Spring comes to the Flying M Ranch with a flap and a flutter, and sometimes a buzz.
The weather is warming up (and still far too dry--animals are in famine mode, many coming much closer to the house than usual, like the coyote who visited yesterday). Flowers are starting to bloom, despite the lack of rain. Most noticeable, though, are the birds.
Favorite winter visitors like the cardinal-like Pyrrhuloxia seem to be gone. But we're seeing the return of roadrunners, another welcome guest. Outside our bedroom is a ramada, and beside the ramada is a small pond, and it's been attracting a covery of quail late each afternoon (we check for Cheney before venturing out) and a flock of doves later than that. We've also seen red-headed house finches, ladder-backed woodpeckers, curve-billed thrashers, black-throated gray warblers, Western flycatchers, and many other LGBs and LBBs of various sorts. Some are still winter birds on their way south, some spring birds on their way north, some here to stay for the summer.
Here are a few of the scaled quail who dropped in a couple of days ago.
Unfortunately, the warm weather also means bugs, by the million (or by the ton, if you're a bat). Moths, bees, something we call flying ants because that's what they look like, something else that's almost completely transparent. If we open the door at night (which, having young dogs, is a fairly frequent occurrence), we're inviting in a dozen or more.
We need at least one indoors bat and a whole cave full of outdoors bats.
Even with the bugs, it's hard to imagine a better place to live as winter fades and spring flies at us, especially in the stillness of early morning or at late afternoon when the sun setting in the west casts golden light on the hills to our east and catches just so on the stalks of yucca.