Monday, May 22

Lightly Raining, Slightly Cooler Morning Coffee Muses

Lightly Raining, Slightly Cooler Morning Coffee Muses

There’s a lite rain falling. One we really need. From the prognosticators out on the TV thingy, we’re about eight inches to the negative year to date… that’s in Houston, we’ve had even less down here. I don’t know how many storms have just missed giving up their rain as they passed us by.

Over the weekend, in the middle of the day, I had another cicada hearing, can’t call it a sighting. Now I’ve got frogs calling from the low spots where the woods once grew. Talk about the dichotomy of Texas weather.

It’s funny how little attention the birds pay to light rain. Chickadees and cardinals come to the feeder, bluebirds fly to and fro from the birdhouse, swallows swooping thru the air. Even had a pair of waterfowl flying by, with seagulls soaring over by and by. And way up on the highest perch, Mr. Kite surveys the world below.

It hasn’t been the best of weeks family wise… two cousins passed away. One on my mom’s side, followed by one from my dad’s. Two families going through the grief of losing a loved one. Both were loved, both will be missed. May they rest in peace.

Time for me to head in…

Sunday, May 21

Ditto Ditto It's Really Summer Morning Coffee Muses

Ditto Ditto It’s Really Summer Morning Coffee Muses

This one’s for you Nigel… The temperature is 84°, humidity is 89%, heat index is a mildly obscene 99°. Just for the sake of my British brother-in-law we’ll call it unpleasantly warm and a moisturizing treatment for your skin.

Last year I discovered when we toured Carlsbad Caverns, that humidity is the bane to my existence. The caverns are a constant 57° but the humidity is a constant 90+%. You would think that the temperature difference from the outside 109° would been heaven, but within minutes the workout of hauling my body up and down stairs and sloped trails had me starting to sweat… And once started it never dries. The air is saturated, it can’t take up any moisture, there is no way to wick the body’s 96° working temperature away.

Maybe that’s the attraction of desert climates to some people. I just can’t get past the hundred degree daily bake…

Looking at the weather map, I see that the cool front did what most do this time of year and pulled up short on it’s way to the coast.

It’s getting late and I have to go fix brunch…

Saturday, May 20

Just Another Hot Humid Texas Coastal Morning Coffee Muses

Just Another Hot Humid Texas Coastal Morning Coffee Muses

The weather underground is telling me that with my reported temperature of 83° and with the humidity reading of 69% my feels like temp is 91°… And did I mention, it’s 8:00 am?

The past few mornings the clouds have been hauling their moisture laden selves north at a rapid rate, today not so much. They are more thunderstormy, but just drifting north… slowly. The rain itself is just north of Huntsville running all the way up to Fargo, North Dakota. That’s one heck of a rainstorm.

Ok, I gave up the porch and the humidity. Right now the heat index is at 98° and headed who knows where. Back at the desk where I am wondering what is going on today. I had to force a reboot on the kindle this morning, then I had to force a restart on the laptop.

Looking out the front window I see the resident Red-bellied Woodpecker tearing into the woodpecker seed block. A lot like this one from All About Birds website…

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Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker Adult male Red patch on belly (often concealed by surrounding feathers) © Lisa Barker

We must be having a Cardinal population explosion. Every year we have a few more calling this yard home. I have to wonder if it’s the generations coming back to their nestling home because while they appear territorial, they are not as aggressive at chasing each other as I would expect.

Seems the research shows they don’t travel far…

Fidelity To Breeding Site And Winter Home Range

Adults of both sexes usually occupy breeding territories with same or very similar boundaries from year to year, although individuals of both sexes may shift between nonoverlapping territories in successive years ( Laskey 1944b , Kinser 1973 , Merritt 1975 , SLH and SUL). In 1 s. Ontario study, yearlings were more likely to move after first breeding season than were older birds ( Smith 1969c ): Among 13 males found in the 2 summers after they had hatched, 8 kept same territory, 4 moved to adjacent territories, and 1 moved 1.6 km. Among 7 females, 4 kept same territory, 1 moved to adjacent territory, and 2 moved “over 400 m.”

Cardinals may remain on breeding territories year-round, or they may wander over larger area in winter, presumably if food or shelter in breeding territory is inadequate ( Laskey 1944b ). At winter feeding stations, both regular visitors and new individuals continue to appear throughout winter, and banded individuals may disappear and then return later during same or the following winter ( Laskey 1944b , Hundley 1953 ).

Source: Northern Cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis; Birds of North America (BNA)The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Ok, I’ve killed enough of the morning and my wife is hinting about breakfast…

Friday, May 19

Just Another Hot And Humid Spring Morning Coffee Muses

Just Another Hot And Humid Spring Morning Coffee Muses

First thing first, Happy Birthday to my sister Sandy. I hope the day treats you to something nice… but, keep an eye on the weather…it’s looking a bit nasty to your west.

And speaking of the weather… ok summer, it’s not your time yet. When I get up in the morning and stumble into the bathroom the first thing I look toward is the outside temperature reading on the clock on the counter. And believe me, seeing it reads 78° at 7:30, I’m not looking forward to the day ahead… so stepping out on the back porch sauna after a shower just seems backwards.

And sitting here watching all of the moisture blowing north towards the storms in north Texas, I just can’t help but feel sorry for the folks living up there. If the rain holds off here, I may get the chance to ride the Deere today.

On the news yesterday I watched some poor Republican Congressman complaining about how everyone who interviewed him only wanted to ask about the White House and the President. No one it seems wants to hear his views on tax reform, healthcare, or any of the numerous conservative agenda items he wanted to talk about. All anybody wanted to talk about was Trump, the Russians, Comey and the Special Counsel… Poor baby. You know what my grandpa used to say… you gotta dance with the one  brung to the party.

Enough of this mugginess… even the ceiling fans can’t keep the summer back… I’m headed inside where spring still prevails… later

the ramblings of my brain over that first cup… and other meanders