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Ahhh…early mornings in the deep cut washes, the sun has not entered them yet, and the animals are having a party. Around one particular Sahuaro there were several varieties of birds hanging, flying, diving, yakking…One is tending a nest, a hole in the Sahuaro about 4 feet down, another is munching fruit on the top, swallows are buzzing round and round.
These nests inside the Sahuaros are quite spectacular, shady, and cool. They exist inside the ring of ribs that are the bones of this giant cactus. When the giant falls and gives up its water it leaves behind these tough containers that are called ‘boots’, probably because they often have an L shape and resemble a boot.
Woodpeckers and Flickers carve the nests one year, returning the following when it has hardened to be used. But this nest has been taken over by a pair of Purple Martins, the largest swallows around here. He has this gorgeous, seemingly impossible color, blue/black, and is the one tending the nest. She has a light belly and stays sitting on top, even when we are making a racket below.
While researching what kind of birds these were I discovered that Sahuaros Boots are illegal to collect…well that is probably a good thing, though over the decades several have made themselves know around here and adorn the yard.
More about Sahuaros:
When you look out across the desert right now it looks barren and brittle. There has not been a rain, other than a trace, in 7 months and the temps have been over 100 degrees for most of the last 30+ days. The sun is brutal and the days are long.
How anything survives out there, much less thrives, seems impossible. The dogs nap all day under the cooler and don’t even bother to get up and bark when someone arrives. No one has been visiting my compost heap (I don’t really compost I just throw waste in a pile outside and it is often gone by the next morning) for weeks. The slices of bread from half a loaf have turned into crackers. What is going on?
The mesquite & palo verde trees and several shrubs are dumping tons of pods. There are piles in waves like sand dunes everywhere. The Sahuaro fruits are busting out and blowing billions of seeds, but that is a whole other post. So though it appears barren, there is great abundance, and of the very potent variety, with lots of proteins and sugars and the critters are stuffing themselves with the desert bounty!
I think this could very well apply to most everything in this universe really. Even humans can demonstrate this-just after a great natural disaster, they are kind, generous, and cooperative with everyone…probably practicing Sublime Appreciations involves Seeing the abundance in the barrenness. It has sure felt barren in the last few months…no posts here for months…it appears the ‘old’ blog transferred and survived the 6/25 cutoff and exists in a form below. It feels like the flow has turned on again, so more soon…