June 29, 2013

A Great Blue Heron sails past out on the Pastures, how can a birder ever get used to this species being in the desert? Its size and movement, pure majesty. The five Yellow-headed Blackbirds are here today again and I wonder if they’ll stay nearby for the summer.

The big, wingless red and black “Velvet Ants” (wasps) have started their purposeful and quick search over the ground for the holes of other wasps and bees they might parasitize, oh they are splendid insects if a bit scary, considering their powerful sting’s reputation. I find a few more Bull Thistle flowering heads that must be removed, some have bees impaled in an upright position and dead on the bristles of those flowers, as if put on a pin there by a collector. Were they clumsy? trapped by the arrangement of the prickles? stuck there by a predator? blown into the involucres by the spring winds that never ended this year? (I’m about to be blown into craziness myself by the dry blasts that hit the Ridge House through the night, clear the table of every paper, pull the pictures off the refrigerator magnets and all, pull paintings down, slam doors, turn over patio chairs, blow lamps off shelves …)

Later in the day those winds spring to life, a hot blast of air like a propane torch has the metal frames of my glasses burning my nose and eye brows, 10% humidity, the temperature soars to 107 degrees–not quite to that point where I could start to malfunction. It’s too late for the souls of those Creosote Bush leaves to cry for water and the Monsoon, for they are blowing off in pale yellow and brown masses and the hills round about become even more barren … […]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uicy9wFuNvU