Thursday, August 06, 2009

Summer bugs

Well, it’s August here in the desert and for a few days we have cold weather. That’s cold by our standards - a storm front is moving in and the winds are blowing, up to 59mph gusts today, and a high of only 94f (34c), about the same for the next two days. We are now into the bug days of the year. These have been buzzing around for a few weeks, B calls them June bugs, even though they used to come around in July down in Phoenix, she remembers tying strings to them and pinning one to her shoulder, so it would fly around her head. They are pretty, but keep bumping into everything. From the top they are just dull green

But on the bottom it’s a loverly iridescent blue green, that really sparkles in the sunshine.

And we have dozens of these all over our patio

They grow up in the grass, but at night for some reason they migrate down onto the concrete. They used to get into the house, but a few years ago B signed up with a bug man a friend uses; now all we see are dead ones every morning. No, I didn’t sweep these together, they are all over the outside each morning. If we walk out into the grass when it’s dark it’s almost like a carpet of bugs, and our compost bin has almost a solid layer of them in the dark, but all disappear when the sun comes up. I guess the birds eat them so they hide during the day.

I put up a third feeder, moved the backyard one over to right in front of the kitchen window and put the new one back by the table.

This morning I was sitting out there reading the paper and drinking coffee watching these guys - there are about a half dozen regulars out back, but two are the boss. I can recognize a few of them, they are just dull grey, some have bright green heads, and some of them have different buzzing sounds when they fly, one is really loud. These two each sit near one of the feeders and chase everyone else away. It’s amusing watching them squeaking and zipping past, and seeing somebody slide in to get a quick drink before the boss comes back and chases them away. There is another similar group out front. Each feeder takes a cup of sugar water, and I have to refill all three twice a week, so someone is keeping their energy levels up.

Out in our front courtyard we have a small fountain, and the birds come sit on the iron fencing on top of the lower wall checking if it’s safe before dropping down for their drink. I am pretty sure that this is the area where they usually sit.

It’s all small sparrows and finches, no big birds have been seen here. We have another fountain in the back that is also used quite a bit for drinks and baths, but back there we just have trees out in the gravel, so the evidence is not this striking.

We’ve been using the pool most evenings, water temp is a nice 90f, really pleasant to float around in, watch the sunset and see the birds going off to bed and the bats replacing them, bouncing around over our heads chasing insects. I don’t know what they catch, as we don’t have to use screens because there are really no flying bugs around (just those crawling ones above, and the pretty green beetles) , no flies or mosquitoes around our place.

Hope you all are enjoying summer.


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I like the shining colors of the bugs! It is surprising to me that such small animals are capable of destroying crops.

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