Archives

Convocation of Cardinals~

Of the red-capped woodpecker kind,

is happening at The Holler.

Normally intensely shy and skittish,

they have decided it’s time,

to show their best profiles,

and pose for portraits.

I am most happy to oblige,

even though one stuck his tongue out at me.

Cheers to you from your foto-friendly-feathered-friends~

Female Grosbeak~

Holler birds are out in record number this year!

We have a mated pair of Black Headed Grosbeaks (and a pair of Blue Grosbeaks!).

This is the black head female, who seemed most pleased with the treats we have on offer,

at least judging by the quantity she wolfs down daily.

You can see whole sunflower seeds with shells in her beak!

She must be expecting and eating for two, or four, or so.

Cheers to you from the very hungry grosbeak~

Lonely Pup~

A harbor seal pup comes in from a swim,

and searches the beach for his mother,

but she is out fishing,

and he is alone.

Dejected and tired,

he rolls in the sand, naps and waits.

Cheers to you from the lonely seal pup~

Rare Locals~

White Faced Ibis are large and imposing birds.

They are residents year round in Southern California,

although I rarely see them.

Finding this nesting colony,

was quite a treat.

White Faced Ibis have a migratory range that extends from Canada in the north, to Chile and Argentina in the south. I have seen and photographed them more in South America than I have here!

Cheers to you from the gorgeous and iridescent White Faced Ibis~

An Uncommon Fellow~

Look who’s been posing like a model,

at our local ponds lately,

Wood Ducks, which are uncommon in Southern California.

I need to go back and photograph the females,

who are not quite as show stopping as the males,

but are beautiful none the less.

Cheers to you from the uncommonly beautiful California Wood Duck~

Mind your Mother~

“I’m watching you!”

This Night Heron spent some time watching me intently,

and then went back,

to catching crabs!

He caught a few,

and then hopped down,

and joined me on my picnic table.

I think he hoped I’d share my lunch.

Cheers to you & Happy Mother Earth Day from the people watching heron~

Tree-top Dancers~

Snowy Egrets,

in full courtship display,

dance on the top of tall thorn trees,

and sing their peculiar courtship songs.

They seem to get ignored a lot,

but their efforts must work,

judging by the hundred or so tree-top nesting females.

Egrets dance, sing, and nest, on trees with formidable thorns, to keep less talented predators away.

I found this recording on you tube of the egret’s most peculiar courtship song. It is much louder in person with many birds courting, dancing and singing, at the same time. ( Thank you Kim DeGiulio Goecke, who I do not know, who accurately recorded their songs):

Cheers to you from the dancing and singing tree-top birds~

Inland Sea~

The Salton Sea,

is quieter by April,

most of the wintering birds,

have flown north.

The still sea waits,

for the punishing summer sun.

A few stragglers remain,

not yet forced by heat to flee.

Cheers to you from The Salton Sea~

Badlands~

The Badlands in Anza Borrego State Park in Southern California formed about 4 million years ago.

The unique topography is primarily sandstone, mudstone and claystone.

This whole area was once an ancient sea, and fossils abound in this arid part of the desert.

“The Badlands may be the best place in North America to view sediments from the Pliocene and Pleistocene Epochs.”

The maximum summer temperature recorded here was was 122F .

The hottest I have experienced was 119F.

In the spring, fall and winter though, the Badlands are temperate and comfortable, good for hiking and exploring.

Cheers to you from The Borrego Badlands~

Factual Source: https://www.desertusa.com/anza_borrego/borrego-badlands.html#:~:text=In%20the%20Anza%20Borrego%20Desert,remote%20springs%20and%20mysterious%20concretions.

Blooming Holler ~

The Holler spring bloom is on, and I am home to photograph it for a change, so I am going to post a series on Holler spring flowers, starting with these beauties. The Cup of Gold flowering vine grows prolifically, and the blooms are humongous, about eight inches in diameter.

Hong Kong Orchid Trees have stunning blossoms that blanket the trees in spring.

Matilija Poppies are one of my favorite flowers and are Southern California natives, with huge fried-egg blossoms, about eight inches in diameter.

Reliable African Iris propagate beautifully at The Holler.

Wild Stinging Lupine cover bare areas, are beautiful to look at, but not nice to touch.

The Californian Fuchsia is native to Southern California but I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was in the fuchsia family but was stumped with identification. So my talented blogging friend Eliza Waters, who has a degree in horticulture and is a Master Gardener, helped me out. If you don’t know Eliza, and you like things that bloom and grow, you may want to check out her blog: https://elizawaters.com/about/

Bougainvillea are touch and go at The Holler due to frost. This one is definitely a go!

Cheers to you from the Blooming Holler~