Day of Discovering Nests
Thursday 1 June 2023

I headed to the garden with the sole purpose of making a visible dent in that stupid back corner that I've been forking FOREVER!

The Injury Report: Falkor

Well, I thought the injured wildlife would slack off after the spring... but I keep meeting them.

The other day I saw a crow with a hurt foot or leg. It must have been a new injury because she was trying to stand on it, but had to flutter her wings because the foot wouldn't take her weight.

And now I've seen her three times, so she gets a name: Falkor. Falkor was a male Luck Dragon, true. But I'm calling this crow a she.

She doesn't flutter her wings any more to stand, but keeps her balance on the good foot, holding the right one up.

Crow standing in the grass, holding right foot up

The Injury Report: male Mallard

I've not seen the male Mallard with the broken wing in weeks. But he lived so long with his bad wing... I mean, it must have been healing, tho he prob isn't going to fly again. and I kinda wonder if he didn't just go upstream or downstream, instead of to the big duck pond in the sky.

So, yeah, it's dumb, he's probably dead. But I do keep a lookout for him.

The Injury Report: Hattie

It turns out that Hattie, the baby squirrel with the head tilt, is a boy! Ha. But that means he will probably disperse to live in a different area. I do still see him, now and then, eating the nuts my neighbor sets out... But he's obviously well enough to survive life in the city, even with whatever issue is causing the head tilt, whether it be a brain injury or an inner ear problem. Good for him!


Falkor Yay! And NOT Papa Downy
Thursday 8 June 2023

Oh my gosh, I was so worried the other day when I saw Falkor's companion, and no Falkor. But today I went by and saw Falkor, Yay! but no companion.

I wonder if they are trading nest duties?! :)

Crow standing on a roof top, holding up right foot with red object in beak

And what is that in your mouth??! Candy? Plastic? Either way... That is not good for you, Falkor!!

And this one. I don't even know what is going on here! This is an OLD nest, there is no reason for anyone to sit here.

Barn Swallow sitting in a nest

Okay. At the garden. Doing my thing. Pretending to be a gardener.

I am planting a third Home Grown pot of Spaghetti Squash today. And doing more forking in the area which will become the Second Lemon Cucumber Empire! *laughs* (it just cracks me up to say that, so I'm going to say it every day!)

I also dug up some Horseradish.

Pulled up Horseradish plants in a pile

The Horseradish is pretty invasive here, and I don't like it... I don't like the taste and the plants annoy me! So I am very aggressive about digging it out of the edges of my neighbor's plots...

Evil Neighbor had a very well established root ball in his compost heap next to my plot. And now the new guy... Probably Not Evil Neighbor, has planted the rest of his plot, but isn't doing anything with the compost area.

So I'm picking up his slack... and I'm not getting pissy about it. Yet.

But there may come a time when Probably Not Evil Neighbor will receive a new name. *smirk*

And the Opium Poppies in the plot behind are making the European Honey Bees high...

Honey Bee in a Poppy bloom

And the garden is filled with families who are taking care of fledglings!! Here's Papa House Finch with three of his children.

House Finch male with three youngsters, standing on a trellis


Friday 9 June 2023

Trump indicted again today. But again, it's not for sedition. So it's getting kinda boring, even tho this is just the second indictment.

I guess getting indicted for Espionage is pretty good tho... actual jail consequences and all.

The State of the Blog
Thursday 15 June 2023

The State of the Blog

Well. It has been interesting! Ha!

I started archiving stuff off my main page in mid-February, and eventually I got in a good rhythm of moving about five posts every day. I am finally, finally nearing the end of that project! (yes, there were hundreds of posts!)

At the beginning of March, I also began working on daily posts. I arbitrarily began at Feb11.

And eventually I got into a good rhythm with that project as well. But I was never able to do more than 7 posts a week. In fact, most weeks I would only get 5 or 6 posts done.

So, I've been falling ever more behind the times. I want all the days filled in, but I'm currently six weeks behind... I just uploaded posts from mid-April to May3.


Monday 26 June 2023

Henrietta? Is that you? (Nov9 note... I think this is the first sighting of Not-Henrietta!)

Great Blue Heron standing in the water looking down

This is about a ½ mile from her old spot at the creek. Is she back? I wonder how the nesting adventures have gone for her!

Eastern Fox Squirrel sitting at the top of a fence

At the garden, oh wow. I have been walking past this plot and I just now noticed this? Look how cute the pretty succulents are!

different kinds of succulents

a succulent with pink blooms

Black Eyed Susan

And in my own garden plot... a cute little Patty Pan is growing!

Patty Pan fruit growing on the plant

It's still hotter than usual, 85° today when it should be 78°F... But I do some hoeing anyway. I kill some grass in the garden plot's pathways. But the grass has already gotten too established in the back and at the back right edge. Oh well.

Female Western Bluebird, standing on a fence

And on the walk back, I see the Barn Swallow is back on her nest... hmm. She seems to be sitting weird. With her wings spread out a little. ummm?

Barn Swallon on a nest

Always good to see Falkor, the crow with the hurt right foot. This is sighting #8... She sometimes puts her foot down when she's on a branch. But on the ground, she holds her foot way up.

Crow standing on a branch

Purple flowers

Barn Swallow Nest
Tuesday 27 June 2023

Here's Falkor! The 9th time I've seen her since she hurt her poor foot.

Crow standing on a branch, right foot up and stretching right wing

And this is her companion. I watched this one *Pounce* on a worm! That cracked me up! The Great Hunter!

Crow standing in the grass with part of a worm in her beak

At the garden... This is the Soybean patch... except most of the green here is actually Borage!


Now, I love me some Borage! It's a good happy plant which does a decent job of preventing grass from growing. It makes good beautiful blue flowers which makes the bees and other pollinators happy.

AND it's easy to control... it is easily recognizable with it's first leaves. And at any point in it's lifespan, it pulls right up and out of the ground. The tap root brings up valuable nutrients from the deep. And the whole plant composts easily, returning all that good stuff to the dirt!

But. This is the Soybean patch! Not the Borage patch! *laughs*

Unfortunately, I was thinking about how much I love Borage, when I tried to weed all of this out. And after freeing a couple Soybean plants... I just couldn't murder any more Borage! ha.

Oh well. But I did get my first significant harvest of Sugar Snap Peas today! And I grabbed enough lettuce leaves for about four meals of salad! Yay Garden!

garden with gathered Snap Peas

garden with gathered lettuce leaves

I don't know what this teeny tiny thing is, but it pops up every year at the edge of Mia's plot, our left side neighbor.

Orange flowers

And when I walk back... something's going on at the Barn Swallow nest!! This one is back...

Two Barn Swallows, one in the nest the other standing nearby

I only just discovered there were two Barn Swallows working this nest a couple days ago.

Oh! He's got a bug!

Barn Swallow with a bug in his beak

Two Barn Swallows at the nest

Oh, Dang it! What just happened?!

Two Barn Swallows at the nest

Did he give that bug ... to a baby??! Or to Mama?

Um. I am pretty sure we can call her Mama now! Look!

Barn Swallow in the nest, looking down into the nest

She's looking AT Someone! Someone in the nest! Whee!

Barn Swallow in a nest

Oh my gosh! I had been watching this nest for so long I was convinced... Seriously Convinced! that there were no viable eggs there! Ha!

Ha! :)

Barn Swallow Nest
Wednesday 28 June 2023

Hi Henrietta! Always good to see you! (Nov9 note... this is Not-Henrietta!)

Great Blue Heron standing in the creek

I came up to the Barn Swallow nest under the bridge... No Mama but I'm sure I saw movement up there. Well. Pretty sure. ...

... Dang it! Do you think I'm hallucinating?! (I have to answer myself: Maybe!) *laughs*

Empty Barn Swallow nest

At the Community Garden... oh the colours! I want this wild area for my garden plot too!

House Finches standing on borage stems

House Finches standing on borage stems

Okay! I am going to have another go at clearing out the Borage from the Soybean patch!! here's the Before pic...


The couple of baby Soybean plants that I freed up from Borage yesterday, actually look a lot happier today! More light and more water, it probably helps.

And also... I looked up a few videos about how to make tofu. And now I'm kind of excited about the Soybeans... in fact, I think I'm going to call this the Tofu patch now! *laughs*

garden with less weeds

Ah, my baby tofu plants, you are so cute...

small Soybean plants

It's hot today, but I didn't mind it when I was pulling up the Borage. I was in the zone!

But the weather is gearing up another heat dome and today is 89°F when it's supposed to be 78°... So I probably need to be done with the weeding until it cools off again.

When I water the garden, I hose myself down. The water is cold and then the little bit of breeze turns my shirt into a swamp cooler! Refreshing!

*Sputtering* GAH!

14 Cucumber Beetles in a squash bloom

Get a room, you damn bugs. And Spotted Cucumber Beetles? What are YOU doing, hanging out with this riff raff?? I am very disappointed in you!

*laughs* But look how happy the front square is...


green cherry tomatoes on the vine

So, the direct sowing experiment... was a failure. Here's the Second Cucumber Empire, where I planted and re-planted a bunch of cucumber seeds...


Can I still call it an Empire when there's just three cucumber plants. foo, probably not.

But here's why I can't plant seeds in the garden...

munched squash seedling

The slugs munch them to the ground as soon as they pop up!

Okay. Time to go. But as I'm leaving the Community Garden, this splash of red catches my eye!

red flower

And then these two were making a ruckus.

Two Scrub Jays standing on a wood fence

You see that tiny bit of pink gape at the corner of the mouth of the Scrub Jay on the right?

Scrub Jays standing on a fence, one is begging for food

Yep, that's a begging baby! haha!

Oh! Isn't this one regal!

Crow standing on a fence post

And back at the Barn Swallow nest. I see Papa flying in... but then he notices me and flies away. He makes several circuits but he doesn't know me and stays away.

So I don't stay long, I don't want to upset him. But... hmmm...

Barn Swallow nest

Right above that darker feather? that could possibly be the pink chin of someone's baby beak. hmm?

And, oh! My No Longer Half Blind Nutria friend! Lookin' Good, Girl!

Nutri standing in the water

Her little hand! It looks like she's saying Rwarr!

Okay. That was a lot of photos again. And I do feel a little bit crazy for it. But I have to tell these stories! How can I not tell all these stories?!

Photographic Proof of Barn Swallow Babies!! (and a rant!)
Thursday 29 June 2023

The Barn Swallow nest was quiet when I came up to it... Mama wasn't sitting and there wasn't anything obvious going on. I got distracted by a duck who was walking around me on the bike path. And then I look up again...

Barn Swallow Mama with nestling in the nest

Wow! That is one blind baby!! Wow!

Barn Swallow nestling begging for food

Oh my gosh!

Ack, blurry!

Blurry photo of Barn Swallow parent with two babies in the nest

Mama Barn Swallow at the nest with babies beaks poking up

And that looks like three baby beaks! Are there more in there?

When I looked it up on AllAboutBirds, Barn Swallows can have three to seven babies. And it does say that they will re-use old nests. That just... doesn't sound right to me! But, maybe their nests under bridges hold up better than other small birds nests.

And probably the Barn Swallows know what they're doing. :)

It's another hot day today, 92° when the normal is 79° but I want to do some work in the garden anyway. I give the big Comfrey another good chop since it's hanging over some of the First Lemon Cucumber Empire.

I also clear out some Borage from the Wax Bean patch... The Wax Beans just haven't been growing for some reason. They were one of the earliest things I planted and they are still barely 8inches tall and don't seem to be doing anything.

And then this ridiculous thing...

sunflower bloom just opening

It's about 2½ feet tall. Sheesh. I bought two sunflowers for the beans to grow on. And both sunflowers are short!

There must be something wrong with the dirt or something here? But the Comfrey is tall and big! I don't know what is up.

oh well. At least the Zucchini is doing something!

Zuchinni plant with a yellow fruit growing

And another Patty Pan coming along!

yellow Patty Pan fruit

Time to go... I get to look at the Barn Swallow nest some more on the way home!

Barn Swallow parent with nestlings in the nest

Barn Swallow looking down at baby in the nest

This is Falkor at the top (yep, her hurt right foot is down!), and her companion... who is panting even tho it's not too hot, yet. Keep hydrated! and Stay in the shade, people!

Two crows standing on a branch

And Henrietta at her new place, upstream. (Nov9 note... this is Not-Henrietta!)

Great Blue Heron standing in the water

Oh! June is the month for our Western Tiger Swallowtails. I didn't get any good pics of them this month, but that's normal. They are very busy and can't be bothered to sit around much!

Western Tiger Swallowtail butterfly standing on the grass

Okay. Here's me a rant.

This is not a normal court: Joe Biden condemns affirmative action ruling President says he will ask education department to look into ways to maintain student diversity as race-conscious admissions ends

Oh my gosh, this makes me Flaming Mad!

Not a normal court? decades of precedent? ... out of sorts with the basic value system of the American people

Are you fucking kidding me??!

Did you not notice when the Supreme Court took away HUMAN RIGHTS a year ago when it killed Roe v Wade with Dobbs??!

Despite decades of precedent. Despite the basic value system. Despite the HUMAN RIGHTS!

Not a Normal Court.


Biden has reminded us yet again that he's a weak and lukewarm ally of abortion rights At a recent fundraiser he said he's not big on abortion. It's not pro-choice activists who are out of step with the mainstream; it's Joe Biden

Throughout the past year, members of the Biden administration, and President Biden in particular, have been largely absent from this unfolding catastrophe. They have not taken on an expansive view of executive authority in attempts to restore abortion rights; they have not pressed allies in Congress to advance pro-choice legislation; they have not been willing to challenge, even tentatively, an anti-choice federal judiciary that is wildly expanding its interpretations of its own power.

... Joe Biden has abdicated leadership on abortion, the loss of which is causing untold suffering, and which will define life prospects for a generation of women. Because he finds it distasteful. Because he's not big on it.

Yep. Joe Biden is an asshole about this.

I am grieving for my country. This Supreme Court has altered the United States in such a terrible, awful way that we are no longer united states.

Biden didn't set this up... but it happened on his watch.
and he's not done a single thing about it.

Bad Photos of Birds
Friday 30 June 2023

Here's a bad pic of someone very interesting...

juvenile Red Breasted Merganser

This is a juvenile Red Breasted Merganser, and he's pretty lost, I think. They do nesting way up in Alaska and Northern Canada, and then migrate down and out to the coast of America and Mexico in the Autumn.

I guess he didn't want to migrate with his people.

Go West, Kiddo! The ocean is 60 miles, that way! Keep going... You're almost there!

And... okay, I guess that's how it's going to go with the photos today! ha.

Bushtit behind Poison Hemlock twigs

Falkor, on the right, and her companion who is feeling better today even tho it's going to be another hot one. 93°... approaching the record high of 96° set in 2013. Not to worry, at the rate we're going, we'll be breaking record highs very soon.

Two crows standing on a branch surrounded by leaves

oh, dang. I am not taking good pics today, but the Barn Swallow babies' cuteness shines thru! :)

two Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

When I talk to them, they move around in the nest a little bit. And one even opens her mouth for a second like I'm going to give her food or something! aww!

And stuff is growing at the garden!

This is a Delicata plant next to the Zuc. I've never had any luck with Delicata in the past, but this one is growing well!


And you can't tell in the above pic, but those are tomato plants behind the two squashes. The SunGolds are setting fruit, but I know it takes ages before they start ripening. There's also a large tomato, called Striped German, a new variety for me!

Here's the tofu patch in the back right corner. That's Fava on the left, and a couple of Sweet Potato vines not doing a good job of growing. I left some Borage along the back border, the other day when I weeded, to be pretty and make the bees happy. All of the bigger green stuff in the square of dirt are Soy Bean plants. And then there's a Spaghetti Squash, bottom left, along with more borage.

tofu patch

And this is the Wax Bean patch. Which aren't growing fast like normal beans should. The bigger ones were direct sown on May16, and the smaller ones, lower left, were sown on Jun13.
Why aren't you growing??!

wax bean patch

Oh boy. The next generation of Cucumber Beetles. I don't know if these are Striped (evil) or Spotted (good) Cuc Beetle eggs.

Cucumber Beetle eggs on a leaf

Even tho I say the Striped Cucumber Beetles are Evil... they are still actually Good, because all bugs are important! :)

I'm on my way.

I see the 7 duckling family!! Their Mama is still with them, unlike the 5 duckling family who has been set free by their Mama.

And, oh, these are pretty!

pink and white flowers

And one more look at the babies.

Three Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

That's three faces in there... one, two, facing on the left. And you can just barely see the beak of the third, on the right, facing the right. I am not sure that there's just the three.