Feliz Pascuas

Las flores salgan de los cardones. The cardon cactii are in bloom.
Las flores salgan de los cardones. The cardon cactii are in bloom.

Happy Easter, everyone. The Easter bunny does not cross the border to deliver eggs and candy in Mexico. Easter here retains its strong ties to the traditions of Spain and the Roman Catholic Church. So there are bloody pageant plays in the streets and church services and family gatherings. But in Mexico it is also a time of massive family outings to the beach. Hordes of humanity flee their everyday life and pitch tents on beaches all over the country. Not much work gets done during Semana Santa.

In the Easter spirit I have posted a picture of the bird of peace. The common ground dove. This dove species makes daily excursions in our yard. The dogs ignore it entirely as it wanders around grazing on ants and seeds. The doves also ignore the dogs and amble quite closely to both Olive and Elvis. Meanwhile I cannot be in the yard at the same time as these birds. The doves do not tolerate humans. These pictures were taken from the gNash using a telephoto lens. So there’s peace on earth between doves and dogs but not between humans and doves. Smart doves.

The cactus flower shot was captured from ground level looking up at a 20′ high cardon. This was also with telephoto. That’s why there is a very shallow depth of field. These flowers attract bats and bugs and birds but the activity is hard to see because it’s far overhead. There is not actual flower in the picture here. There are buds about to open and flowers turning into the fruit. I’ve got my eyes peeled and my telephoto on and I hope to capture some blooms soon.

Ground doves.
Ground doves.
Ground Dove
Ground Dove
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More Birds

A pair of Scott's Orioles.
A pair of Scott’s Orioles.

A pitch of Orioles have arrived and two of them are using our fence to get around. Orioles are monogamous and this male female pair enjoyed their morning feed together. The Scott’s Oriole is a fantastic singer. They must have heard about the rumpus room song sessions.

Speaking of singing, our weekend event is being promoted on the radio and the Gypsy Carpenters have leaped off the silver screen and onto the magic airwaves. At least our name has. The substance behind the name, our music and images, remain unheard and unseen. We’re sneaking up on secret cult phenomenon. These things are delicate and can’t be rushed.

Like my new hat?
Like my new hat?
Female above, male below.
Female above, male below.
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Gilded Flickers are in Town

The upper bird seemed to be doing a mating display or merely grooming. I could not determine. The lower bird was uninterested.
The upper bird seemed to be doing a mating display or merely grooming. I could not determine. The lower bird was uninterested.

Our aloe are attracting more birds everyday. Yesterday the gilded flickers stopped by for a sample. I found the flickers entertaining because they use the fence to walk from plant to plant rather than fly. I saw my first flicker in Montana. It happened to be injured and stuck on the ground. We carried it off to the bird therapist and never heard from it again. Some birds are like that. That was not a gilded flicker but a northern flicker. They differ in the under wing color and habitat.

Here in Baja these birds carve nest cavities in the ginormous cardon cactus. The cactus could seep out water and meet its demise from these holes but instead they secret sap and the sap hardens and makes a little room for the birds. How sweet is that? Maybe our possibly preening bird below is cleaning wet sap off its feathers?

Check out that face,
Check out that face,
Look at my pretty wing. That's how you can tell I'm gilded and not a northern. That and the habitat.
Look at my pretty wing. That’s how you can tell I’m gilded and not a northern. That and the habitat.
Alas, poor Yorick. Our gilded flicker wonders what happened to this pelican,
Alas, poor Yorick. Our gilded flicker wonders what happened to this pelican,
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Birdies

Male hooded oriole taking in the view from our fence.
Male hooded oriole taking in the view from our fence.

The aloe is in full bloom all around and the orioles are here having a grand time hooking up and eating to their fill. I have an oriole specific feeder full of sugar water but so far only ants, bees, hummingbirds and butterflies have used it. The orioles prefer their native food source.  In this part of Baja both Bullock’s Oriole and the Hooded Oriole can be found. Orioles are part of the blackbird family and like most blackbirds they have a rich song. A friend recently saw a yellow headed blackbird kill another yellow headed blackbird in a mating dispute. We’ve seen some fights around here but nothing close to lethal. Perhaps the yellow heads are the hot heads of the blackbird family.

Spanish class is calling. Gotta go.

 

Female on aloe.
Female on aloe.
Female sticks her nose into the aloe. It looks like they were designed for each other.
Female sticks her nose into the aloe. It looks like they were designed for each other.
The male protecting his yard.
The male protecting his yard.
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