Backyard Birds: The bold, the pushy, the curious

What a successful breeding season it’s been! Our backyard bird population exploded in size during May. with the addition of dozens of youngsters. The house finches have been the most prolific, and watching the newbies spar at the waterbowl or compete for the best perch on the feeders has been hilarious. But I’ve had the most fun getting to know the newest addition to the spotted towhee clan …….

…… George.

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Spring Botany Study, Part 6: Kentucky Coffeetree Rediscovery

With Albuquerque temperatures climbing rapidly, Spring 2022 is almost a memory ….. almost.

As luck would have it, I found myself once again in northABQ with a bit of quality time on my hands, so Luna and I set off on the 2 mile round-trip walk to revisit my beloved Kentucky Coffeetrees. It was a rediscovery of sorts and a surprise to find the 2 female trees had progressed way beyond blooming! Fully leafed out, they were showing off newly developing, soft as suede seed pods!

Darn! Missed seeing the flowers, but Wow! What a sight to see these two ladies and the 6 male trees healthy and growing like gangbusters!

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Escapito #2b: Cuba Mesa, Santa Fe National Forest

We packed up camp at the Angel Peak campground early in the morning, and bounced back down 8 miles of washboard road towards the highway. Along the way we pulled into several picnic areas with scenic overlooks and ooohed and aaaaahed at the spectacular Kutz Canyon from many angles. Every stop was worth it..

But then a new destination was calling …… about 70 miles southeast ….. over the Continental Divide to Cuba Mesa.

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Escapito #2a: Angel Peak Scenic Area

It has been a while between Escapitoes, but for good reason! We decided to sell our RV, BagoBago, and go with a pull-behind travel trailer that would get off the beaten path more easily; would be equipped with all those features for off-grid camping and exploration. After a few weeks of shopping we decided the new MicroMinnie FLX from Winnebago would fit the bill nicely. This high clearance, rugged 22 foot trailer is loaded with solar panels, lithium batteries, on-demand hot water, eco efficient heater, AC and range, etc., and is surprisingly roomy with a Murphy bed large enough for two plus our 50# dog, Luna. (Yes, Luna is very spoiled!)

Enter ”The Felix” ….. and her maiden, shake-down voyage to the Four Corners region of New Mexico.

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Chapter 220513: Flambé’s latest Misadventure …. The Aviary (aka: To the Zoo She Did Flew)


May 16, 2022. The Aviary

And to the Zoo …… A kurious Kat flew…… Almost certain there’d be a bird or two ……

Perhaps ………………

Continue reading “Chapter 220513: Flambé’s latest Misadventure …. The Aviary (aka: To the Zoo She Did Flew)”

Spring Has Arrived! Part 5: Blanket Flower

There are some flowers, no matter how common, that always make me happy! So when the trails are decorated with sunflowers of any variety, it’s hard not to smile from cheek to cheek!

Yellow Blanket Flower fills this bill …… a what a lovely burst of sunshine popping up today!

Continue reading “Spring Has Arrived! Part 5: Blanket Flower”

Spring Has Arrived! Part 4: A New Mexican Sycamore

Strolling through a pretty north Albuquerque neighborhood a few days ago, I nearly stumbled over a pile of little brown golfballs. Huh? Not a single putting green in sight, I instantly deduced these carelessly cast-away orbs must be none other than last year’s sycamore fruit balls!

Sure enough, a quick glance upward confirmed my suspicion. I was standing in the shade of a huge, patchy-barked sycamore with draping branches over a stucco wall, approaching full leaf stage, and sporting hundreds of spring green fruit balls each with hundreds of immature arrow-shaped seeds.

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Backyard Birds: A Tail of Three Towhees

Winter dissolves into Spring in New Mexico’s East Mountains, and with this change of seasons comes clouds of pollen, strong winds and a new cast of songbirds. As the Dark-eyed Juncos head north to their Canadian and Alaskan breeding grounds, they leave behind the resident Juniper Titmice, House Finches, and Mountain Chickadees, and one of the largest sparrows in the songbird group, the Canyon Towhee.

By early April, the warbly bell ringing song and raspy cat-like mewling call of the male Spotted Towhee can be heard from the tree tops, as he invites all willing suitors and warns off competitors, declaring our backyard his private territory.

Then by mid-April, in moves the dapper Green-tailed Towhee, dominating the seed-littered ground beneath the feeders and chasing away every other bird that dare to grab a bite.

Definitely Towhee season in the East Mountains!

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Chapter 220503: Flambé’s latest Misadventure …. A Serpent Totem, Free Floating Jellies, and FishFace on Parade ….. Up Bublz! 


May 3, 2022. Talk about your seafood buffet! Flambé, still famished from her last misadventure, obviously ogles the outrageous opportunity swimming in and out of a kelp forest. Fish! 

Easy pickings if she plans a stealthy approach and exercises patience.  What is a Kat to do?

Continue reading “Chapter 220503: Flambé’s latest Misadventure …. A Serpent Totem, Free Floating Jellies, and FishFace on Parade ….. Up Bublz! “

Update ….. Winter Botany Study, Part 5c: Kentucky Coffeetree Seed Planting Trials



The story continues! My Kentucky Coffeetree seedlings are coming along beautifully. After carefully cracking and planting 9 seeds on March 27th, it was exciting to see 4 seeds had germinated about Day 18. Literally overnight these 4 seedling stems had grown to 1/2” tall.

And then ……

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