April 17, 2014

Wind Weary

:: faded bloom of Old Blush climbing rose :: after the storm ::

April 14, 2014

Owl Update :: There You are Regal Fella!

There were six days of no owl sightings, no familiar trills in the evening, nothing.  I was sure something horrible had happened.  I fretted and pondered, coming up with all kinds of ill fated scenarios. 

A few days ago while glancing up into the branches of the windmill palm I was rewarded with the sight of the male perched proud and regal.  I love his new digs as I can catch quick glimpses of him as I work around the garden.  He sits high above the garden within clear sight of the box and his mate.   I'm wondering if he changed the location of his perch because the photinia (in my neighbor's yard) bloomed and smelled to high heaven? 

The female has been noticeably absent.  I'm guessing she is now sitting on the eggs.  She emerges for brief moments to gather some fresh air and then she tucks back into the nest. 

From The Owl Pages:

Owls lay between one and thirteen eggs, depending on the species and also on the particular season; for most, however, three or four is the more common number. The eggs are rounded and white; there is little need for cryptic markings given the concealed nature of most nest sites, and the vigor with which they are defended. Incubation of the eggs usually begins when the first one is laid, and lasts, in most species, for around thirty days. During incubation, the eggs are rarely left alone. Female owls, like many other birds, develop a sparsely feathered area on their bellies called a brood patch. The almost bare skin has a higher density of blood vessels than other parts of the skin, providing a direct source of warmth when in contact with the eggs.

Momma owl is going to be putting that brood patch to good use the next couple of days.  We're experiencing a late cold front.  It's raining as I type (yay!) and the north wind is howling.  Lows are expected in the 30's-40's tonight depending on location.  My garden is usually a few degrees colder than the central city.  I'll be covering a few plants just in case. 

There's never a dull moment in a Texas garden.