Summer begins tomorrow and I’m not all that thrilled. Panhandle summers are, as a rule, hot, dry, and windy, characteristics that I don’t particularly enjoy. Dry and hot are the more tolerable of the three, although I’ve developed an aversion to sweating over the years, but windy really annoys me. Dust and grit in your nose and eyes and ears, dirty brown haze on the horizon, wind howling in your ears; it’s enough to make anyone a bit peevish, especially someone as easily peeved as I’m known to be. Worst of all is trying to drive in it.
Today was no exception to the rule. It’s about 37°C this afternoon, humidity is less than 30% (actually fairly humid, we are more used to percentages in the teens,) and the wind is steady at 48 kph with occasionally higher gusts. The wind was so bad Saturday that it broke two large branches (nearly half the tree) off of my Mulberry and Sheila and I spent the last 2 hot, dry, windy days cleaning up and hauling off the mess.
I haven’t done much birding or photography in this weather. I was out for about 90 minutes yesterday morning and again this morning, and got a few good shots, but didn’t see anything new. I enjoy watching the same old birds, even the House Finches and Sparrows at my feeders, but the real reason I go out is to get that great photo of a bird that I’ve never seen before (or at least get a great photo of a bird I’ve only gotten crummy pics of before.)
I’m getting closer to a great portrait of a Painted Bunting.
This Northern Cardinal
at Lake Meredith’s Harbor Bay seemed glad to have an audience, even if it was just me. He could do worse, I really do have a keen ear for great music. There were also several Orchard and Bullock’s Orioles, Western Kingbirds, a Lark Sparrow and Northern Mockingbirds in the same area, all singing cheerfully.
At Spring Canyon 5 Turkey Vultures picked through the Father’s day trash, but the coolest thing I saw was a group of 6 Scissor-tailed Flycatchers hunting over the pond.
The White-faced Ibis and the Sandhill Cranes were gone from the playa lake near Panhandle, but there were still a few American Avocets wading around Sunday.