We really notice the sun's movement up here in a deep canyon, and shortening days influences what time we have to get up to put out hummingbird feeders to be ready when the hungry little things wake up at dawn.
Our birds are plentiful and happy. Lots of babies hatched this year. I've read that the same hummingbirds return year after year. Photo: evening rush hour. The males' wings make a shrill sound when they fly, so it's very noisy with this many birds.
I don't have pictures of flowers in my garden this year. The columbines are doing well, and some others are coming along. There's one rogue purple iris off behind some bushes that decided to bloom this year. I asked all those other iris what their deal is. If that one can do it, why can't they.
Our neighborhood is a 20 mile long canyon, and different things happen at different times. Right now the bear problems are focused in my general area. Two different nearest neighbors to the east lately discovered bears had broken into their cabins a couple of weeks ago - broken windows with not-fresh poop and pee in the houses. So they are working through the process of escalating their efforts to discourage the bears, meaning they have graduated to electrified mats the bears will have to step on to get into the windows.
We had porch screens torn out by a bear (or two) a couple of weeks ago, and the current ploy is a loud radio right there on the porch - NPR blasting 24/7. It fools us sometimes when we forget it's on, so surely the bears haven't figured it out. Hah! It's probably one or both of those two smallish 250 pound bears that walked through the yard during day time - not together, separately, and days apart. So we don't know if they are pals and both came for the raid on screened porch.
I have been looking at a portable electric fence kit that hunters and campers use around their campsites. It costs around $250, which is the approximate cost of repairing bear damage. I would put it around the outside of that screened porch as a further deterrent, and if the bears turn their attention to our house, we'll move it over here.
As bad as the bears are for one small area, everyone in the canyon, and beyond, are plagued by mice this year, more than usual. We've had mice get up on our bed at night when we're sleeping, get up on the stove, dining table, kitchen counters. Lots of trapping going on, and cleaning.
The latest favorite trap is a water trap. It's a five gallon bucket with a ramp up to the top. There is a slippery, spinning bridge across the top of the bucket where peanut butter is smeared for bait. Mice can't keep their balance and fall into the water. Yes, it sounds cruel, but these mice carry hantavirus, which transmits to people via their poop and pee deposited in houses and outbuildings. We have two - three deaths from it every year in our county - nothing to fool around with. It's us or the mice, a matter of life and death.
We'll get through this, just like everything else that comes our way.