Down by Sun

I was assaulted by the sun setting squarely in the alley when I walked out the back door of the office at 7:14 pm according to the clock on the PNM building. By the time I got on Coors Road, where I had I clear view of the volcanos, the sun had just fallen below the horizon leaving behind a dome of light that created a pseudo sun silhouetting the volcanos and power poles on the escarpment.

I drove to work this morning on Coors Road, and the clouds had a nice snaky pattern. I rarely go to work via Coors, but I had to drop off a newsletter in Taylor Ranch, making it necessary to use Coors to get to the office. It was a nice change and the clouds would have looked very different from I-25.

Hitchcock’s Mantis

At the top of the stairs on the deck, lurking on the door was Hitchcock’s Mantis.  In the morning I found, possibly the same mantis, lurking in the morning glories. Its black eyes from the night before had changed to the same blond color of the the rest of its body.

Early this morning I noticed a spider web as I lifted the irrigation gate. I think the spider had abandoned it, but it was still in pretty good shape.

Laurie put up a seventh and final sack of green chile this afternoon, while I made a green chile enchilada with pulled pork. I grilled pork loin from Keller’s, then shredded it by hand, and made two enchiladas in 17X13X3 inch roasting pans. They came out heavenly.

Mississippi Kites

Juvenile and Adult Mississippi Kites

On my way back from getting another sack of green chiles this morning, I stopped to photograph a Mississippi Kite that I noticed had started hanging out in a cottonwood along Dixon Road after our neighbor’s tree was downed by lighting a few weeks ago.

Just as I positioned myself where I could photograph the Kite, a juvenile landed next to the adult and started begging for food. The adult took off, and the juvenile perched on the branch squawking for the adult to come back with some food, but the adult was soaring way to the south far away from junior. After a while it started looking around, spied some prey, flew off and returned moments later with what looked to be a cicada or possibly a dragonfly. It proudly held its catch in its paw, seemingly happy with the success of obtaining food on its own.

I took Stretch in for his monthly checkup. he’s holding pretty steady, which means we still have to give him fluids every other day. The vet is going to check on Monday to see if she can get a pharmacy to put together a topical form of Benazapril, a medicine that increases blood flow to the kidneys. She said if she can get it mixed up in a topical form, then all we have to do is apply it to the inside of his ear, which is much less stressful that poking a pill down him.

Adult takes off
Juvenile waiting
Checking out potential prey
Going after prey
Caught something in mid air, returning to roost
Landing with captured prey
Taking a bite
Enjoying breakfast

More Insect Royalty

Our butterfly bushes are finally starting to attract butterflies. Well, at least this monarch that allowed me to snap lots of photos while it worked its way around the bush.

I took a walk in the bosque and on the river this afternoon. One portion of the river bed that gets intermittent flow is covered with little cottonwoods. I have never seen so many cottonwood saplings on the river before. I wonder if they like the ash that washed down from the Jemez?


Road Warrior

We are sitting on the deck in the middle of quite an exciting display lighting followed very shortly by booming thunder. If I had more energy I’d get out a tripod and set the camera up with the shutter open and record some of the lighting, but I had a long day and I’m trying to get the blog posted before the lighting takes out our electricity.

Laurie was a little disconcerted about the spiked lugs on the tractor rig that was rolling along side us in the traffic backed up on I-25 the other morning, and took my camera and got a photo. It reminded us of Road Warrior.

About 2:00 PM we got a major rain downtown. The alley was flooded and water was pouring off the roof of the office.

The photo of the Brown Eyed Susans was taken from inside our stand of Brown Eyed Susans that  I transplanted a couple of years ago. They’ve grown from a few straggly flowers to a small field, thick with flowers after Laurie watered them by hand every day the first season to help them get over transplant shock.

Roasting Chiles

Pouring the chiles into the roaster

I got our third sack of green chiles this morning from Wagner’s Farm.  The photo series shows the chile roasting process.  After we let them stream in the bag for a couple of hours Laurie peeled them, took out the seeds, put them in quart freezer bags and stacked them in the freezer. We are planning on putting up eight sacks this year. All we could put up last year with both of us having health crisis was four — we ran out of chiles in May.

I cut a hole in the floor in the study while Laurie was processing chiles. The floor buckled slightly, and there was a soft spot under the oak parquet, so I had to cut out the soft spot to see what was going on. The under layment had been wet, probably from when the water heater leaked and flooded the laundry room and study many years ago. Why it decided to start coming apart now, and in a place we don’t walk very often, remains a mystery. I reinforced the structure under the floor and pieced the parquet back together until I can find some new parquet to replace it with. Lowe’s didn’t have parquet when I went by late this afternoon, and I didn’t have time to check Home Depot.  I’ll probably end up ordering it from since it has it.

I also replaced the faucet on the kitchen sink this afternoon. It had been leaking on the outside, around where the neck swivels for quite a while; but in the last week or so it started leaking around the bottom of the faucet under the sink and got everything in the cabinet under the sink wet.

Chiles rolling in the roaster
Flame roasting chiles
Scooping chiles into a bag
Roasted chiles in the bag