Monday, September 30, 2013

Numbers 97 and 98. House Update

Quite a few folks chimed in on the flycatcher - verdict:   Willow Flycatcher.  Neat!

Then, last week, number 98!  Another flycatcher - Greater Pewee.  There were two of them, although I wasn't able to capture a good shot of both together.  My initial thought when I saw the first of the pair was that it was a Phainopepla, but it became quickly obvious that was not the case, although the size was right.  They put on a good flycatcher show, swooping out for insects, then back to the perch until the next bug caught their attention.

The house project is coming along - in fact, we've got some walls up now.

Tuesday, all of the house building material showed up as promised - our uphill neighbors helped out hugely by stationing themselves at the top and bottom of the big grade and making sure the trailers going in and out didn't cause problems for the other drivers on the road.  They were still finishing up when I got home from work.  But two days later, the framing was up for the shop building and also partially for the rest of the addition. That was exciting to see when I came home.

Wednesday Bill came into town and we used up my lunch hour at the door place looking at doors and door hardware.  We picked out a super nice front door with two sidelights and an art glass window in the door itself. 

Saturday, we made a trek to Fresno to look at possibilities for kitchen countertops, lighting, tile and hardwood flooring.  I unerringly picked out the most expensive granite countertop as the one I liked the best and had to ask the saleswoman to point me toward the more middle range choices.  There IS a budget involved here.

The front of the house as of Sunday afternoon:

The interior of the new shop building - look at the view out the side window - love it.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Taking a Different Perspective

I've walked by this corral on a neighbor's place many a time.  Had never looked at it this particular way before.  I love it when that happens.

Yesterday, Dino gave himself at least a partial day off to go birding with one of his Audubon friends, this particular expedition being designated as a "Raptor Run" day, aka an Audubon Society citizen science project.

When he got home, he did head right back outside to continue working on the water lines, which are definitely getting there.  Some days seem to bring a few more obstacles than one would think absolutely necessary.

Saturday's walk had me in arachnid and insect mode.  The first fly is Minettia flaveola, a common fly in California.  The second fly is a bee mimic, I have not been able to figure out species yet - we'll see how much peering at flies in insect field guides I can take.


Finally, I spent quite some time sticking my macro lens in the direction of a Green Lynx spider who was guarding her egg sac.  These spiders seem to believe that tarweed stalks make good egg sac substrates, as there were four or five of them scattered in one relatively small area in our Upper Rodeo Meadow area near the road.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

95 and 96. The verdict on 97 is still out

Great walk today!  Bird #95:
Vesper Sparrow

Bird #96:
Green Heron (juvenile)

Can't count this next one yet, probably a Willow Flycatcher, but we're still waiting for a couple more of our birder friends to pipe up on the ID.

And finally, lest the mammals feel left out, some of those blankety blank wild pigs.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Big Fun. Except For Those Who Had to Work

The house project is really underway now - six cement trucks rumbled down the grade yesterday to pour the foundation for the addition.  Once they got started with it, there was no such thing as stopping - a veritable whirlwind of activity it was. 

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