A pair of mourning doves that have been hanging out in the front yard lately. Remarkably unconcerned by anyone walking by.

Let the biker beware.

It may look innocuous now, but when it produces zillions of seed pods with sharp spikes on them, it'll *earn* the name puncture vine.

I *hate* these things, and they grow all along the nearest bike path. I've lost count of how many times I've patched bicycle tires because of them.

Smoky sun, late afternoon.

We've had some ashfall over the past week, but for the most part, the air quality at ground level has only been awful, not unbearable. Especially since the heat wave subsided.

But the light has just been *wrong*. Normal clouds in the morning breaking up to reveal a layer of smoke behind them, letting through yellow-orange, almost but not quite late afternoon light at midday. I went out for a walk after work, once it had cooled down and saw this.

Totally apropos of nothing, here's a goat in a bucket I spotted at a Renaissance Faire a few years ago.

Even with smoke dulling the sky, the moon's still visible.

I don't usually think about parakeets spending time in pine trees, but the feral population around here isn't exactly particular about what types of trees they perch in.

We have liftoff!

Spotted in - well, above - a large pond at a nearby park last month.

The city has been working on improving the sections of a bike path closest to a major street. The rest of it is just a concrete path in the middle of an unmaintained greenbelt under power transmission wires.

They've put in drought-tolerant landscaping, some dirt/clay paths, bike racks, benches, and a small public parking lot over the past year or so. I'm not sure how much they slowed down during the shutdowns earlier this year, but it's finally open.

Meanwhile, in the more curated parts of the gardens...

(The sphere in the distance is a sculpture by Doris Sung called "Fuller," inspired by Buckminster Fuller. I always think of it as the buckyball.)

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Some wildlife I spotted on a hike today. It was really nice in the shade, but it was also very hilly, and uncomfortably warm in the sun. I ended up staggering back to the car at the end.

The yellow and black bird is some sort of oriole. The black and white one is a black phoebe. I think the rabbit is a desert cottontail.

After the Celebration (alc) 

Someone left behind evidence of a curbside pick-me-up last night.

I took the photo in a hurry and didn't frame it very well, so when I got home I started trying different crops and looks to see if I could make it pop a bit better.

Today I spotted some of the feral parakeets that live in the suburbs around here. I hear them squawking as they fly overhead almost daily, but it's been a while since I've seen them, and even longer since I've seen them close enough and still enough to photograph!

While out walking today I found three of them perched on a cable up above the street. After a minute or two, one of them flew over to the top section of a nearby palm tree.

Some spotted at a park. There's a corner that's landscaped with plants that are a bit better suited for more birds and butterflies than the usual giant lawn with a few trees, and I've seen bluebirds, phoebes, towhees and others in the area.

I'm not sure if they're female or juvenile (only adult males are bright bright blue), but you can see the blue on their wings...and how well their bodies blend in with the ground.

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Some spotted over the last few days:

A monarch that nicely paused on the grass with its wings open, long enough to catch a clear photo.

A swallowtail that I sort of caught in flight, at a distance. It's very low-resolution, but it's also clearly identifiable!

A cabbage white that I was able to catch with a zoom lens.

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