Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 24, 2011 - From Sunrise to Sunset

I think we can file this under "Glorious Sunrise."  We've enjoyed some cool weather and some gentle rains this week courtesy of Hurricane Dora.   

What a week for friends.  Last Saturday night, we celebrated Clara's birthday along with some of her family and our mutual friends, Antonio and Dora.  Clara is the gal standing second from the right. 
On Thursday, I had a great visit with friends from Monterrey and the chance to meet Veva's mom.  From left to right:  Veva's mom, Chela, Veva, Estela. 
And on Saturday, we had late lunch and a long visit with Ferdi and Lucy. 

A couple of puppies and three little girls with a fully equiped home-made Casa de Insectos provided the pre-lunch entertainment.  Never a dull moment. 

Report from the Bird World:

 It was a great week for bird bathing.  We had more bathers this week than we've had all summer.
We've had far fewer birds in the vineyard this week, but this one just wouldn't fly out the door.  Take a  look at the grape juice on this guy's beak.  That's a bird's version of being caught red-handed. 
This was my first opportunity to photograph our resident red-headed woodpecker.  He patiently posed for almost ten minutes.  That's an eternity for birds.

This is a sight I see very seldom - swallows sitting still on a wire.  The more usual sighting is soaring high in the sky or flitting in and out of nests.  Well, they weren't exactly still, but they did allow a few pictures. 

Report from the Insect World:

I have always enjoyed watching ants; they have such a fasinating existence . . . until someone steps on them.  And the diversity is amazing.  Some farm, some ranch. 
 Some play Roman soldier and go around enslaving other ants.
 Some seem to exist for the sheer pleasure of finding me and crawling up my pants to bite me.
And some cut leaves.  I've seen a fair number of leaf-cutters, but this was something new for me.  I had never seen leaves arranged quite like this.  These pictures were made on Saturday morning and on Sunday morning, I could find no trace of any of the mounds.  If anybody knows anything about this, please let me know.  I found some good information about leaf-cutters on the internet, but nothing that looked exactly like this.

One more insect and I'll move on:

For the longest time we thought this moth was black.  Then, one day, we caught him in the sunlight.  Beautiful, huh?
The flash was right on top of him as I took this picture of him drinking from the fountain, but it wasn't enough to make the colors appear as they do in sunlight.
Around the garden:
 This little guy really thought he was hidden.  He almost got it right.
 Tiny little flowers that flourish in the desert.
And a wild flower that makes me think of spring Alaskan tundra blooms. 
The new gate with the horses on the right side of things.
Report from the vineyard:
The harvest continues.  We have processed a total of 376 pounds of Zinfandel/Durif.  Read all the numbers at  It looks great.  Nice color.  Lots of sugar.  Fabulous ripe berries. 
I couldn't resist including this shot.  Beautiful horses in the middle of the road, in the middle of town.  You don't see that every day, do you?  Speaking of town, plans are being laid hard and fast for the annual wine/grape festival.  From August 5th-15th, this town will be all things wine and grape.
And with last night's sunset, I'll close out this week's posting and wish you all a solid sunrise to sunset of joy!