Friday, May 30, 2014

Hummer Behavior

Diana and I were looking out the kitchen window this morning and saw this male hummingbird flying back and forth in small circles over some grass - he was just off the ground and flaring his tail a lot. Then he landed on the dirt and sat there for a few minutes.
I snuck out the back garage door with the camera and managed a photo of him on the ground. He then proceeded to do the figure 8's making the classical hummer sound. Since this looked like typical male courtship behavior I looked closely behind the grass he was buzzing and sure enough, there sat a female. I wondered if she was hurt but after the male flew away she did also but in the other direction. I wonder what that was all about - a too-amorous male or ???
I love seeing these new behaviors just by being out.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


A warm breezy day in Erda yesterday gave me the opportunity to watch flycatchers and trench drain lines to dump the water from the roof away from the house. Later we had dinner on Lisa and Sean's deck to the accompaniment of a gorgeous sunset. All in all a wonderful day.

Perhaps a Willow or a Gray Flycatcher?

Yours truly getting his exercise. I did 6 trenches about 25 feet long and 10 inches deep in the time it would have taken me to wear myself out hand digging one.

The kids have removed some trees from the backyard and opened up their view wonderfully!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Back to the birds

Well, it had to happen - me out taking photos of birds again. All of us traveled over to Timpie Springs today, about 30 minutes from home. The clear spring water in the middle of the desert is an oasis - mostly for the birds.  Here's a few that we saw as we made the rounds.

Egret peeking over the grasses at us.

This pelican buzzed us as he went from one pond to another.

Avocets play and the black-necked stilt looks for food amongst the flowing waters.

A pair of black-necked stilts pause to check out the large vehicle - gorgeous birds.

The next two are babies, not much bigger than my hand in size. I think they are baby stilts but not sure as the avocets and stilts nest close to one another. I believe the avocet chicks are much fuzzier.

Rounding out the trip was the GBH sitting on the fence at the end of the road. As we drove slowly toward him two more GBH's flew out of a small ditch on the left side of the road and then all three took off to parts unknown.

Lots of birds to see and we only touched a very small part of the WMA - will be back to see if the peregrines are still there.

Friday, May 23, 2014


Sitting on the front porch this morning with Murphy watching the sunrise over the Oquirrh's led me to take these two photos. Roosters greeting the day, hummingbirds feeding and meadowlarks singing accompanied us.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Beauty around the house

We are sure enjoying our new place. Friends came over Sunday and brought flowers from their yard, we've planted 4 bareroot fruit trees, the herb garden is in just outside the kitchen and a small garden in front has been planted, mostly with plants from Kensington.
In the 'savannah' - the grassy area at the back of the lot there is a place to sit and relax and have a sundowner while the sun sets so beautifully. Hummingbirds are coming to the feeders (no shots yet) and a meadowlark serenaded us this morning.
Here's a few shots from the place,,

Monday, May 19, 2014

Let it Go!

In the midst of our moving chaos, we were fortunate to attend Carmen's Montessori school graduation ceremony. The kids from the various classes that were moving on to their next class were all recognized and Carmen and her classmates that were completed got to perform something of their choice.
Carmen loves the movie "Frozen" and has memorized the theme song - 'Let it go'. So she chose to sing that and wow, what a wonderful experience! She was composed, held the tune very well, and all in all was a real performer. I know her parents hope this is the last time she sings the song but I kind of doubt that will be true!
Here she is - Carmen LeCluyse in person!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Greetings from Erda

We've been here a little over two weeks now and we are making progress! The boxes have pretty much been cleared out and things put into their place. Outside work has focussed on creating a flower bed by the front porch and an herb bed just outside the kitchen window. Herbs are planted, flowers are to be planted. A beautiful crabapple tree graces the front "lawn" and I've planted high bush blueberries in a large pot full of peat moss - a real experiment.
The kids are adapting well - with the big open area around the house the cats are a bit leery of venturing too far. The Adirondack chairs in the tall grass in the back yard made a great showcase for Leo last night. Murphy has a new nickname - "Dustbowl" as he loves to roll in the dry dirt. Fuzzy has been copying him but he seems to shed the dirt quickly.
Here's a few shots from the last few days.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Another day and more beauty

The sunset that I mentioned in yesterday's blog post is shown below - as I watch the sun set I think about when the best time to take the photo might be.Ultimately that is inconsequential as the beauty overwhelms the thinking process.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Establishing ourselves

What a process this moving stuff is! So many decisions to be made and then executed on; what pictures to put where, what about the decorative items that were here in the old house and now where do they go?........
Sitting here watching the sunset over the mountains and Great Salt Lake - worth every penny! I took a number of photos around the exterior of the house - we planted our first plant, a Buddleia, and that made a real difference psychically. Our big loving puppy, Murphy, has a new nickname - "Dustbowl" - reflecting what he becomes after rolling in the dirt around the house. The cats have not been out until yesterday and that was only a tentative venture and they ran right back in - way too open for them out here. Once we get some trees and shrubs established they will feel better. Until then they have a 3-stall garage and an 1800 sq. ft empty basement to chase each other around in.
Diana brought home tulips for color in the interior - the setting sun illuminated them beautifully.

The young Buddleia by the deck.

180 potted plants waiting to be planted - mostly day lilies that Katie divided from the Kensington yard.

Plenty of room to plant.

Murphy scruffing in the dirt!  Dust just flies off him when he is done.

Beautiful kitchen color.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Storm clouds

It has been a stormy couple of days here providing much needed rain. It also makes the dirt surrounding the house into mud - the kind that piles up on the bottom of your feet until you have grown several inches after just a few steps!
Murphy, bless his heart, decided to walk in it yesterday - twice and what a mess cleaning his feet off was. He seemed to learn after the second time to not do this - mostly because (I think) he doesn't like having his feet cleaned with water and then a rag.
This morning the sun is shining on the Stansbury mountains to the west showing the fresh snow way up there. The photo below is from yesterday looking out the front door  east to the Oquirrh mountains. Storms and big skies provide a lot of intriguing views.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

New home in Erda, Utah

We've been fairly busy the past few days, getting ready to move from Kensington to Spiral Springs Road in Erda, moving and then cleaning the old house and beginning to unpack the new. We've reached some semblance of order in the new house but have a long ways to go! So interior shots will come as rooms are organized and my interior decorator gives me permission.
Lots of help from friends and family was the only way we made it through! Rocky Mountain Movers did a wonderful job and everything arrived in excellent shape. Cats and dogs are acclimating very well - lots of room for Murphy to run.

To give you a sense of the exterior of the house and the neighborhood we are in, below are a few photos - we are on an acre of land.  Our new address is 3749 Spiral Springs Road, Erda, UT, 84074.
We've slept here two nights - it is kind of like camping in luxury - we have no curtains yet so we get to see the sky and stars from our bed!

Sunset two nights ago on the back of the house and the Oquirrh mountains - facing east.

Sunset over the Stansbury mountains facing west.

One of the first loads the trusty Tundra made from Kensington to Erda - 216,000 miles and going strong!

Front view looking SW. All the day lilies and roses, etc., that Katie divided are in pots by the front steps until we decide what to do next.

Looking North up Spiral Springs road.

Another northerly view with more perspective - on the far right is Antelope Island and on the far left is Stansbury Island in the Great Salt Lake.

Below are a couple of our neighbors :-)

Thought I wouldn't put a bird up today? Wrong!