Nature at my doorstep II — Day 3

Day 3 | March 14, 2023 | Phoenix, Arizona
Mourning Dove on her nest next to my front door

Mourning Dove on her nest on a plant stand on my patio

Last year in late April, Mourning Doves made nests near my front door and on a plant stand on my patio. They came back this year a month earlier and made nests in the same places. I have pictures from last year that I never posted. This year I’d like to post the new pictures as I take them.

Last year, the bird in the front abandoned her nest not long after laying two eggs. The bird on the patio hatched two eggs, fed the chicks as they grew, and saw them off into adulthood. She or another Mourning Dove came back and reused the nest to hatch a brood of two more chicks. Somewhere there are four young birds who were born on my patio.

The habit of Mourning Doves is to make shallow platform nests made of twigs as you can see. The nests are high enough above the ground to be safe from predators. They are not very secure, though. It seems that a heavy storm wind could blow the nests away.

Nesting birds make messes, and they don’t clean up after themselves. There’s a lesson here.

Nature at my footsteps

August 2021| Surfside, Florida

When I visited my son in Miami during the summer of 2021, I visited my son’s barbecue restaurant in nearby Surfside.

Walking back to where my car was parked, I came across a good size lizard on the sidewalk. It didn’t seem scared of me at all. The lizards — much smaller — that we have near my Phoenix home are very skittish. As I approach them to take a picture, they’re gone. Some have appeared at my front doorstep. Again, “Nature at my doorstep.”

Incidentally, my son’s restaurant is not too far from the collapse of the Champlain Towers in June of 2021. My son gave out free sandwiches to first responders.

Cows in the street is no joking matter

Recently, I posted that I spotted two cows on a street in my part of town where I was walking. It was cute to see them. Of course, it was unexpected.

Now, Providentially, a news story came to my attention about some more cows on a residential street. Some thirty cows escaped from a slaughterhouse and stampeded into a residential neighborhood near Los Angeles.

ABC7 Los Angeles Eyewitness News reported the story:

PICO RIVERA, Calif. (KABC) — A herd of cows got loose and were running through a Pico Rivera neighborhood Tuesday night [June 23, 2021].

It is believed they got loose from a slaughterhouse in the area.

Cows escape from Indian reservation!

On my sunrise walk, I spotted two cows crossing a local town street walking away from a wash (dry riverbed) and then back again into the wash. Groundwater feeds lush greenery in the wash including grass, which the cows were munching on. Most likely they escaped from the nearby Indian reservation about two miles away where they raise cattle.

I only have pictures of one of the cows.

I called 9-1-1 and an officer came right away. He said that he was going to call folks on the reservation.

Although the cows were happily eating grass, I wasn’t going to be eating until I got home about half an hour later. And I wasn’t going to be eating grass.

I feel blessed to have had this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Birds at the Desert Botanical Garden

Late December 2020 | Phoenix, Arizona

Birds mixed with visitors to Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden in an outdoor cafe garden. The first photo is of a Roadrunner. The second is of a Gambel’s Quail.

Roadrunners are quite comfortable around people. But ordinarily, the quail are skittish and readily run away. This quail learned to mingle with people who are a source of food crumbs.