Saturday, June 26, 2010

Colors of June from the High Desert

I knew Sue was going to post her colors-of-the-
month blog soon, so right after we got back from vacation, I did a ride about the valley and took pictures. On a USGS 15 minute map, this feature is labeled Renners Artisan Well.

In the reeds I can see a black-headed yellow bird. They are so, so pretty, but their cry sounds just like a chain saw and I seem to have missed their season. In June the reeds should be filled with their obnoxious song.
I didn't fool with the photo. Okay, I did, but then decided to go with the raw version. June has been so strange this year and normally the reeds would be filled with these loud opinionated birds - this at least represents two of a gillion that were here last year.
I had to pull over to catch this picture in the upper canyon the other day. The Composite has gone wild this year. We shouldn't have any wildflowers in June at all, but this year is in a strange cool cycle. We've only had three days above 80 degrees since we got back from Oregon.
If you've ever heard of "The Riders of the Purple Sage" - this is the real deal. It's pretty raw and I have to wonder how this plant caused Zane Gray to write a book, then moguls make a movie that inspired a band. Oh well. It grows in the sandy bank at the north end of the valley.
We are so water poor here that I love every bit of it, anywhere. I stopped at the University the other day to see DD Chris and was captivated by the swans in Manzanita Lake.


Tina T-P said...

Wow! I've never seen a bird like that - I can't tell from the picture how big he is...but how pretty - sort of like a goldfinch, but BIGGER :-)

Loved your BSG posts - T.

Valerie said...

Your "world" is so different from mine. Fascinating to see.

I spent one summer in Southern California for work related training. Despite trips to the beach every weekend, I sorely missed my Great Lakes.

Funny how our places get into our blood to become a part of us.

Those birds are fascinating. Wonder where the rest of their buddies are this year?

Life Looms Large said...

Great colors of June!! (Remember how I nagged you recently about adding a link to the list in my blog?? Consider yourself nagged again....of course it's totally optional!)

That bird is really interesting. We don't have anything like that here.

Yesterday, a forest service person said "In New England, we have been blessed with abundant water." And I have to agree after seeing your pictures. (Of course, like every blessing, there are downsides....mosquitoes among them! This year is definitely good for biting insects around here!)

Thanks for sharing your colors, and for going out and about with your camera to capture some special ones!


Leigh said...

I have to confess that I really like soft colors, like yours from the high desert. So different from here.

I liked your BSG posts too!

Theresa said...

Beautiful pictures! It is quite lush out there for this time of year. Hm, that purple sage, we have something like it growing(spreading) up here. I'll have to snap a pic and ask what it is. The deer don't eat it, so it is happy.
Love the bird. We have an abundance of grosbeaks this year, Evening and Black Headed, some Western Tanagers, and the LBJ's little brown jobs, siskins, sparrows, wrens and junco's of various (mostly unidentified) types. Oh, and a number of purple finches.

Laura said...

Actually, they're really Yellow-headed Blackbirds, but you reversed my "punny" name of Black-bodied Yellow Birds!

I miss the contrast between the desert and the marsh - It was always fun to see who was showing up there - Sandhill cranes, cinnamon teals, Northern Harriers - too much fun!

Benita said...

That artisan well look lovely and refreshing and look how far into the distance you can see!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos as always -- it is really interesting to see how the seasons change out there. So different from Michigan where everything is intense green, for now.

Janet said...

Great photos. Such an interesting part of our vast country. I'm thinking of doing a train trip from Hartford to San Francisco - would I pass anywhere near you?

Annie said...

Each month it's such fun to see the colours od the month from everywhere. Like you I enjoy it a lot. Fascinating bird!

ladyoftheloom said...

Great colors! I have never been to the desert and I always imagined something different. It is beautiful where you are!