Velocitus tremenjus

It’s been a good six or seven years since we’ve seen a roadrunner on the mountain.  That’s when my husband caught one on video repeatedly circumnavigating our truck at the end of the driveway. Since then, we hadn’t seen eye nor feather of him  — until this afternoon. Taking a spin on the treadmill, what should appear on the garden wall outside the window but Geococcyx californianus himself.

Like his cartoon counterpart, the roadrunner is large — nearly 2 feet from beak to tail — and according to the Peterson guide, rather uncommon. Unlike his purple ostrich-like TV version, we’ve not heard a meep from him.

Always loved the Warner Bros. cartoons — and the creative Latin names given both the roadrunner and coyote. While we do have coyotes here too, we have yet to see any Acme delivery trucks.

8-10 Roadrunner1

8-10 roadrunner2

 

Really red

Scarlet tanager singing his three-part song from the top of an oak tree. Could’ve been an entry in last week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, but ran out of time to post. Love seeing this fellow in our green canopy.

Summer tanager.
REALLY RED — Summer Tanager’s plumage stands out against the new foliage and catkins of this oak tree.

Flying phlox

The bright pink of these wild phlox caught my eye while wandering around the deer trails in the Ouachita (pronounced “WASH’-ih-taw”) Mountains. An incoming storm system brought some big winds from the south and even at ground level (at 700 feet or so), these phlox were flying.

wind blown phlox
WIND BLOWN — Plenty of wind at ground level when you grow at 700 feet.

Photobombed!

After weeks of rain and cloud cover that denied us a chance to see the Perseids this year we had a run of clear days and nights, giving August’s blue moon a chance to shine. Ran out on the deck before work to capture it. As I clicked off frame after frame, the local hummingbirds swirled around in their usual aerial battles. One of them managed a little photobombing.

Moonset
Blue moon setting over the misty Ouachitas.
Full moon.
Tighter shot of our August blue moon.

Ouachita bouquet

The eastern Arkansas Ouachita Mountains have been generous this spring.

Watch the skies!

For our 300th post, here’s a look at one of our favorite things: the sky.

GET BUZZED -- Two vultures take a morning cruise over the valley.
AUTUMN MOON -- The autumn moon's light throws a nearly bare branchlet in silhouette.
CONTRAILS -- Westbound contrails cut across Sunday's sunset.
MOONSET -- The full moon takes the long way home.
NORTHBOUND -- Chevrons of birds heading north at a time when most fowl are headed south in the Mississippi flyway.