Bud had been in Tucson for two weeks and was anxious to get back to Portal. He had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee on July 20th and is feeling 100% better and is able to walk on fairly even ground for about 2 miles and hopefully will be hiking again soon. It's was torturous for Bud to not being able to get out and walk, so we're both happy to be enjoying the outdoors again.
The nectar feeding bats are visiting our hummingbird feeders again. These bats are smaller than the ones earlier in the summer and not very cooperative when I try to get photos.
It's been a fairly dry week and hot in Tucson, but tolerable here in Portal. We still see the Great Horned Owl fledgling on occasion with his/her Mama. He's still food begging quite a bit, so he hasn't mastered hunting yet. The migration seems to have begun for hummingbirds. We've noticed a few more at the feeders lately and the Black Headed Grosbeaks have returned to the yard after raising their families. Yesterday a couple Lazuli Buntings visited the yard.
We took a walk the other evening around the block on Cathedral Rock Road and after taking photos of an interesting weevil of some sort, I was startled by the rattling of a large rattlesnake on the edge of the road. I had been distracted, telling Bud about the bug, and not watching ahead like I usually do, so I was startled and jumped back, tripping over my own feet and falling backward where my elbow landed right on a stag horn cholla joint. OUCH! Bud found two sticks and flicked the cactus out of my arm as the snake continued to rattle and flick his tongue to determine what kind of a threat we posed. I quickly focused and got some great pics of the defensive Black Tailed Rattlesnake. He was a good 3-3 1/2 feet long and well fed, but he let us know he was not to be messed with, so after a few photos, I lowered the camera and he slid away into the brush. Of all the rattlesnakes we've encountered on the trails or in our yards, the Black-tailed has always rattled a warning well before we are close and often until we leave the area. Most of the Diamondbacks we've met, remain still and quiet, another defensive maneuver using their camouflage in hopes of not being seen and molested. We never mess with rattlers, only taking photos, unless it is right outside our door, then Bud will move the snake with long handled grippers just far enough so our dogs don't stumble onto it. :)
We've had a few house guests the past week. Friends John and Mary Hunt from New Jersey spent two nights in our Bird Haven and last night Ron & Paige Hinkle stopped on their way home from the All Frets Convention. Living here in Portal is like heaven on earth and we're so grateful to be able to call this home.