Thursday, March 12, 2009

27 ~ Out of the Nest

nestling (Click photos to enlarge)

Today we have a strong dose of calima, that hot east wind from the Sahara which brings dust and warm air to the Canary Islands. But at the same time, I saw one of the newly hatched baby blackbirds in the garden, taking its first flying lessons. Here are photos of both events.

I was surprised to learn that once out of the nest, the babies scramble around in the shrubbery, the parents feeding them and showing them how to fly, but never returning to the nest. I somehow had the idea they all went back to the nest to sleep together at night, but apparently that is not the case. One can search them out by listening to the encouraging peeps and scolds from the parents coming from one side or other of the garden, guiding them and warning them of approaching humans or cats. Although, thankfully the old cats are not the slightest bit interested in fresh fish, meat or baby birds and would much rather continue their siesta in a sunny spot on the grass than get up and chase birds.

I was fortunate to be able to see this blackbird and catch a zoomed image while it sat on a bush, almost without tail feathers and with fluffy baby fuzz floating around his spotted body.

But the higher temperature was a lovely surprise this morning. Here is a photo of my little weather station sitting on a table in the shade, registering 27.8°C...about 80°F and 51% humidity. The time was around 10:30 in the morning, although it registers 19:40, as the clock needs resetting. It's one of those simple things made so complicated that I have to find the instruction booklet to figure out the clock setting mode.

thermometer Here is a view of what is normally the snow-covered volcano, now invisible through the suspended dust in the air. A faint outline of the lower level surrounding mountain, Las Cañadas, may be seen.

Calima 1 And here is an old NASA satellite image which shows the Sahara sand blowing westward towards the Canary Islands, to produce this suspended dust, here called calima.

NASA photo Now the garden is really coming to life and the osteospermum is becoming so rampant that we have to pull it away from other plants.

osteospermum And I see the chives are coming out and ready to be put in a salad.

chives And the aloe vera is growing tall and flowering. It's so good to have it in my garden for times when I need to quickly cut open a leaf to extract the gel to sooth a burn or bite.

aloe vera


Jo said...

Ahhhhhhh ...... I can feel the sun warming through to my bones. :-)

We have had the WORST winter in British Columbia, and there is still snow on the ground here in Vancouver. Can you even imagine? Port Alberni had one of the heaviest snow falls they ever had.

You are SO lucky to be living where you are.

Karin said...

We have also been experiencing unbearably hot conditions in South Africa. I cannot wait for winter to arrive! Thank you for visiting my blog and for your lovely comments!


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