Sunday, August 6, 2017


Judy ventured carefully out onto our rear patio last night and we sat in chairs observing nature.

Mostly crabgrass that has spurted up and needs to be "Round-Up'ed".

We kept hearing an insistent rat-a-tat sound coming from our next door neighbor's tree and finally Judy spotted the culprit briefly before he flew away.

Then today she spotted either him or another one in the tree just above our bird bath.

I spotted him from my window, which is closer, and identified him (with the help of "Sibley's Birds of the Arizona Central Highlands") as a Ladder-Backed Woodpecker.

He's easy to identify with his distinctive black and white striped coat and scarlet top-knot.

(And no, I didn't take the picture, I swiped it from the Web.)

Now on another note I just realized that the day I'm having my pacemaker replaced is the day of the total solar eclipse!

I'm not sure how I feel about someone messing with my heart on Eclipse Day but I'll just have to trust him.

The eclipse will only be a partial one here in Arizona but I was lucky enough to witness a total one back when we lived in Mexico.

It must have been 1991 because it was at our last residence down south in San Antonio Tlayacapan.

(Try saying that after a couple of margaritas!)

We shared the experience with a couple of friends, Lori and Hugh.

You can see the sky darkening behind us and this was at around high noon, I believe.

We have our dark film viewers to safely look at the sun.

Another safe way is by viewing the sun's reflection in a bowl of water, which is what we were doing here.

One interesting sidelight: our yard boy was an educated lad.

He was going to college but he still held onto some of the old superstitions of the native people.

One of these was that a red cloth should be tied to any fruit tree to keep the fruit from falling off during the eclipse.

Our backyard had probably 20 or 30 fruit trees and each one got a red cloth tied to it.

Superstition or science, it must have worked.

None of the fruit fell.

Maybe I should tie a red flag around my wrist when I go in for my surgery on the 21st!


Should Fish More said...

The pacemaker is only having the battery replaced, yes? Not the lead. Battery replacements are routine, in and out in an hour or less.
Glad to hear Judy is up and moving around.
It's finally cool here today, temp in the house has not got to 68 yet, maybe 75 outside.
My kids tell me Seattle had temps higher than Tucson the other day.

Best to you both,

Catalyst said...

Yes, far as we know the leads are still good so taking one "Zippo lighter" out and putting another one in.
Judy has a daughter who moved from Phoenix to a small town in Colorado until her kids were raised, then they moved to a suburb of Medford, Oregon . . . PHOENIX, Oregon. The other day it was 114 there! She must have brought the Arizona weather with her.

Hanging in at the mid 80's today, day after day, with occasional rain and thunderstorms.

L Lewis said...

I have a friend who told me today that she and her husband are flying to Wyoming for the eclipse. Supposedly, the best spot in the US to view.

Love that little woodpecker. Put out some suet! The no melt kind.

Catalyst said...

Seems like a lot of money for a 2-minute thrill.

Tom Cochrun said...

I don't think I've seen a ladder backed woodpecker. Gorgeous little thing.
Good to hear Judy is up and around.
We have friends who are flying to get to a spot where they can then get on a road that "follows" the eclipse.
We'll see our little piece of the non total event here.

joared said...

Pacemaker battery replacement a piece of cake in my husband's experience though I know he was initially apprehensive. Had woodpeckers when we lived in Ohio but don't recall seeing any Ladderbacks. Glad to hear your wife doing well.

Val said...

I've never seen a Ladder-Backed Woodpecker. We have a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers that frequent the trees in our front yard.

We are right in the middle of the total eclipse path. I'm looking forward to it!

Stephen Hayes said...

It will be great when that pacemaker replacement is finished and you can relax. Both of you have had a trying time as of late and I hope things settle down for you. Have a good week.

The Bug said...

My hip surgery is that day too! I've decided that it's auspicious, not an omen :)

William Kendall said...

What a beautiful bird!