Friday, May 11, 2012

Moths, birds and interesting people

Life is a gift bulging with mystery, intrigue, comedy, tragedy and purpose. When we realize our days here matter, our pain has significance and our choices are meaningful, we can step through the darkest times with hope in our hearts.
--Patsy Clairmont

The Invasion of the Miller Moths
Not dangerous, just a huge nuisance. This area at SRLSP – and most of northern New Mexico – was inundated with these flying creatures. Each evening I was swatting moths and they just kept coming in from somewhere. Those buggers sure can get in tiny places, and I can only assume that moths were somehow finding a place they could get into the motor home. I also discovered that I'm a lousy shot with a swatter. That combined with the fact that moths don't die easily, meant sometimes as many as three or four swats to kill one.
            After one week with the moth issue, the weather turned cold and the next day most of the moths were gone! Was this the end of the moth invasion?  I celebrated while drinking my morning cup of peppermint tea. And then, to top that off, my morning's devotional was based on Ecclesiastics 7:8a that says: "The end of a matter is better than its beginning." The lesson goes on to talk about retiring things such as resentments, bad attitudes, and even those clothes we think we'll one day fit into.
People – it takes all kinds

  1. It was quite a sight. An incoming camper passed by: motor home towing a car – that’s normal – what interested me was that the car had a lawnmower tied on top! (look closely at photo) Campers are Mark and his elderly mother Pat. Marks says he “rescued his elderly mother” from a nursing home and takes her traveling. I visited briefly with Pat as she was sorting through a large collection of costume jewelry. I’ve invited her to come watch birds at the new bird blind. She mostly gets around in a wheelchair.    
  2. Bill from Portales (NM) is one of the regular fishermen. I mentioned that I knew peanuts are one of the crops grown in the Portales/Clovis area. “We call them goobers,” he said. Nice guy – collects aluminum cans “for a lady in town who gathers them for Habitat for Humanity.”
  3. Solo guy #1 in an SUV, traveling with four large mean-looking dogs. Have no idea who he is because the dogs – even though on leashes – discouraged me from going into the campsite. Stayed one night. He cleaned up after the dogs.
  4. Solo guy #2 – small trailer and tow vehicle – also with four large, barking/growling dogs on leashes stayed one night. Left dog poop all over the campsite.
  5. Tutti-Frutti – a bird, not a person – is the traveling pet of Tom and Peggy Boracjek from Marathon, Florida. They own a business offering Florida Keys sailing vacations and tropical bayfront cottages. And I now have an invitation to visit them. Hmmm! One more reason to plan on an east coast trip one of these days.
The Birding area
To facilitate birdwatchers and occasional birding programs, the host site has a bird blind, a bird “pond”, and three Russian olive trees. The pond is roughly 6-ft by 6-ft and 4-ft at its highest point. The water line runs slightly underground - one end attached to the water faucet and the other inserted in two holes in the rock for a continual slow drip. There are two seed feeders and a hummingbird feeder.

I also put birdseed on a large flat rock on the other side of the motor home and my window feeder is up and filled with sunflower seeds. This window feeder has yet to be discovered by the birds. So far I’ve identified 20 birds.

Yesterday I had a quartet of Great-tailed Grackles - squawking as they gobbled up the bird seed I just put out. They are quite majestic - glossy black except for an iridescent blue/purple heads and necks, and yellow eyes. As other birds come close and threaten their food supply, they puff up and drive the interlopers off. What an adventure bird watching is!

An interesting fact about the Brown-headed Cowbird is that they lay their eggs in different bird species nests. The foster mother hatches the egg and raises the young cowbird. This afternoon a female Yellow-headed Blackbird has had a young cowbird with it, seemingly teaching the cowbird how to scratch for food. They fly in together and fly out together. An odd sight.

Current reading
Today I finished reading “Thoughts for the Road” by Kay Peterson. The book is a collection of Kay’s heartwarming stories from her nearly 30 years of living the RVing life. Along the way she and her husband Joe started Escapees, the popular RV organization. She also includes many thought provoking musings. One of many is, “Happiness does note depend on possessions. Happiness is making the most of whatever you have.”

That’s it for this week – I’m having a super time!