Monday, April 2, 2012

I See Red

I snapped these shots through our window.
Going from "Feeling Blue" yesterday, I took Gaelyn's advice from Geogypsytraveler for something maybe in red:)  Well it would just so happen that Saturday would make me stop at my window. Currently at our gardens here, you can count 7 to 8 different bird species.  A Verdin is nesting as are a Costa's Hummingbird family.  There are the House Finches, Mourning Doves, Sparrows(Black Throated and House), the Pigeon, Anna's Hummingbird, and today.....The Northern Cardinal.  Finally!!!
I set this snowman birdfeeder out in the garden this past January and have been waiting to attract these beauties into my garden.  Yes it's Tucson and yes we live in the desert.  But if you dream it, you can make your yard a wildlife sanctuary....even in the middle of the city.   I was about to go for a shower when I noticed a bright red object curiously looking at the sunflower seeds.  "Yes my friend, they are for you. I've been waiting."
The shots are so so but some posts are about the action and not about the art.  These were taken from my Kitties Live TV screen(Dining Room Window).  It's also my inspiration center where I sit and write, plan my weekend work, read posts, and drink my coffee.  How do you get to this point in a garden?  It started with a vision 3 years ago for our new home.  There was NOTHING but a cactus along this corridor.  Fast track 3 years later and the space has been remastered into a piece of art and an oasis for my nature.  This has always been part of the plan.  I just didn't know how much I would enjoy the ongoing work around our property.
Today at El Presidio we have 2 full birdfeeders.  One has been installed inside the courtyard.  The birds have not discovered this newly added feature but I remember it taking around 2 weeks for birds to discover the first one.  We have 3 hummingbird feeders that I switch out every week for our residents. Our property is also home to Swallowtails and when it gets warmer, we'll have other fluttering guests stop by.  And it comes from planning......
My side garden still grows and yesterday we celebrated our first day of 90 degree weather.   The cacti garden is showing signs of flower buds and I can't wait to see that display.  April and May are also the months that we begin to see our Night Blooming Cactus set large tropical buds for our Carpenter Bees and Bats.  I would just die to capture a bat on one of those large flowers at night.  I've seen it several times here at the gardens.  PS.  If you are new to this blog, I manage the property grounds here of 16 units with the help of another resident.  I couldn't afford a real house, but I did see the incredible potential of this Melrose Style Condo which is currently being updated after 20 years of neglect.  We have made huge strides in the right direction.  In 5 to 7 years, I believe this place is going to be a magnet for wildlife and an inspiration for landscaping in Tucson.  I call it the El Presidio Gardens because each garden has a theme.  The Fruit Garden, The Citrus Garden, The Cacti Garden, The Fern Garden, The Courtyard Gardens, and The Rose Gardens are just some of the themes that have been evolving over the past several years.   Money is tight, but with proper planning and budgeting, small changes are having a big impact.
This past months Verdin and now Northern Cardinal spottings are positive signs that things are coming together for a healthy balance of design, wildlife, and gardening. If you live in the Tucson area and are interested in beginning something like this, all you need to do is go to the Beginning of this journey.  Just be aware that my work in 2010 is now considered subpar for what I do now on this blog but there is a lot of information on my success and failure on the grounds. Plus I was a newbie to blogging.  I started to develop my real voice at the end of 2010.  But it's all about the journey, right?  Last year is full of garden information.  So when I tell you all that I see red, I have to say that these are the thoughts that run through my head.  And it's a good thing:)  Your voice is most welcome here Mr. Cardinal.  More fun tomorrow.....


  1. To jest śliczny ptak. Ja takiego mogę zobaczyć tylko w ZOO. Życzę Ci też, żeby Twój dom o ogród były takie, jak sobie marzysz. Pozdrawiam.

  2. What a great red-looking little chap!

  3. Another one of my favorites. I am glad for your success!

    Thanks for explaining your gardens. It sounds like you are building a masterpiece.

  4. Back in 1999 I went on a road trip to Tucson and stayed at one of those old time classic western type motels on the old Miracle mile. We used Tucson as a base for exploring all around Southern Arizona.

    We went to Sabino Canyon after we had breakfast at the 'Blue willow'. It was around April and the Cardinals were still present below the mountain at the mouth of that Canyon. I assumed they wintered down there and went up stairs in summertime. It was amazing to me to see these birds I had only seen as a kid standing outside the in snow during winters in the state of Iowa. Prior to that visit I was always puzzled by the football team named Arizona Cardinals. Roadrunners I could see, but Cardinals ?

  5. Well done Chris on finally attracting a Red Cardinal to your gardens - beautiful bird and great photos. I am so glad all your hard work at developing and planting El Presidio Gardens is paying off.

  6. congrats on getting the cardinal to notice all your work! :)

  7. Doesn't it make your heart beat a little faster when you spot a flash of color out of the corner of your eye? Love it!

  8. Numbers 5 & 6 is the best. The Cardinals are so colourful, I wish they could come to England.

  9. It seems Red is a better color for you. Two pairs of cardinals hang out at my feeders, the males often aggressive with each other, and always very protective of their lady.

    The garden project sounds wonderfully diverse and hopefully enjoyed by the residents.

    Nice window shots. Maybe I will get that close in with the newly ordered 18-200mm lens.

  10. I'm seeing green! being from Illinois the Cardinal holds a special place in my heart.

  11. And a beautiful red Mr Cardinal is. You captured his beauty perfectly. Nicely done.

    My thanks for visiting my sisters blog and leaving your kind birthday wishes.
    Pam :)

  12. Wonderful shots of the Cardinals. I hope they helped to cheer you up. Great post and shots !

  13. Great pictures, these birds are a fabulous colour.

  14. Love your BLUES, Chris, but I also love your REDS... The Cardinals are so beautiful....

    Can't wait to see your cactus blooms.

    Gonna be out-of-pocket for a few days...

  15. A cardinal!!! How cool is that - in the desert! Color me green!

  16. Great shots of the beautiful, red bird.
    Don't see many red birds around here.


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