May 10, 2013

An oriole is piping in the bosque despite the cold before sunrise–and cold it is, the upper 30s again! Yet by mid-afternoon the air will reach the mid-80s. Myself I’m grousing, not piping, over having to get wet in setting up the early sprinkler irrigation. The pair of Mexican Mallards that are on The Stockpond these mornings are swimming and foraging when I arrive, but are gone when I get back to the pump to check pressure and oil drip. I’m sure they take off when the water comes shooting out of the pond outlet with the noise of Old Faithful. This becomes their habit during this period of irrigation, and they often don’t return before I leave at day’s end. The gush of water doesn’t bother the Spotted Sandpiper cutting a rumba along the shore, it must be grateful to find this mud no matter how cold it is, or how noisy the riser’s spray or ominously moans the sniffer that lets air pressure out ahead of the nose of the water rushing down the main. All the Yellow-rumped Warblers seem gone, or at least their absence is conspicuous. I expect they’ve found streams and conifers more to their liking now high in those mountains above us, in the Rincon and the Santa Catalina and the Pinalenos.

Not a male, but a female, Redwing sits on a wheel today. She shows orange before the eye, and a little red shoulder herself and both make her sure-enough pretty as the male is handsome. It’s a monsoon sky overhead full of beautiful clouds that long ago had became rare, and late in the day there is thunder from afar. Is this all we’re going to be getting out of Mini Monsoon this year?