Our house finches are a source of amusement most mornings.

House finch, perched on a yucca stalk

They’re nesting, so often the female is inside the birdhouse, while the male is out standing guard, keeping an eye out for other birds or predators.

House finch, perched on a yucca, singing

And sometimes he sits and sings to us. He can be pretty loud some mornings.

A pair of house finches, one sitting on the hummingbird feeder, and one drinking from the ant trap

They’ve also learned a few tricks this year, like the fact that the ant trap above the hummingbird feeder is a good source of water, and sometimes a tasty ant snack. And if I don’t screw the feeder together quite straight, they can even get a drink of sugar-water from the feeder. I figure that’s okay, since we don’t have a lot of hummingbirds competing with them this year.

#birb #photography


Quail near our blue spruce tree

We had some visitors in our yard this morning, and they looked kinda cute. Only managed to get a photo of one of them, though. But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen them, so hopefully I’ll get another chance.

#birb #photography #NewMexico


It’s been a few weeks since my most recent Rocks on the Fence post and almost two months since the first one and needing a bit of a rest after my morning walk today (3500 steps, but in snow with a bit of a crust on it, or ruts from the cars in the street), it seems like a good time to write an update.

Also since I finished the previous post with a snowy day, having the next big snow ending this one seems fitting (though I missed taking a walk and getting photos the past few days).

We’ve continued adding a new rock, or picking up one that had fallen down every day we walk to the mailbox.

And we haven’t seen all the rocks knocked off again this month.

We did even meet a guy and his dogs one morning, and then put a rock up on the fence and took a picture as he was walking away. He didn’t seem curious about the rocks, though.

In spite of it feeling sunny here a lot of the time, we’ve had quite a few clouds in the morning rock picture this month. I think that’s partly due to it being cloudier here in the winter.

It I think it’s also due to mornings having clouds, and us getting out pretty early most days.

As we get closer to summer, the sun will move north, which will be left in the frame.

But I don’t think I’ll ever have a morning shot with the sun in the frame. I guess we’ll see. Sunrise is pretty early in midsummer though, and I generally don’t get out the door until after 7 at the earliest.

And while the number of rocks on the fence is slowly growing, there are plenty of mornings when we find a bunch of them knocked down, either by the wind or by someone walking on the path.

It’s all part of the process, I figure.

Over time, rocks that aren’t very stable get knocked off more often, and then I’ll stack them with the flatter, more stable rocks on the bottom.

So I figure over time, the row of rocks will become more stable, and will probably grow.

But there are only so many that the fence will hold. I’m not sure what I’ll do if we hit that point. Maybe start a pile on the ground.

But for now, it’s something to do after checking the mailbox each morning.

And hopefully someone else in the neighborhood gets a kick out of the rocks.

Or maybe someone reading this thinks it’s neat and will be encouraged to do their own little project.

Have a great day!

#photography #rock #NewMexico #fence


I’ve continued setting rocks on the fence since my first post, though not every day.

It seems I’m mostly the only one playing with the rocks this time of year, but there are very few other footprints walking past the fence now, too.

I suspect I’ll see more activity once the weather gets warmer.

Then again, it may be that everyone will figure that I’ve got so much work into setting up rocks that they won’t want to mess with them.

I guess we’ll see what happens.

For now, I’m happy to add a rock most mornings, and if I didn’t find a good rock on the way to the mailbox, I either rearrange those that are there, or pick one up that’s fallen to the ground.

It takes a pretty good wind to blow the rocks off the fence (more than 30mph, I think), but people also bump the fence as they walk past. That’ll topple a few rocks.

In any case, it’s just a pile of rocks. On a fence, but still.

I have been thinking that I have enough pictures that maybe it would be interesting to make a time-lapse movie from them at some point.

But I’ve tried that before. Aligning all the pictures is conceptually simple, but complicated if you do too many. And while I’m pretty sure I could convince Photoshop to do that, it would take some scripting I have never had much enthusiasm for.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep adding or rearranging a rock most mornings, and then taking a photo from roughly the same point-of-view.

I am looking forward to warmer weather, though. It’ll be interesting to see if I pick up any collaborators.

Maybe I’ll get a dozen years like Ted did with his Lake George series. Or maybe not.

#photography #rock #NewMexico


Northern Flicker, hiding from the wind in our portale.

On windy days, the northern flicker who hangs out in our neighborhood will fly up to the corner of our portale, and cling to the stucco wall, right near the roof, getting out of the wind. He seems to like the spot, as he’ll spend hours there.

It can be disconcerting if one of us heads outside, though. He gets frightened and takes off, and we almost always get surprised by the sudden movement. Sorry, buddy.

#photography #birb


Every morning (except Mondays) I walk to the mailbox to pick up the mail that was delivered the previous evening.

There’s a fence on the Berm Path that I take home from the mailbox to keep cars, motorcycles, and mostly horses from using the path.

A couple weeks ago, I picked up a couple rocks that had been sitting on the path, and set them on the fence.

Most every morning, I either add a new rock, or rearrange the ones that are already there.

Lately, someone else has been adding rocks, as well.

It seems we’ve got something of a community art installation going. I wonder who my mystery co-artist is.

Even on days when there isn’t any mail, now I’ve got something to look forward to on my walk to the mailbox now.

I wonder how long we’ll keep it going.

At least a few more days...

#photography #NewMexico #rock


Birds in the juniper

This morning, my sweetie noticed a couple bluebirds sitting in the juniper by our corner. I got out the camera, and noticed there’s also a house finch sitting lower in the foliage. Cute!

#photography #birb


We went out this evening to look at some of our neighbors’ Christmas lights. There are a couple pretty spectacular displays. We’ll be looking for more over the next couple weeks, too.

#photography #lights


A cholla cactus in its winter purple, silhouetted against a clear blue sky, with snow on the arms.

I had mentioned before that chollas turn purple in the winter around here. There’s one on the way to the mailbox that is more purple than any other I’ve seen, so I grabbed a picture of it this morning. Should’ve reached past it to get the other weed out of the picture, but I didn’t want to get footprints in the snow. Maybe tomorrow.

#photography #NewMexico #cholla


Raven on top of a post

While waking up this morning, we heard a knocking on the roof. There were a couple ravens doing something up there.

One of them flew over to the top of the post holding the birdhouse and proceeded to eat something. Not sure what it was.

Raven on the ground

Then a couple other ravens started flying around, and the one from the birdhouse flew to the ground to finish his meal in peace.

Three ravens in a juniper

Once he was done, he flew to the juniper in our yard, where he was joined by another raven. And then a third one flew up and there was a bit of a scuffle before all three of them flew off to somewhere else. It was fun to watch them.

#photography #birb