What a soap opera!
A few days ago I wondered if any birds would show up at my feeders. Now it’s big drama out there! A flock of about twenty mourning doves make an appearance every day, and almost as many purple finches. Two hummingbirds are regulars, too.
This morning all hell broke loose.
The finches and the doves show up as usual. The hummingbirds zoom to the feeder in the paloverde. Then the gila woodpeckers make the scene. Four of them! They fight over the sugar water, and also climb up the pole to get at the seeds. Which I don’t understand. Woodpeckers eating seeds? I though they were fruit and bug eaters. Anyway . . .
I’m not so sure the hummingbirds are fighting.
If you get my meaning. The two of them fly together in great arcs, up so high I lose sight of them, which is probably for the best. Let them have their privacy.
The gila woodpeckers are big and their bills are longer.
That means they get to make the rules, I guess. They get to push the other birds off the seed tray or away from the water bowl. They get to scare up the doves.
They’re very clever, too.
My dorky hummingbird feeder doesn’t have any perches. This presents a problem for the woodpeckers. One of them figures out if he perches on a slender paloverde branch above the feeder and slowly moves toward the tip of the branch, at a certain, precise point his weight causes the branch to bend down to the fake yellow flowers on the feeder. From there he can suck up all the sugar water he wants.
The other three observe this tactic.
The battle is on to see who stays on the flimsy branch and who gets shoved off. The losers fly to the ocotillo and hang on its stems, waiting for their turn at the sugar water.
Between the high-flying hanky-panky of the hummers, the fluttering, flapping, and flushing of the doves, the happy singing and chattering of the finches, and the bully antics and adroit acrobatics of the woodpeckers, my eyes can hardly keep up. It’s a wonder I don’t spill my coffee down the front of my shirt.
Oh dear, look at this blog post.
I’m seven paragraphs deep already and I haven’t made it past breakfast yet! I’m blogging in the BLT today. It’s still very cloudy. In fact, we had a few sprinkles. Enough sunshine made it to the panel so I can post.
It’s a struggle all morning as I work to add more items to the “Shopping List and Links” page. The laptop and air card fight me at every turn, cranky because they aren’t gorging on charge like they’re accustomed.
Now you can shop from my blog for anything you want at Amazon.
The link is in the sidebar. Many of you comment that you’ll do your Amazon shopping here. I appreciate that very much. It’ll be fun to see what earnings are generated. I’ll post that information in my monthly financial reports.
I have to get away from the computer. The crew and I go for a walk and find many interesting shapes in the desert.
Today’s Walk in the Desert
So glad that you have the Amazon link. Hope it is prosperous for you. I know it can really help.
Even if it’s only a few dollars a month… You know how I can stretch a dollar!
I am going to butt in here, because I want all of Sue’s readers to vote for her as blogger of the year! Go to this link and give her a vote! http://2013.bloggi.es/
You”re so sweet, Geri. I don’t stand a chance. Thanks anyway.
Hummingbirds are such rabble-rousers. Nothin’ but trouble! Considering how much they fight with each other, my husband wonders how they ever produce any young.
Well, the answer to your husband’s wondering can be summed up in one word: agility 🙂
We learned in Utah, when the hummers are squabbling this could be part of their ‘mating dance’ ! We love Amazon too, so now we know where to go! This is a great post, we love our birds too. The golden finches are munching on 2 thistle bags as we speak!
I love golden finches. Isn’t the Amazon thing great? I’m having fun building the pages and links and reading my big earnings reports. 🙂
Great pics, I like the organ pipe with the rock formation behind it. We are suppose to get more rain, hope we get enough sun for your batteries to charge.
Wonderful description of the birds. The desert is such a beautiful place and so full of activity and wonder.
Thank you for the pics.
Pat in Ajo
Glad you like the photos, Pat. Two cloudy days in a row in Ajo… now that doesn’t happen often!
sue, that is my kind of drama! i’m glad you got the link all set 🙂
It’s a lot of work setting up the pages of products. I’m hoping people find the pages interesting and helpful. Once it’s set up, this Amazon thing is fun!
Sue, is your van a 2500??? My tires are much bigger than your’s. Your’s is a Chevy Express isn’t it. I’m in Parker waiting for tires to come in. What size tire are you using and what brand??? This is all a little Greek to me, but I need a tire that will hold up better for all the off road driving I do… and so far all I am doing is feeding the earth a lot of rubber. Email me if you would rather – email@example.com.
My van is a 1500. I’ll email you tomorrow (Sat.) with details.
I can see why Ajo is one of your favorite places to be. Sounds like you can spend hours just watching the birds. Love the pics of the crew’s walk.
Enjoy your evening.
Hi Cindy and Jules…. I need to email you about the package of goodies you sent. What a chuckle I got opening it up!
If you have to be around sick people….may as well be prepared! 🙂
Germaphobe and Jules
Cindy and Jules,
I was going to email you today. I have to conserve power. Hours of constant rain, looks like all day will be rain and dark skies. So . . . Thank you again for your generosity and thoughtfulness. I’ve got the gel bottle in my purse, wipes in the PTV, and a gel bottle in the BLT. That Emergen-C stuff looks powerful. I’ll let you know how the green bags work for me.
Send some of that rain our way, we’re REALLY dry. And Emergen-C is GREAT!
It’s a dark, cloudy day here. The ground is so soft from the rain I’m not driving the PTV… It’ll tear up the campsite. Everybody seemed to know about Emergen-C except me!
I miss you and Geri. Wish you were here.
And me, I didn’t know about it either until someone suggested it on my blog as helpful with the crud that got ahold of me and won’t let go.
Love your slideshow today.! I really “felt” your love for the desert …..with all its myriad shades of green, its amazing array of textures all arrayed against majestic rock formations and big sky! Just gorgeous Sue! thank you! (Renee, on a Gulf Island, BC, Can.)
You’re welcome, Renee. The longer I’m in the desert, the more I see.
What is your recipe for the sugar water? It’s apparently popular!
Four to one… Heat 4 cups water, dissolve one cup sugar. New batch in 5-7 days, depending on weather, don’t want bacteria to build up.
I’d like to see pictures of the birds (if possible)…pretty please. I notice you took pictures of some aging saguaro cactus…careful they can be dangerous. I read in paper a saguaro fell on a man and killed him ….. I don’t know the details but you would think he had some warning and he didn’t pay attention to get out of the way. Maybe the saguaros fall silently…who knows. They weight tons with all the water weight. I know I’m a pessimist…all doom and gloom but sometimes I just have to say it otherwise it would bother me. Your description of birds was hilarious… soap opera indeed.
I’ll be careful. Thanks for your concern. Boy, sounds like that guy’s time was up.
I’ll try to capture some photos of the birds. I’ve been trying. They blend in with the background or fly off at the slightest movement.
Sue & Crew: I have a woodpecker here, called a “Flicker”, that eats birdseed and off of the suet bar that I have hanging for the finches and Jays. The first time I saw it I didn’t believe my eyes.
I guess woodpeckers will eat whatever is handy.
my woodpecker family eat from the suet almost every day but not from the seed feeder…i always assumed they didn’t like it, but maybe it’s because they are so timid (not like sue’s birds~these are small).
At first I thought maybe the woodpeckers were mimicking when they pecked at the seed tray. Now I see they definitely are eating seeds. Unusual.
You’re probably right. There isn’t an abundance of fruit this time of year and I see very few insects.
If you go to EBATES.COM you can order from MANY stores and receive money back. Free to sign up and begin shopping and I found they have better coupons sometimes. It’s very interesting. We’ve only shopped through them for a few weeks and have already received money back. Can’t beat that!! Love your blog! Very interesting and enjoyable!! Love hearing about you and the crew!!
Um, that’s competition. Hmm . . . I don’t know if Amazon is going to like seeing that posted here.
Thanks for the compliments on my blog, Diane.
We live in the Grand Rapids, MI area. Hope to full time RV within a couple of years. We are having a heat wave right now of +20 degrees vs. -4 a couple of days ago!!! Wish I was sitting in the dessert!!!
I wish I was sitting in the dessert, too. Chocolate cream pie would be nice. I’m sorry, Diane. 🙂 That wasn’t nice of me. Couldn’t help it! I make that spelling error all the time and then spell check hits me upside the head! Twenty degrees is a heat wave… Oh, I could cry.
It would be appropriate if you were sitting in chocolate cream pie…today, after all, is National Chocolate Cake Day. Close enough!
I had a neighbor who had a humming bird feeder with yellow plastic flowers and the woodpecker bird drilled a hole in the flower to get the sugar water and ruined the feeder.
Gosh, woodpeckers are amazing. I wonder where they got the power drill from.
Tweety is the mastermind behind all bird manipulations of taking over the world. Oh sure he looks cute, but that crainum is HUGE to house the brightest brain there ever was. Go ahead and laugh now but in the future “Birds Will Rule”.
You’re right, Joe. That’s why I’m feeding them. Hope they remember and I stay in their good graces.
it was solar powerered…….
THAT was amazing! (The Amazon link ) ……. and when I clicked on it, it went straight to MY lists, my latest browsing, etc. You may be contributing to my shopping addiction!!! HA HA! Anyway, I was definitely tickled to see that it was easier to enter via your link, than to bring up the browser, then go there.
I will let you know when I buy something, what it was, so you can ‘see’ what happens!!
How do we see what you recommended? ……… or is it linked to everything, like my previous browsing, etc. ?
Love the bird stories! Gluttony and sex in the middle of the desert!! It IS a soap opera for the birds!!
Products I recommend are found on the pages in the drop-down menu from the header at top. Click lightly on “Shopping List and Links.” I have two categories set up to click on. . . “For the road and the campsite” and “For your crew.” I’ll add more as time goes by.
Nice to hear the links are fluid and easy. Feel free to feed your addiction! 🙂 . . . and thank you.
Nice work with the Shopping List, Sue! I’m a regular Amazon shopper and will be sure to use your link for future purchases. You deserve it.
I appreciate your support, Bruce.
Just placed a $33 order on amazon through your link. I hope you make some serious cash with this endeavor! Reading your blog is the highlight of my day. Looking forward to becoming a desert rat someday soon!
I’m happy you enjoy my blog, Barb. It’s fun being a desert rat. Thanks for the order. Much appreciated.
Watching nature happen is so much more entertaining than television, isn’t it? I love the behavior of animals. I’ll be ordering some things from Amazon in a week or so and will certainly order through your Blog.
Thank you, Rob or Juley, whoever plans to shop Amazon through my blog.
Probably both of us. We are both avid readers of your blog.
Great! I’m glad you’re with us.
I too would love to see pictures of the birds. I feed hummingbirds in the summer and never get bored watching them. I am really enjoying your blog. The pictures are wonderful
Thank you, Sandy. These birds are skittish. I lift up the camera and off they go! Plus they’re camo against the desert color. I’ll keep trying!
Sue, you’re the kind of bird watcher I am! I like to actually watch them, observing [and being highly entertained by] their behavior, in contrast to ‘bird watchers’ who only want to identify as many species as possible. Don’t know if you’ve ever been to the Rio Grande Valley in TX but it’s possibly the best birding in North America in the winter. AZ and NM are good too, of course.
I’ve heard the birding in TX is fantastic. Maybe someday…
I’m dog-sitting for a friend with her 4 dogs so I know how entertaining animals can be. Don’t need a TV for real drama around here. Animals are the best.
Four dogs could be an easy dog-sitting job if they’re the right breed. I wouldn’t want to try to take care of four Jack Russells! They’re cute but energetic.
Hi Sue, Love the pic of the Barrel Cactus! We got one as a parting gift from Mountain Spirits RV and it planted right at the top of the stairs (a he!! of a job planting BTW) It’s about 1/2 the size of the one you pictured! Chuck n Geri from Truth or Consequences, NM
I’m an Amazon junkie, so will go through your site to order my stuff. Hope this helps you out as you certainly spend a great effort to help us see your world – and we love it!
Thank you very much, Marcia.
Husband and I were in NM last winter for a week, exploring and considering if that might be where we retire someday (from MI)…and I asked an artist at one of the shops in Albuquerque if he missed the green (he was fro WI) and he said there were so many colors in the desert that he did not miss the green of the midwest. I see his point.
I am following you because I have this dream someday to live in a small mobile place. I teeter between thinking it will be an RV (small) or a towable…am worried about towing something and having to back up. I am horrible backing up anything with a hitch. But it would be good not to have to drive the RV everywhere, to leave the home at the campsite. Still debating. Love your little home…am going to go find a website to check them out.
I agree with the artist. Not only are there many colors in the desert, the subtle hues brought about by changing light are inspirational to artists and people who love nature.
Years ago I had a bass boat on a trailer. Backing up that thing was impossible! Yet backing up the BLT is a breeze. A big part of the difference, I think, is the length of the wheel base of the tow vehicle.
You’ve probably found their website already… http://www.casitatraveltrailers.com A Casita may be too small for the two of you, although some couples do fine with a 17-footer.
Good luck choosing the home-on-wheels that’s best for you and your husband.
And don’t forget to look at http://www.parkliner.com if you are looking at smaller trailers.
Thanks both of you. Odds are it will just be me and my dog. Husband isn’t interested at all in the RV lifestyle. Silly man.
we had rotisserie chicken for dinner tonight and I thought you and the crew. my doggies got their share as well as one of the cats. yummy. the desert sure has alot of life living on it doesn’t it? beautiful on so many levels. enjoy
I smile to think there’s a lady in Mississippi who connects me with rotisserie chicken. It’s the crew’s favorite snack. I bet your crew (canine and feline) would agree!
Love your version of drama. If only everyone could experience such serenity and be free of the weight of all the crap in the world. 🙂 I’m excited about your Amazon link, and plan to use it the next time I shop. Love Amazon!! Love your blog.
Oh, so many times I think of people I know and care about who are worn down daily by “the weight of all the crap in the world.” . . . and I wish I could free them! That’s what I hope my blog will do — Help people see there’s another way to live, that it’s possible if they can find a way to grab it.
I love Amazon, too! I appreciate your enthusiasm. And I’m glad you love my blog.
Have one more bird story to add. I have a kitty who loves to stay outdoors. I feed her on my front deck. There is a mockingbird that comes and sits on my deck after I go back into the house and patiently waits until the cat is done, and then eats his fill of dry cat food. It certainly is a routine that both of us enjoy.
Interesting, DeAnne. Birds can be very bold. I hope your kitty doesn’t seek revenge!
I put a hummingbird feeder outside my window and I can spy on them without them seeing me. There is one bird that chases off the others. I”ve seen it sit on the branch of the tree and when another bird shows up, it dives in after it. So entertaining!!
Ginger Las Vegas
Hi Ginger . . . That’s how the romance between these two hummers began. . . The soap opera will continue! Fun, isn’t it.
Great pictures. Just getting ‘back in touch with the world’. We were in Ocala National Forest – very poor cell and internet connection. Turns out we really liked this part of FL and plan to come back someday. But what we are most looking forward to is getting to some of those places you have been telling about. Thanks. We’ll be there sometime next year.
You’re welcome. Life is grand when you have exciting adventures ahead!
What wonderful writing! I actually found myself totally there with you watching the birds.
What is that long, multi armed cactus thing in the slide show? It is very cool!