Kagawa BONSAI on Instagram: “Yafari show begins. Gafuten Exhibition, ready !. Gafuten exhibition will be held in Kyoto from Friday to Sunday.. I am looking forward very much …”

Bonsais Cali 🌳🇨🇴 on Instagram: “Veranera Glabra that exceeds 40 years. Formed by us and currently part of the collection of a great client and friend. # bonsai … “

Adam Lavigne on Instagram: “Restructuring and getting this Japanese black pine back on schedule after a few years of unrestricted growth. The last pic is the before…”

Seasonal Highlights

Natural Moments

Moving into December it does get darker and colder but it’s good to see more and more species returning for the winter (or at least more visible now that the leaves have fallen). One of my favorites that I’m pretty sure is here year-round, but much easier to see without those leaves is the Porcupine, this one unusually low in a tree next to a trail. A bit unusual to see one so alert during the day, but there was a rather large group of colorful birders standing around staring at this guy that morning.

Porcupine

Birding was a little slow at first on the last Audubon Thursday Birder outing in November to the Corrales Bosque, but the group ended up with a good list for the season and weather. Interestingly, a number of species were seen right at the end of the walk at a watering spot that all…

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The Days Before Christmas

Natural Moments

The last two weeks leading up to Christmas tomorrow have included some remarkably nice weather for this time of year and some good bird sightings mostly from the three Christmas Bird Counts we’ve participated in so far this year.  On December 14, we joined the count for Sevilleta NWR, the next morning the count for Bosque del Apache NWR, and a week later the Albuquerque count. We’ll do one more, the count for the Sandia Mountains, the day after Christmas, when the weather is expected to turn a bit iffy with the weather forecast to get colder and with a good chance of snow.

Before our trip to Socorro for the first two counts, Rebecca and I did a little scouting for the area of Corrales we’re assigned to for the Albuquerque count. One of the birds we’d see that day but miss during the count was a Black Phoebe…

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Start of the New Year

Natural Moments

Since Christmas, we’ve had three snowstorms one after another. In recent years we haven’t had much snow, but are expecting some this year with the El Niño weather pattern. We can always use the moisture and they’ve now gotten enough on the mountain for the Sandia Peak Ski Area to open. At least in town, the snow hasn’t made driving difficult for long since it typically evaporates from the roads rather quickly. Also typical is how the powdery snow finds a way of drifting into a tall pile right in front of my garage door – always a treat to discover when I decide to head out.

Having completed three Christmas Bird Counts under remarkably nice weather conditions before the holiday, the Sandia Mountain CBC is traditionally conducted the day after Christmas coinciding with the start of the first of those three snowstorms. It hadn’t really gotten going in town…

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Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Del Ray Beach, FL

Jennifer Outside

These beautiful gardens were one of my favorite places to visit when I lived in Ft. Lauderdale in the 1990s. I visited again for about an hour during a quick visit for the birthday of a close friend the week-end before Christmas. Much had changed and it was more beautiful than ever.

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