This colorful, vibrant painted bunting is our most beautiful songbird. (Not my photo, but borrowed from Wikipedia, where you'll find more information about him.) His wife is stunning: bright chartreuse, the color of a green parakeet. I've seen and heard him singing mornings and evenings from the top of the hackberry beside my garden, and this morning, I discovered one of the reasons for his celebration.
Hornworms, on my tomatoes. I detained four, tried them and found them guilty of defoliation, denied their appeals for mercy, and sentence them to death by squishing--underfoot, since they are too large to squish them in my fingers. Actually, the bunting hadn't been doing his job. He should have eaten these when they were smaller. But maybe he's been too busy with grasshoppers. We have quite a few this year, and the chickens (birds of a different feather) are feasting. Their eggs are quite remarkable this summer, and we're feasting, too. As I eat my breakfast egg, new-laid each morning, I remind myself that I eating recycled grasshoppers. Something to think about ...
Book Report. I'm making progress on the Dahlias--the 2015 mystery: The DDs and the Eleven O'Clock Lady. The book includes a CCC camp, which has led me into some interesting research on these camps. PBS has an excellent introduction and plenty of resources--and there's lots more online. I love it when I can add some lesser-known historical material to one of these mysteries. Makes the writing process more interesting to me, and to you too, I hope.
Reading note from Songlines, by Bruce Chatwin, a cousin on the British side of our Turnell family, writing about the Australian outback: If this were so; if the desert were 'home'; if our instincts were forged in the desert; to survive the rigours of the desert - then it is easier to understand why greener pastures pall on us; why possessions exhaust us, and why Pascal's imaginary man found his comfortable lodgings a prison.