Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cranky but Still Smiling


Might there be a rain cloud up there? Please?


We’re in a so-called “moderate” drought, approaching “severe”. I call it severe now since the grass under my feet is crunching out loud and it isn’t even July yet. Lawn irrigation just can’t take the place of a good, steady rainfall for a few days. Less than one inch of rain over two months just doesn’t cut it and the sun is getting increasingly hot.



Before I let the dogs out, I say to them, “Now, don’t frighten the pigeons and blackbirds, OK?” How funny! The safflower is working at deterring the grackles and starlings but they are really after the suet. It will be a while before they stop stalking the feeders. The suet feeder is wiped clean and I don’t plan to fill it again for a long time :o( Winter and early spring was such a pleasure for me and I’ll miss the activity around the feeders. I just cleaned them two weeks and ago and now they are splattered with a mess that looks like Elmer’s school glue shot from a gun. It’s quite offensive! During the summer months, I think thistle and safflower seed should satisfy. I’ll know when it’s the right time to add more to the menu. Meanwhile, I'll go out to the birds instead of watching them in my yard.

Since there isn’t anything to look for around the feeders, I’ll have to find something else to do, I guess. Ho, hum.


This poor baby was frightened to death under the canopy ceiling at the back entrance of the building. As expected, I was the only one who noticed. For hours, it trembled and clung to the brick and of course, I tried to sweet talk him down. HA!


I went out and bought unsalted peanuts to lure the poor thing. Silly thought on my part, but very heartfelt. Later, someone with real brain power threw water and the little squirrel scampered away. Where is my mind?


I have camera worries. The hummingbirds were flying past my face yesterday and my camera lost power for no reason because I know it was charged. Hmmmm. Nasty dance! I can still see that bright ruby throat glistening in the sun in the most perfect hummingbird photo of all that I missed. Here’s a female. The male is quick and wary, switches to reverse gear, and darts into hiding but I am vigilant.
The thrill of victory keeps me going and the agony of defeat only fuels my passion. I hope to be able to zoom fully when the hummers arrive. It takes practice and strategy!


If my cell phone hadn’t interrupted me, I would have gotten a hilarious series of this Mockingbird chasing a grape down the street. The birds are devouring fresh fruit out there that I offer occasionally but I don’t know who is – because I’m at WORK.


The Koi are spunky. June is their horny month and I’ve been seeing a lot of rigorous wrestling going on in the pond. The toads are still feeling amorous, too. At least the Koi don’t scream at the top of their lungs and there is quiet around here until dark.


I’ve been wondering how the ground and insect feeding birds are doing in this drought. Their food supply must be somewhat limited.


I wanted this bee in flight!
Things have got to improve around here! Dammit.


Dorothy said...

Mary I can feel your pain! I have a picture of my boss asleep at his desk..similar to your useless coworker. My boss knows I have his picture and I threaten to post it to the main server so everyone can see him in all his glory should he ever gives me any grief about anything.
Your yard is lovely, even though parched for water..your pups are precious, and your koi are outstanding! So there. I hope and pray your camera is just giving you a temporary glitch..or maybe it's just your battery giving up the ghost..and not your camera after all. (You do give it a workout you know.) (VBG) If I see a "rain stick" I'll get one for you and send it your way. Maybe it will help. Sending hugs for a better day tomorrow...

Anonymous said...

as always you are taking some wonderful photos! Water works but sooner or later the peanuts would have worked! Wow, look at your lawn! How crazy is that? Hope it rains for you!

Cathy said...

You know, Mary - if you could teach the rest of the world how to re-channel frustration into immensely entertaining blogs - what a fine world this would be :0)

I CAN NOT believe that business with your shirker boss.

Any one of your pictures deserves its own post, but that one of the pups - Awwwww :0)

(Oh - I'd have been just like you regarding the squirrel - the impulse is to nurture - not hassle)

nina at Nature Remains. said...

I agree--your photos are wonderful. If I could only master the focus button...oh, well. I blame it on the sun, you know, "I can't see a darn thing"!

Julie Zickefoose said...

I would never throw water on a baby anything, much less a frightened squirrel. Poor little dude. Your photos today are exquisite. I think you should put a video camera in that guy's office, and then play the tape back at the office Christmas party.

Susan Gets Native said...

Sorry about your grass, Mary.
But it highlights the problem with all this damn grass around here. Grass uses about 50% of the water supply. It's a thirsty, greedy plant. Plants who have evolved in a certain area are adapted to use the amount of water that naturally falls from the sky.
Native plants rarely, if ever, need watering. They can handle drought, by conserving its resources, or going dormant.
Dig up that dead grass and plant some natives, girl. They are more interesting to look at anyway.
Less grass means less water used, less gasoline to cut it, less fumes entering the atmosphere.
Less grass means more variety of plant life, more variety of animal life, more variety of insect life, more variety of BIRD life.
Sorry...I'm ranting. But that's my job.
LOVE the dogs conked out on the couch. Give me that life!

Unknown said...

Mary, just so's you know . . . in my area we get zero rain for the entire summer. We probably won't see any rain until mid-October. It's all irrigation in the summer here.

That hummingbird picture is SPECTACULAR!!!

Sorry about the co-worker. You could start slamming doors and dropping things outside his office regularly. You could all play telephone tag with him -- take turns ringing him up and then hanging up when he answers. Hide alarm clocks in his office set to go off at random intervals. There are ways to make the ugly situation at least entertaining! :)

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Any chance of getting the sleepy heads office with the window???
I keep trying to send rain! Hope you get some soon.
The Mocking birds are doing a pretty good job keeping the Grackles and Starlings at bay, it is the Doves that are cleaning my feeders out! At any given time there are 30 plus on the wire on the ground and in the feeders!
Saw a male Indigo Bunting today!!!
No photo. Maybe he will come back.
Enjoyed your post. Your pups are so sweet.

Jayne said...

Sending hugs and deep "Calgon take me away" breaths to you today...

Cuppa said...

Working across the hall from Sleepy has got to be so frustrating. Forget the bees, I would be mad as a hornet!

On second thought, maybe the bees have the right attitude. Enjoy the flowers, dig down deep for the sweet nectar and go make some honey! Sleepy is the loser here! Buzz on hunny!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mary,
I used to work for a boss who would fall asleep all the time at his desk. I took Liza Lee's approach....make a lot of noise, kick the door accidentally. It was hilarious to see him jerk back into action and he never caught on to my game.
Your pictures are fabulous, your dogs are darling, and we're all here for you. Hang in there and rant all you want....cuz it's your blog and free therapy! :-)

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I LOVE your rants Mary! It would make me nuts to have a highly paid lumpy co-worker too. I like RuthieJ and Liza's ideas of making it a less "restful" atmosphere! Your photos are the best. I've never had much luck attracting hummers. Maybe if I got a beautiful jewell feeder like yours!

Annie in Austin said...

Too bad about your dorky coworker, I wish you'd get some rain, and yeah, you probably have too much lawn, the girls are always adorable, but MARY, my goodness!

My heart just jumped when I saw that hummingbird photo - the way you caught the wing raised and the angle of her head and shoulders- breathtaking. It would be cool to see just the part of the photo with the hummingbird, no feeder, so she could be appreciated as a solitary element.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Mary said...

Thanks, Annie. I'm going to try to get that solitary hummer.

NatureWoman said...

I love Julie's comment to capture Rip Van Winkle on video for the X-Mas party.
The sun feels really good here where I live, sorry it's scorching you down there.
I *love* your hummingbird photo - how awesome!!!! You rock Mary!

Elaine Cougler Author said...

Why is it that some people have the nerve to be lazy when the rest of us are so busy pulling our load and keeping in our co-workers' good graces? I guess they have no worries about what others think. Maybe we should envy that but it is still pretty annoying.
BTW, I love that hummingbird feeder. It is so colourful the hummingbirds are almost coincidental.

Anonymous said...

Great photos, Mary! Sorry you had a bad day. Don't you think every office has to have someone like that??

Yes, that mockingbird/grape shot would have been good. I have seen seagulls swoop down and fly off with lottery tickets, (we live near a store) and other strange things.

Does it ever get so bad you have water rationing?

LostRoses said...

Mary, my apologies, I think we're getting all your rain! It's as green around here as I ever remember seeing it this time of year. We're all enjoying it now knowing what the heat of summer will do to our lawns.

My boss was a "sleeper" too. But one day last December he suddenly got his marching papers and was gone that very day. Apparently someone higher up woke up (pun intended) to the fact that he was a slacker. But there's always someone annoying in the office, isn't there? Good thing we have our gardens and birds to distract us, isn't it? Lovely photo of the hummer!

Beth said...

Mary, your blog just keeps getting better and better. I LOVE that hummingbird pic! These photos evoke some wonderfully deep emotion in's beautiful!

I agree wholeheartedly with Ruthie and Liza Lee about a few subtle incidents in the office to awaken the slumbering giant. I'm waiting for THAT post! Be proactive, girl - it makes life so much more interesting!

Mary said...

Sandy, just this morning they announced "voluntary" watering only between the hours of midnight and 3am because pumping stations are struggling with pool filling (Memorial Day), etc. I'm afraid we'll have mandatory rationing soon and they are very strict with it here.

All: The sleepy one snored today (he's not my boss). He woke up at 2:30 after a nice nap and left the office at 3pm. Nice, huh? When he gets canned, I'm going to apply for his job.

KGMom said...

Mary--workers who sleep (instead of working) are very frustrating to me. At my last full time job my department was eliminated after a merger--so that meant no work for me. They found jobs for all my "people" (thank goodness). Then a couple years later, the guy who decided I was irrelevant was canned himself.
Sleepers bug me because I would have liked to keep my job a little longer. Not sure there's a real connection here, but I like to work. People who don't puzzle me.

possumlady said...

Mary, like everyone else, I'm in awe of your photos. And, I would have done the EXACT same thing with the baby squirrel!

Our office has a mother pigeon nesting in one of our window boxes on the 6th floor. We had window washers coming in yesterday. I panicked since I knew they would be going out the window where the nest was. I raced to the office manger, then the building engineer, then to the washers themselves to make sure she wouldn't be disturbed. They used another window but they did scare her off her nest for a few minutes. Just enough time for me to see two rather gangly yellow-fuzzed chicks! All is well.

I WISH my boss would sleep sometimes! He has more energy than a flock of hummingbirds!

Mary said...

Hi Possum Lady! Thanks for visiting. I've had bosses like you described - not a chance of napping. Ughhh. This guy isn't my boss but I still resent his habits. Glad those pigeons fared well...thank goodness for those like us who care.

dguzman said...

WOW--what a bad work situation. Mine is going to improve in a month, when I finally get transferred to a new dept. It's a pay cut and a "status" cut, but I don't care! I'm sick of my current situation, and I'm glad I'm leaving it!

Whew! sorry to vent on ya like that but I knew you'd understand.

I hope you get some rain down there; our grass isn't too thirsty because it's mostly just weedy stuff, but it's still getting a little dry for my taste.

I also hope your camera is okay--you can't stop taking pictures! I need those pics to make my day!

Thanks for the always amazing posts, and don't worry--you'll get that bumble in flight; I'm sure of it.