the double road gate at the north end of Mason’s, the male performing a whisper of a mating with his partner. She then pops through the large hole in the side of the heavy iron gate post a few feet above the ground and settles onto her nest within. This is the second year Alex and I have seen these birds occupy the place, which must cook with a Bessemer furnace-like heat! My clanging around her and cowboy drop-gate rebuilding there–the gate pivoting on the very post–has no effect on the bird’s behavior and she ignores me as she’s apparently smart enough to conclude that I am no threat, the same as she did last year. This casts doubt on the growing effort to see that all such pipes used in ranch fencing be covered, their blocked up to keep birds from getting trapped inside.

An adult Say’s Phoebe puts in a rare summer appearance, hawking out after bugs from the top of #3 Pasture’s wheel line. After a number of summers’ observation of them, I can only come to think that they leave the area to seek out the human-made structures now much preferred for nesting sites, the nearest of those being a distance away on ridges to the north.