Yesterday was the autumnal equinox. It turned out to be a lovely evening for a beer can regatta on the lake. I took Nirvana out with Lori and Kurt as crew. Marty took Stand by Me out with Monte and Kevin as crew. There were four other boats as well. We were treated to a pretty double rainbow as a rainstorm skirted us to the southeast. When we crossed the finish line in fourth place, it was against the backdrop of a beautiful sunset. A fun sail!
Keeto often asks us, “Who’s here?” Well, this morning, when I opened up the blinds to look at the back yard, I was excited to see a flock of baltimore orioles in the bird bath/fountain that I put out in the spring. There were many more in the trees above, taking turns bathing. The orioles are currently migrating south for the winter. In the spring, on their way north, I only got a moment’s glance at a single male baltimore oriole. Today though, I got to enjoy them for about 15 minutes. And then, poof, they were gone. I hope they remember to stop here on their way back next spring.
Since coming home from our road trip, I have noticed a marked decrease in my backyard birdie population. I suspected a hawk was the reason. And today, sure enough, while sitting out back I saw one swoop through the backyard scattering the few birds that were at the feeders. Later in the day, the hawk flew in again and perched on an oak across from me for a few minutes. It is huge. I believe this is a juvenile Cooper’s hawk. Cooper’s hawks and sharp-shinned hawks, both accipiters, are very hard to distinguish from one another. Based on field guidance I’ve read online (e.g., here, here, here and here), the overall size, head shape, tail shape, thick legs, and breast streaking lead me to lean towards a Cooper’s ID. Either way, it’s a beautiful bird, but I wish it would find another yard to terrorize. I miss my abundance of birdies.
We returned last night after our extended Eclipse 2017 trip; we took the opportunity to visit family in the area while we were up there. We drove 19 hours straight across five states, and got home a little after midnight. We wanted to get home to check on things, given Hurricane Harvey’s arrival the night before. I’m thankful that the only bad thing so far is that our power is out. I’ve no idea how long it will take to restore. But it’s not a big deal for us; it’s nice to be home.
This is a view of the sunset from the highway outside Dallas last night. I’m praying for the folks on the Texas gulf coast and southeast part of the state.
It’s been busy here for the last month or so. We had several nieces under our roof and at the lake with us this past week, which was a joy for me. Good visits, good fun and lots of laughs were had. But they are now back in their respective places living their exciting young lives. As for me, I’m committed to relaxing for the rest of this week. Last night I joined some friends for girls’ night out at Alcomar in south Austin. I enjoyed it.
PROs: Tasty tapa-ish seafood dishes. Happy hour from 3-6pm every day. And their own parking lot on S 1st!
Tonight we made it to the last concert in this year’s Blues on the Green free concert series at Austin’s lovely Zilker Park. Bright Light Social Hour was the headliner. We joined Lori and Doray, who have made it to every show this year. They’re professionals; they have the parking/tailgating/setup thing down. We got downtown early, went for a swim in Barton Springs Pool and then headed over to the Great Lawn to set up our chairs and share some nibblies before the show.
I enjoyed the night very much. Temps were in the 80s!! How lucky was that?!